LET YOUR HEART
KEEP TAKING PICTURES
THAT WE'LL SHARE
AS YEARS GO BY...
HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY
In 1963, western Pennsylvania recording artists Marcy Jo
and Eddie Rambeau teamed up to to record "Lover's Medley," a mash-up of two innocent summer snuggle songs,"The More I See You" and "When I Fall in Love." Now Eddie's here with his solo contribution to our sounds of summer collection.
"Concrete and Clay" is Eddie's def cover of a hit by the
UK band Unit 4 Plus 2. Featuring the clean, crisp production style that is most pleasing to my ears, Eddie Rambeau's "Concrete and Clay" played in moderate to heavy rotation on the Mighty 9-10, becoming a Central Pennsylvania regional favorite and the biggest hit of Eddie's career. The record is pure delight. I defy anybody to stay depressed while listening to it!
"Concrete and Clay" - Eddie Rambeau
(May/June 1965, highest chart position #35)
JUNE, JULY AND AUGUST
PLAY A SYMPHONY
UNDER STARRY SKIES ABOVE
Although more famous for unleashing his thundering baritone in productions like Camelot, Robert Goulet crossed over to pop and recorded a feel good summer song that's chock-full of powerful imagery!
"Summer Sounds" was not a major hit. It climbed less than halfway up the Billboard ladder before tumbling back down
to obscurity. Nevertheless, this Goulet goodie was played often enough on WSBA during the month of June 1965 to make a lasting impression on me and earn a spot in the Shady's Law Hall of Fame!
"Summer Sounds" - Robert Goulet
(June 1965, highest chart position #58)
One of the most distinctive summer sounds is the one made by a car's windshield wipers during a shower. In 1966 Lou Christie suggested a link between the hypnotic sweep of the wipers and the steamy romance unfolding inside the vehicle, a love connection that prompted some radio stations to ban the record!
"Rhapsody in the Rain" - Lou Christie
(May 1966, highest position #16)
Country pop artist Ronnie Dove had a string of crossover hits to his credit by the time he released "Happy Summer Days" in 1966. Ronnie's songs were always well received in Central PA and got plenty of exposure on WSBA radio.
"Happy Summer Days" was no exception. The evocative memory maker climbed the Billboard ladder in June and July, reaching its zenith in the top 30.
"Happy Summer Days" - Ronnie Dove
(June 1966, highest chart position #27)
I had already finished picking songs for Summer Means Fun when I realized there were very few in the entire 12-part series that were released after 1966! What about songs released during the Summer of Love, 1967? What about songs from the summer of 1968 and 1969? No way! I mined music primarily from the early and mid 60s because songs related to summer fun were more innocent back then. In the carefree world of Jan and Dean, challenging a wave on your surfboard was about as serious as it got!
"Ride the Wild Surf" - Jan and Dean
(October 1964, highest chart position #16)
By 1967 the tide had turned. Beach songs, surfing songs, hot rod songs and other sounds celebrating the California lifestyle (a lifestyle that kids everywhere wanted to adopt) were vanishing from the pop music charts, radio & TV, and the record stores.
A defining moment in pop music's abandonment of summer-themed songs, fun songs, and sweet, innocent love songs came in March of 1966. "Nowhere Man" by the Beatles, a hit song that month, signaled the beginning of the end. As the All Music Guide points out, "Nowhere Man" was the first Beatles song to move beyond romantic themes entirely.
"Nowhere Man" - Beatles
(March 1966, highest chart position #3)
In the spring of 1966 the success of songs like "Nowhere Man" indicated that silly love songs and good time rock ‘n roll were rapidly giving way to music for the thinking man. Like it or not, and I honestly didn't like it initially, heavyweights like the Beatles, Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel were ushering in an era of deep, serious, introspective music.
To every thing there is a season and the time and the purpose of Summer Means Fun is not seriosity...it's frivolity! So before we bust out cryin' let's quickly press the rewind button, turn turn turn back the clock, and invite Jerry Keller to welcome the summer solstice the right way...the good old fashioned way...the fun way!
"Here Comes Summer" - Jerry Keller
(August 1959, highest chart position #14)
there's lots more mindless retro pop
coming up in the next installment of
Summer Means Fun!
Have a Shady day!