Most people think of summer and think of many things; gardening, long days at the lake/ocean, camping, hiking, rock climbing, and other sports. Other things that come to mind are bathing suits, barbecues, road trips, and music.
For me, music is life. There’s nothing like freestyle rock climbing with my dad while the song “Living on the Edge” by Aerosmith is going through my head, and the ledge I’m on is 500 feet up and only about six inches thick. This alone brings up wonderful memories of the countless years of climbing with Daddy, and puts this song on the top of my summer music list.
For those of you who are in my age group, most can sing any of the old school Will Smith songs from when he was still better known as “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” Taking the 30-40 year old age group back to a simpler place in time; when Pauly Shore was the coolest thing on MTV, and MTV was still all about the music, is “Summertime” by The Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff.
Do you remember the chaotic and awesome Spring Break specials on MTV were? I remember how Wreckx-N-Effect’s “Rump Shaker” was one of the hottest songs for the “dance” contests on live television, and how every teenager would dance with her friends while watching, asking if she could shake her rump better than the girls on the video and in the contest. To me, this song could be re-released today, and the guys from Wreckx could make a ton of money again.
Who could live without some Woodstock legends, and not the disastrous second coming Woodstock, but the original? Give me a recording of Jimi Hendrix playing the “Star Spangled Banner” live at Woodstock for any fireworks show, and you’ve got a happy camper, with tears in her eyes! Of course, going back to the days of free love, you have to give a nod to the amazing Janis Joplin. Her song “Summertime” is beautifully written and performed.
While we speak of Woodstock, the second coming had a great hit that most of us that love a good mosh pit listened to with joy, and that caused Woodstock to be set on fire; Limp Bizkit’s “Break Stuff.”
With the droughts of the Southern, it may be ironic and dry witted, but “Have You Ever Seen the Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival definitely is a song I sing way too much! Also, being originally from Louisiana, and loving the state, Hank Williams “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” celebrates the get-togethers in Cajun Country.
Who could have a summer song list without one of the songs that gets stuck into your brain so bad you’ll never forget it, Brian Hyland’s “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.” If you’re too young to know this song, click on it, and tell me it’s not as bad as the “Song That Doesn’t End,” introduced by Lamb-Chop’s Play Along that you sing all of camp, or have someone sing it near you, to drive you crazy.
Whether you enjoy new or old school music for summer, let your hair down, turn it up, and enjoy the music!