June 20, 2012, - 10:54 am

SUMMER 2012! My Fave Summer Songs; What Are Yours?

By Debbie Schlussel

Today is the first day of summer.

Below are my two favorite summer songs. What are yours?

While there have been many covers of this, my faves are the original studio version and the “Philip Steir/Tsuper Tsunami” remix of the original Seals and Crofts vocals, both of which are above. Seals & Crofts like the remix, too. It appears on the cool 2004 Warner Brothers ’70s & ’80s remix compilation album, “What is Hip? Remix Project, Vol. 1” (which I highly recommend). In addition to it being a great song that captures the mood of summer evenings, I like it because it must drive feminists mad. Seals & Crofts sing about a guy returning from a hard day’s work on a Friday Night. His woman is waiting at home for him after she’s been cooking dinner. Despite the hippie-dominated early ’70s, they could still get away with lyrics like these without coming under fire from the NOW hags:

And I come home from a hard day’s work, and you’re waiting there, not a care in the world.
See the smile a-waitin’ in the kitchen, food cookin’ and the plates for two.
See the arms that reach out to hold me, in the evening when the day is through.

Today, given that feminism is now reality and stay-at-home dads are the norm, don’t be surprised if some girl band or female singer does a cover with the guy being the homemaker in the lyrics.

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39 Responses

You post those two music videos every year!!! For starters, I like “Cruel Summer” by Bananarama, also the 1998 cover by Ace of Base. “Hot fun in the summertime” by Sly and the Family Stone, “California Gurls” by Katy Perry, “Heat Wave” by Martha and the Vandellas, some songs by the Beach Boys and “waterfalls” by TLC

M: They’re still my favorites! DS

Matthew on June 20, 2012 at 11:02 am

I forgot about the Macarena which was #1 all of Summer 1996

Matthew on June 20, 2012 at 11:03 am

Isn’t TOMORROW the first day of Summer? You posted this same column last year. I STILL like “Under the Boardwalk” by The Drifters and “James and the Gang” by Joan Baez.

Miranda Rose Smith on June 20, 2012 at 11:24 am

Without doubt Don Henley’s “Boys of Summer” is the greatest summer themed pop song of all time.


tdiinva on June 20, 2012 at 11:26 am


Sal on June 20, 2012 at 11:29 am

That link back when radio was boss, reminds me of the old CKLW, in Detroit.

Sal on June 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

Wipeout, Summer in the City, Summer Girls by LFO, there are so many! Basically, to qualify you have to picture yourself sunning on a blanket at the beach or a lawn chair by the pool with the radio on and if you hear the song in question and it works, you’re good to go. Alternate scenarios include frisbee with your friends and at least one dog in the park, or a large cookout with volleyball. I now need to add Summer Breeze and Summertime by Fresh Prince to my iPod.

Sean M on June 20, 2012 at 11:30 am

At my age, I have come to embrace all kinds of music. It would take forever to make a complete list of summer(-ish) tunes.

Here are a but a few of them:

“Wave Babies” – Honeymoon Suite
“Working for the Weekend” – Loverboy
“Yankee Rose” and “California Girls” – David Lee Roth
“Smart-dressed Man” – ZZ Top
“Cherub Rock” – Smashing Pumpkins
“Peg” and “Kid Charlemagne” – Steely Dan
“Neon Knights”, “Mob Rules”, “Paranoid” and “After Forever” – Black Sabbath
“Bed of Roses”, “You Give Love a Bad Name” – Bon Jovi
“Photograph”, “Hysteria” and “Rock of Ages” – Def Leppard
“Pretty Fly for a White Guy” – the Offspring
“Walk on the Ocean” – Toad the Wet Sprocket
“I Don’t Mind At All” – Bourgeois Tagg
“Let it Rain” and “Birmingham” – Amanda Marshall
“Miss You”, “Heartbreaker”, “Hang Fire”, “Satisfaction” and “Mixed Emotions” – Rolling Stones
“Mr Jones” – Counting Crows
“Touch of Gray”, “Casey Jones” and “California Getaway” – Grateful Dead
“Heart Shaped Box” and “Lithium” – Nirvana

Plus anything by the following bands/artists: Faith No More; James Brown; Led Zeppelin; Rush; the Melvins; Pearl Jam; Neil Young; Gorillaz…

The list goes on. But I have to get ready for work right now: someone’s gotta pay for this internet service.

The Reverend Jacques on June 20, 2012 at 11:39 am

Miranda Rose Smith on June 20, 2012 at 11:24 am

Like you, I also like the Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk.”

There are so many wonderful summer tunes that it is difficult to narrow them down to one or two.

The Beach Boys are the ultimate summer sound band of all time. Surfer Girl, Down’t Worry Baby, Surfin’ USA, I Get Around, California Girls, and so many others by the Beach Boys are great tunes, and warm weather, sea-side tunes.

Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher” is associated with summer in my memory. I used to take long, several miles long hikes as a high school aged teenager, while on the track team. I’d hear Jackie Wilson’s tune play and I loved it. I’d walk in the woods alone for hours, seeing virtually no one. I’d hear that tune in my head, even while I ran long distance as a teenager.

The song “Be My Love” by Mario Lanza, also reminds me of summer. Mario had a great voice, sang classical music in the movies, and “Be My Love” was a big hit when I was a young child.

Nat “King” Cole’s “Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Dys of Summer,” reminds me of summer, as did Sinatra’s “The Summer Wind.”

Lots of jazz and jazz-rock music reminds me of summer, even if they did not originally make their debut during the summer.

Blood Sweat and Tears’ “Spinnin’ Wheel,” and “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” the Ides of March’s “Black Sedan,” George Benon’s rendition of “Take Five,” and the tune “Breezin’,” and his interpretation of Jose Felliciano’s “Affirmation” are also tunes I associate with, and I am reminded of, Summer.

Wildwood Days by Bobby Rydell, and even the tune “On the Way to Cape May” was a fun tune which also reminds me of summer.

I could go on and on, for there are so many tunes which are fun and remind me of summer.

Jan and Dean also has a sea-surf-summer sound. I even remember seeing Leon Russel in concert during the summer and listening to his records during the summer.

I was a young person serving in the military during the vietnam war. For a while I was stationed in California, during the time Sly and the Family Stone’s “Hot Fun in the Summer Time” came out. I remember hearing that tune in the summer time and enjoying it as well.

Even Chubby Checker’s “Let’s Twist Aagain (like we did last summber” reminds me of summer.

Tito Puente’s tunes, such as “Oye Como Va,” which Santana recorded with a rock-Afro-Caribbean flavor, and made famous, as well as Tito Puente’s “Ran Kan Kan” also remind me of warm places, the sea, Latin dance (Salsa, Mambo, etc.) and summer.

I’d better stop, for I’ll be typing a gazillion more songs on this list before the hour is over.

William on June 20, 2012 at 11:47 am

    Nat “King” Cole’s “Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Dys of Summer,” GOOD CHOICE
    Blood Sweat and Tears’ “Spinnin’ Wheel” GOOD CHOICE.

    Funnily enough, “Sometimes in Winter” contains references to Summer and I loved it when I was about 13.

    Them there’s Gershwin, “Summertime.”

    Miranda Rose Smith on June 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm


      Then there’s Gershwin, “Summertime.”

      Miranda Rose Smith on June 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm


      Then there’s Gershwin, “Summertime.”

      Miranda Rose Smith on June 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      Dear Mr. Adamo: I already suggested that song.

      Miranda Rose Smith on June 21, 2012 at 4:54 am


      Miranda Rose Smith on June 21, 2012 at 6:13 am

Summer song? How about this one called “Summer Song”?


Ari Mendelson on June 20, 2012 at 11:58 am

Springsteen’s “Girls in Their Summer Clothes.”
Sly and the Family Stone’s “Hot Fun in the Summertime.”

WilliamMunny on June 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Like Matthew, I love the songs by Bananarama (I was such a fan back in the day…before “Venus”…) and Sly & The Family Stone (What a genius…a tortured and sick one but one none-the-less).

Also gotta give props to The Rev for some of his picks…I always liked “Yankee Rose” even thou’ I wasn’t a fan of solo David Lee Roth. Love “Peg” by Steely Dan and his Def Leppard picks and Nirvana picks (although I enjoy his nutter widow’s music much more than his…) and his Rolling Stone picks were soooo good. The “Steal Wheels” CD is something I just adore. Mick Jagger’s last two solo albums were fantastic…don’t listen to anyone who says they was crap. I don’t follow the crowd and that crowd is WRONG!

William, I love The Ides of March “Vehicle” too. Always have.

Hmmmm, as for summer specifically I am drawing a blank but I am passionate about my music. Right now great tunes blasting in my head that make me think of summer are…

1) “I Wonder (What’s She’s Doing Tonight” by Boyce & Hart
2) “Lovergirl” by Teena Marie (RIP)
3) “You & I” by Rick James
4) “Don’t Do It” by The Band
5) “Across 110th Street by Bobby Womack
6) “Cola Bottle Baby” by Edward Birdsong *****
7) “Evil Vibrations” by The Rebirth
8) “Hot, Hot, Hot” by The Cure
9) “Good Thing” by Paul Revere & The Raiders
10) “Nemesis” by Shreikback

Good tunes! I focus on songs when things get tough and with God’s love it works!

Skunky on June 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Debbie I think that you and I are the same age and like Rev Jacques I like all kinds of music. Some of my favorites are those you probably know like “Summer of 69” by Bryan Adams, “Summertime” by Will Smith, “California Girls” by The Beach Boys and “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” by Billy Ocean. My list is too broad to put on here but these are some on my top ten list.

Ken b on June 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm

Hot fun in the summertime——-Sly & The Family Stone

moeberg on June 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm

How about favorite summer movies (you are a movie reviewer)?

MH on June 20, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Wow, how old are you folks? 70’s, 80’s? I know DS must be in the late 40’s but she looks more like in late the 50’s due the excessive use of hooker makeup. You old folks found a creative way to go online and bitch about everything that moves with two legs or any Muslim, Mexican, Liberal or gay. My great grandma just sits around and complains.
@ worry, my English is not up to standard of a native speaker because it is my FOURTH language. When you can add up to 50 without a calculator then you can flex your muscle or run your mouth.

Simpson on June 20, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    STFU Simpleton. We don’t care what you think on this board. Go bore your tired family. Worry will hand you yo’ arse again because you’re too retarded to know when you’re beaten the first time. You crashing bore.

    Skunky on June 20, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I think Type O Negative’s rendition of “Summer Breeze” is far superior to that of Seals and Croft…just my $0.02

David on June 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Boys of Summer
Summer of ’69

pat on June 20, 2012 at 1:57 pm

Summertime – The Sundays and Cruel Summer – Bananarama.

Randal P on June 20, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Hey Simpleton. The village that you escaped from called. They want their idiot back. Good grief, you liberal retards make it too easy for us “old folk”.

Ken b on June 20, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I agree w/ Pat above. Some of my other fav summer songs:

Only in my dreams – Debbie Gibson
Time of my Life

Too many more to recall

Infidel on June 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Sorry, folks, but the world’s greatest Summer song of all time is, without a doubt, “Summertime,” music by George Gershwin and lyrics by DuBose Heyward (and possibly Ira Gershwin), from the landmark 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. The song is recognized as one of the most covered songs in the history of recorded music, with more than 33,000 covers by groups and solo performers.

Three hundred years from now, if civilization still exists, people will be playing and listening to “Summertime.” I don’t think that can be said for any other song listed here. “Summertime” is a masterpiece.

Ralph Adamo on June 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    PS: I’m not saying a lot of the songs above aren’t great or very good, but if I had to pick the best of all time, “Summertime” is it. Another personal favorite is the timeless “Summer Wind,” a 1965 song, with music by Heinz Meier (aka Henry Mayer) and lyrics by the legendary Johnny Mercer. The best known cover of the song is by Frank Sinatra, and was one of his signature songs.

    Ralph Adamo on June 20, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Them there’s Gershwin, “Summertime.”

    Miranda Rose Smith on June 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Dear Mr. Adamo: I already suggested that song.

    Miranda Rose Smith on June 21, 2012 at 4:54 am

Summertime by DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and any hit by the Beach Boys. As I was growing up, Beach Boy songs had me thinking California was all beaches, surfing, girls, and endless summers!!

D. O'Nay on June 20, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Oh, I forgot to add instrumentals like surf-westerny tunes and Dean Martin “In The Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening”. And “Caravan” Jan & Dean (For some reason I am not a “Beach Boys” fan. I don’t know why.)

    Also I spelled Steele in “Steele Wheels” wrong. I figured it out asap but I hate posting a correction. I give y’all credit to know I made a mistake.

    Skunky on June 20, 2012 at 6:19 pm

If I’m not mistaken, there are 4 versions of “Summertime” (Gershwin, Janis Joplin, Sublime and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince) and 4 versions of “Summertime Blues” (Gene Pitney – or some other dude, Blue Cheer, the Who, and Rush) that I truly enjoy anytime.

Now for a little bit of Cheese for the fondue (it’s not bad – it’s an acquired taste):

“El Bimbo”
“Dragostea din Tei” (sp – aka “The Numa-Numa Song”)
“Una Paloma Blanca”
“Candy Girl” – New Edition: before Bobby Brown discovered New Jack, and old-school crack
“Locomotion” – did Tiffany or Kylie Minogue do the cover: damn, I’m getting old!
“Cat Scratch Fever”, “Stranglehold”, “Wand Dang Sweet Poontang”, “Great White Buffalo” – Ted Nugent
“Seasons in the Sun” – Terry Jacks
“American Pie” – Don MacLean: when I was a kid in summer camp, we were all taught how to sing this song.
“Never Gonna Give You Up” – Rick Astley: just freakin’ because!
“Macho Man”, “In the Navy”, “YMCA”, “San Francisco (You Got Me)”, “Go West” – Village People
“Heart of Glass”, “The Tide Is High” – Blondie
“True Colors”, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”, “Good Enough” (aka “The Goonies” theme song) – Cyndi Lauper (she’s playing my city this summer – I just hope there are some tickets left)
“All You Zombies”, “And We Danced” – The Hooters: thank you “Live Aid”.

Plus any given tunes by any of these artists: Queen, Judas Priest, Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, NKOTB – who should stay in that time period from which they were spawned.

And I left out one man in my earlier list or summer faves (Elvis, Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Dwight Yoakam are all given – so back the eff off, Haters!): Brian Adams. “Cuts Like a Knife”, “Heaven”, “It’s Only Love”… the list goes on.

I also forgot “This Beat Goes On / Switching to Glide” by The Kings. Nothing matters but the weekend from a Tuesday point-of-view.

Of course, right now I’m feeling like cranking out some Mastodon. Just freakin’ because!

The Reverend Jacques on June 21, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Rev I give you props on delicious cheese…

    Una Paloma Blanca
    Cat Scratch Fever
    American Pie
    The Village People!

    Skunky on June 21, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Mozart Clarinet Quintet?

skzion on June 21, 2012 at 2:44 am

“Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer”, Brook Benton

Panhandle on June 21, 2012 at 11:57 am

I mean Nat King Cole.

Panhandle on June 21, 2012 at 12:02 pm

As one who was in jr & senior high in the early & mid 80’s, my summertime songs begin with Journey’s Escape album. In particular, the song Stone In Love: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2uA1ksmnwPc

Jimbo on June 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm

Well, Debbie Schlusse is a bitch, she’s a big fat witch, she’s the biggest bitch in the whole wide world, she’s a stupid bitch if there ever was a bitch, she’s a bitch to all the boys and girls.
On Monday she’s a bitch, on Tuesday she’s a bitch, and Wednesday to Saturday she’s a bitch, then on Sunday just to be different she’s a super King-ka maya-maya beotch! Have you ever met my friend Debbie Schlusse, she’s the biggest bitch in the whole wide world, she’s a mean old bitch and she has stupid hair, she’s a bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch,
bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch she’s a stupid bitch, WHOOO! Debbie Schlusse is a bitch and she’s just a dirty bitch, Debbie Schlusse is a bitch, and she’s such a dirty Bitch. talk to kids around the world, it might go a little bit something like this! Have you ever met my friend Debbie Schlusse, she’s the biggest bitch in the whole wide world, she’s a mean old bitch and she has stupid hair, she’s a bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch,
bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch she’s a stupid bitch, WHOOO! Debbie Schlusse is a bitch and she’s just a dirty bitch, Debbie Schlusse is a bitch, and she’s such a dirty Bitch. I really mean it Debbie Schlusse: she’s a big fat fucking bitch! YEAH big fat fucking bitch Debbie Schlusse, yeah! chow!

Twój stary on June 22, 2012 at 9:31 am

Anyone else here remember ‘Montego Bay’ by Bobby Bloom?
One of my favorites among way too many to list here.


“Hot fun in the summertime——-Sly & The Family Stone”
….is a favorite of mine too. Am I the only one who thought tha Sly had like maybe 5 singers in his band only to realize years later it was only him doing the main vocals?! The man did not have a voice, he had voices!
…kind of a vocal schizophrenia 🙂

theShadow on June 23, 2012 at 2:16 am

I don’t want to date my myself. But as a Sophomore in High School, I had a Drafting Class and halfway thru the class the teacher would turn on the radio. KYA (San Francisco) (not to be confused with KY jelly). The DJ Emperior Gene Nelson would play, Hot Summer Time by Billy Stewart. This is song that remains in my archive of listening pleasures
Also, All Day Music by War.
Thank you Debbie. I look forward to listening to you on Fridays on Michael Church Sirius Patriot.

Craig on July 13, 2012 at 12:18 pm

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