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We put that question to Here & Now staffers, who describe what music in the summer means for them.
-AlexManaging editor Chris Ballman: “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding, (1968) I remember it as a teen, playing all the time on the radio while fishing off a railroad bridge over the Manasquan River in Point Pleasant, New Jersey – down the shore. Also, of course – “Fourth of July, Asbury Park” by Bruce Springteen and “Under the Boardwalk” by the Drifters.
Arts and Culture Emiko Tamagawa: “Summer Breeze” by Seals and CroftsSeals and Crofts “Summer Breeze” might be cliché now, but it’s still a lovely song. There’s also Thin Lizzy “The Boys Are Back In Town.” When I was much younger I’d hear it and I’d listen for the lyric “The nights are getting warmer, won’t be long…’til summer comes. Now that the boys are back in town” and just know summer was just around the corner! And Wilco’s “Heavy Metal Drummer” for me has that nostalgic feel that Steve talks about with lines like “I sincerely miss those heavy metal bands/we used to go see on the landing in the summer.”
Producer Kevin Sullivan: “American Pie,” by Don McLeanIt may sound like a cliché these days, but I remember this song blaring, as I drove to the Eastern Shore of Maryland with my friend’s family in the backseat of their aging, behemoth of a station wagon. To this day, this song reminds me of driving to the beach with all the promise of a summer stretched out before me.
-KevinRadio and new media producer Jill Ryan: “The Roots of Chicha,” Psychedelic Cumbias from Peru
I first heard it while backpacking through Peru and Ecuador one summer, when I spent the better part of a month on one local bus or another. The drivers loved to play this music, you could also hear it drifting out of open windows as you walked through villages.
-JillIntern Joe DeNatale: “Dancing Days” by Led Zeppelin___
“Dancing Days” is off of Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy,” one of my favorite summer albums. That song in particular is pure hippie nostalgia, but the record is full of a ton of different sounds, from the tireless “Song Remains the Same” and the delicate “Rain Song,” to the funk-induced “The Crunge” and the reggae-pop “Dy’r Mak’r.” I can’t imagine hearing it in 1973!