Summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertime

Hope everyone had a good Memorial Day! If you’re like me, you spent the weekend drinking margaritas, hanging out by the pool and strolling along the River Walk in San Antonio, TX. (I’m guessing you’re not like me, but if that really is what you did – weird! It was fun, wasn’t it?)

I’ll tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the Alamo, the IHOP Café we visited (be warned: it’s NOT a real IHOP!), and the pool bar menu at the Westin once I’m motivated to upload my pictures. But for now, we have this:


To me, nothing says summer like the musical notes of the upbeat classic golden oldies. Maybe it’s because the local Wheaton pool used to continuously blast the now defunct oldies station when I was a kid. (R.I.P. Oldies 104.3 with Dick Biondi. When I heard you went off the air, a little piece of my soul died.) Or maybe it’s because so many of my favorite summertime movies (Stand By Me, American Graffiti, Now and Then) are set to the nostalgic background of some great doo-wop hits. Whatever the reason, when I hear the high-pitched crooning of the Beach Boys or the engine revving and beginning notes of Leader of the Pack, I think summer.

So, since this past weekend we were unofficially thrust into the throws of the year’s sunniest season, I decided to make you a playlist of my favorite oldies that remind me of summer for all the road trips, poolside lounging and BBQs we have ahead of us in the coming months. You’re welcome.

Also, I’m still recovering from all of the relaxing (read: drinking) I did last weekend. My brain is fried, so making a simple list is about all that I am mentally capable of right now. Here we go:

1.  Don’t Worry Baby (or pretty much the whole greatest hits CD) – The Beach Boys

2. Sugar, Sugar – The Archies

3. Running on Empty – Jackson Browne (great for road trips!)

4. Come Go With Me – The Del Vikings

5. Crimson and Clover – Tommy James & the Shondells

6. Why Do Fools Fall in Love – Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers

7. Up on the Roof – The Drifters

8. Turn! Turn! Turn! – The Byrds

9. Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly & the Family Stone

10. Runaround Sue – Dion

11. The Little Old Lady from Pasadena – Jan & Dean

12. Up Around the Bend – Creedence Clearwater Revival

13. Leader of the Pack – The Shangri-la’s

14. I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonite – Boyce & Hart

15. I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) – The Four Tops

So crank these tunes for a good time this summer! Unless you don’t like oldies, in which case you probably stopped reading this post awhile ago. Also I’m just going to go ahead and call you un-American since you’re not reading this anyway. So there. You were just schooled in passive-aggressiveness. BAM.

9 thoughts on “Summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertime

  1. I like your musical memory lane! And thanks for reminding me of what an awesome song “Running on Empty” is! Must……

  2. We also grew up with Dick Biondi. In fact, I think we met him once at a mall or something. Great list, I might download some of them 🙂

  3. Yes, great song list. And I totally agree with you about the Oldies station: “OLdies one-oh-FOUR…point…threeeee”. That was me singing the station i.d. song. Did you get it?

  4. It’s amazing to me that our generation’s “coming of age” music is so timeless and still appreciated. Most of the songs on your list brought back memories of my high school & college days and a couple were even a little before I got into the music scene. Good news – Dick Biondi is back (he was my favorite DJ in eighth grade)! He does an evening oldies show on WLS (I believe), which was also my favorite radio station (along with the defunct WCFL) “back in the day”.

  5. It is amazing that people still listen to and love all that music, but what’s even more amazing is that Dick Biondi is still ALIVE! Mom, how old is he if he was your favorite DJ in 8th grade!? He’s like the bionic disc jockey.

  6. I just wanted to say, that although that wouldn’t be my 20 songs, that is a stellar list of songs. Nice call with the Boyce and Hart. There isn’t much in chicago that I would take over st. louis, but one thing is the oldies station. Dick is definitely back and with his daytime counter part, Scott Shannon (my personal fav), these guys are men among boys when it comes to music. They are on 94.7 or you can stream it at and it is by far the best station in chicago or that I’ve ever heard. These guys know everything about everything and are really teaching the listening audience about good music and the history behind it, and the best part is that these guys don’t care what the “oldies police” say they should be playing. I just keep Shazam handy on the Iphone and already have a laundry list of amazing songs and artists that I never heard of until I started listening to them. I like to give a shoutout to Scott Shannon for introducing me to the Raspberries. Props Scott, and props Carlie. Don’t Worry Baby is the bomb.

  7. Thanks for that info, Nathan – I’ll definitely be streaming 94.7 at work today! Also, I love the Raspberries! Go All the Way would be a good addition to this list. I also thought of another song in retrospect that I should have added – Quinn the Eskimo by Manfred Mann. It makes absolutely no sense but I love it anyway!

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