Monday, June 21, 2010

Your All-Time Favorite Summer Hits

The Forgotten Hits Top 40
All-Time Summer Favorites List
(as voted on by The Forgotten Hits Readers)

We've polled our readers three times now in order to determine your All-Time Summer Favorites ... and, if there's one thing we've learned during this process, it's that these songs could be pertain to just about anything ...

We found songs ABOUT Summer ... songs that were big hits DURING the Summer ... songs with Summer in the title ... and feel-good songs that just evoke the feeling of a carefree, fun-loving summer day.

And, as we told our readers all along, that is EXACTLY what we were looking for!

My original inspiration for this feature came after reading a similar poll held in "Entertainment Weekly" back in 1999, when their writers got together in order to determine THEIR list of Summer Favorites.

The only problem with a list like that (when put together by a bunch of writers who are trying to look just a little bit more sophisticated than their average reader) is that they tend to be a little "artsy" simply for artsy's sake ... it seems that quite often these writers will go out of their way to name something SO far off the beaten path that most people reading the article won't ever have even heard the song!!!

Now sometimes there's a hidden benefit to this ... SOME readers will actually seek out some of this music that they weren't familiar with and see if it really stacks up against the best Summer Songs that ran across their own minds ... but what I've found over the years of doing these Forgotten Hits Polls is that, for the most part anyway, we all pretty much like and identify with the same music. Really GOOD music moves us ... leaves a mark that stays with us forever ... as you'll see, the biggest portion of these songs are somewhere in the neighborhood of forty years old ... yet these STILL elicit a special feeling of summer excitement, no matter HOW many times we've heard them.

The other problem I had with the 1999 Entertainment Weekly Poll was the fear that the best summers these young writers would be able to remember most likely would have happened in the '80's or beyond ... and, as such, SO many great summer classics would be left off the list. (In all fairness, these folks came up with the same #1 Favorite as YOU guys did ... and, in fact, NINE of their Top Ten Finalists were from the '60's and '70's ... and 13 of their Top 20 choices also made our Top 40! Overall, I'd have to say that they did a pretty commendable job ... but, by the same token, it's also safe to say that you WON'T find anything by Madonna, Grand Master Flash, Bananarama, TLC, The Red Hot Chili Peppers or Arrested Development anywhere in OUR countdown!!!)

Anyway, all of this got me to thinking ... what if you asked the REAL oldies fans out there ... the ones who have seen their share of summers over the years ... they've seen the various trends come and go ... I just couldn't help but wonder what songs best evoke the Spirit of Summer in the eyes and ears of The REAL Oldies Fans? (Of course, I suppose I could have simply listed MY All-Time Summer Favorites ... but to me, that approach always seems to take on a "I Know Music And You Don't" connotation ... or, as I like to call it, the "Jann Wenner Philosophy of Music"!)

So, instead ... in 2001, we polled our readers ... and received about 400 responses ... hardly an overwhelming or decisive amount (but you have to remember that we did have a much smaller circulation then ... and we were also polling a pretty selective audience.)

In 2006, we decided to ask our readers again to vote for their All-Time Summer Favorites. This time about 2100 people responded ... yet the majority of The Top Ten remained the same. Hmmm ... maybe a trend was beginning to develop here ... maybe these really ARE the All-Time Summer Favorites.

Just to be sure, we asked our readers AGAIN in 2010 ... and this time we received about 9200 votes!!! And guess what ... the SAME song that came in at #1 in 2001 ... and ALSO came in at #1 in 2006 ... came in at #1 AGAIN in 2010!!! And by an increasingly larger margin each time. (Enough so to officially proclaim this year's victory a LANDSLIDE!)

That's good enough for me!!! I believe that we can unequivocally state FOR THE RECORD that the list you are about to review is, WITHOUT QUESTION, representative of The All-Time Favorite Songs Of Summer as determined by The Oldies Nation. (See if you agree!)


1. SUMMER IN THE CITY - The Lovin' Spoonful
(#1 each and every time we've run this poll ... and by a LANDSLIDE this year,
2. A SUMMER SONG - Chad and Jeremy
3. HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME - Sly and the Family Stone
(These two tracks have ALWAYS finished near the top of the list ... but this is
the first time they've flip-flopped their ranking!)
4. ALL SUMMER LONG - The Beach Boys
(The Beach Boys have placed in The Top Ten every time we've done the
poll ... yet it's been a different song each time that earned this honor.
In 2010, TWO of The Beach Boys' Hits made The Top Ten ... and this is the
highest "All Summer Long" has ever placed on our countdown!)
5. IN THE SUMMERTIME - Mungo Jerry
(Just try not to sing along with THIS one ... I dare ya!)
(A Summer Favorite ... and an Instrumental Favorite ... the vocal version by
The Lettermen also earned quite a few of your votes ... but not enough to
make the list.)
7. SUMMERTIME - Billy Stewart
(A popular song, "Summertime" was nominated by everybody from Billy
Stewart to Janis Joplin to Billie Holiday to American Idol Winner
Fantasia Barrino!)
8. SUMMERTIME BLUES - Eddie Cochran
(Likewise, this one earned votes for Eddie Cochran, The Who and Blue Cheer,
all of whom recorded successful versions of this summertime classic!)
9. CALIFORNIA GIRLS - The Beach Boys

11. I GET AROUND - The Beach Boys
(3 of the Top 11 spots belong to "The Boys Of Summer" ... and you'll also find
the song "The Boys Of Summer" by Don Henley a little bit further on down the
12. HERE COMES SUMMER - Jerry Keller
13. CALIFORNIA SUN - The Rivieras
14. SURFIN' USA - The Beach Boys
15. DANCING IN THE STREET - Martha and the Vandellas
(A Top Ten Favorite every other year)
16. SEALED WITH A KISS - Brian Hyland
17. FUN FUN FUN - The Beach Boys
(Is there a better summer song that this one??? And it was released in
FEBRUARY!!! By the way, for those of you keeping score, that makes FIVE of
The Top 20 Summer Favorites by The Beach Boys ... one reader suggested
that we just make the list a Beach Boys Greatest Hits List instead and call it
a day!)
18. SCHOOL'S OUT - Alice Cooper
19. SATISFACTION - The Rolling Stones
(The Biggest Song of Summer, 1965. The Stones also scored HUGE Summer
Hits with "Honky Tonk Women" in 1969 and Jumpin' Jack Flash in 1968.)
(A #1 Record here in Chicago!)
21. SURF CITY - Jan and Dean
(Those OTHER Surfin' Dudes!)
22. SUMMER OF '69 - Bryan Adams
(The closest thing to a "Modern Day Classic" on our list!!!)
23. SUMMER BREEZE - Seals and Crofts
24. SUMMER NIGHTS - John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John
25. SEE YOU IN SEPTEMBER - The Happenings
26. WIPE OUT - The Surfaris
27. BEACH BABY - First Class
(Pseudo-Beach Boys!)
28. WINDY - The Association
29. BORN TO BE WILD - Steppenwolf
(The above two tracks were the biggest songs of their respective summers, in
this case 1967 and 1968)
30. WOULDN'T IT BE NICE - The Beach Boys
31. SAN FRANCISCO - Scott McKenzie
33. GROOVIN' - The Young Rascals
34. HEAT WAVE - Martha and the Vandellas
35. THE BOYS OF SUMMER - Don Henley
36. SUMMER RAIN - Johnny Rivers
37. LIGHT MY FIRE - The Doors
39. THE SUMMER WIND - Frank Sinatra

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to vote. Be sure to check out The Forgotten Hits Website for more "Favorites" polls!
And now you can listen to hear Your All-Time Top 40 Summer Favorites on the radio!
All day today, Scott Shannon will be featuring selections from this list on The True Oldies Channel ... you can "Listen Live" here: Click here: True Oldies Channel

Then tonight, deejay Scarlett Hayze will countdown The Top 20 Summer Favorites on her "Summer Solstice" program. It kicks off a 7 pm Eastern (and will air from 7 - 9 pm) "LIVE" right here:
Next, be sure to tune in on Saturday Night (June 26th) when Phil Nee counts down the entire Top 40 List on his "Those Were The Days" Radio Program over a WRCO in Richland Center, Wisconsin! (And be sure to watch the website for updates as to how you can listen to an archived copy of this show!)