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Taking a look at ten oldies pop music selections with a "summer's coming" theme

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With the advent of summer, a number of oldies pop music recordings reflect the appropriate "summer's on the way" theme.

This article will take a look at some of those "here comes summer" songs, which represent only a small percentage of tunes dealing with the approaching season.

Indeed, summer-themed songs come from all pop music genres, and to see a listing of what may be considered the top 100 "songs of summer", click here.

The only requirement to be included on the linked-to list is that the word "summer" is in the title, but this article narrows the scope to songs that specifically deal with the designated theme, even though there are hundreds of song lyrics that say summer's here, summer's gone, summer's great -- and any number of references to seasonal concepts.

Some of the songs -- such as the familiar "Here Comes Summer" by Jerry Keller -- made an impact on the Billboard Magazine's pop charts, but some of them, while appropriate, didn't come close to Hot 100 status. To hear any of the selections, simply click on the title.

  • "HERE COMES SUMMER" (Jerry Keller, 1959) is one of the first songs that comes to mind as summertime approaches. The singer was from Fort Smith, Ark., and he wrote the song that reached No. 14 nationally on the Kapp label.
  • "SUMMER'S COMING" (Kirby St. Romain, 1963) reached No. 49 on the Billboard pop listings for a Dallas singer, who co-wrote the song with Scott McKay. This was his only charter, and he later became a prominent stand-up comedian.
  • "SUMMER SOUNDS" (Robert Goulet, 1965) -- with lyrics that included "Here come summer sounds, the summer sounds I love" -- was the final national chart hit (at No. 58) for the native of Lawrence, Mass., who began his concert career in Edmonton, Canada. Also an accomplished actor, Goulet played Sir Lancelot in "Camelot."
  • "SUMMERTIME IS NEAR" (Maureen Gray, 1963) is one of a number of regional hits for a Philadelphia songstress discovered at age 12 by producer John Madera. Her only Billboard Hot 100 item was "Dancin' The Strand", which made it to No. 91 in 1962. She also worked with such prominent artists as John Lennon, Eric Clapton and Billy Preston.
  • "C'MON SUMMER'S HAPPENING" (The Hot Dog Stand, 1968) was produced by Bill Justis, and the surf-pop group was composed of Nashville studio musicians. The recording, on the Mala label, drew little national attention.
  • "SUMMER IS COMING" (Tony Richards & The Twilights, 1961) featured Brooklyn-born Tony Passalacqua as lead singer. Tony was formerly with The Fascinators, and the group disbanded after one year when several releases on the Colpix label went nowhere.
  • "THINK SUMMER" (Ed Ames & Marilyn Maye, 1969) reached No. 17 on the Billboard easy listening chart, and the record was arranged and produced by Perry Botkin Jr. Ed was a longtime member of The Ames Brothers, while Marilyn -- a Chicago vocalist discovered by Steve Allen -- appeared on The Tonight Show 76 times, although she never hit it big as a solo artist.
  • "GETTING READY FOR THE SUMMER" (The Parliaments, 1967) is a rare recording sung by an obscure doo-wop group from Huntington, W.Va., not to be confused with another group by the same name out of Detroit. The uncharted disc was on the Cabell label.
  • "ALMOST SUMMER" (Celebration featuring Mike Love, 1978) was performed by a quartet that featured Mike Love of the Beach Boys, Ron Altback and Dave Robinson of King Harvest, and Charles Lloyd. As the title song from the movie of the same name, starring Bruno Kirby, the recording reached No. 28 on the Billboard charts.
  • "SUMMER'S COMING" (Jonathan King, 1965) was the flip side of "Everyone's Gone To The Moon" by a London-born vocalist/songwriter/producer. The A-side charted at No. 17 nationally.

[You may subscribe to Bill Herald's oldies music columns -- free of charge -- by clicking on "subscribe" near the top of the column, after which you will receive e-mail notification each time a new item is published].

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