Dialect Magazine

The ageless songs of summer

Links to all songs listed are below this article.

Summertime DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince

Summertime DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince


And think of the summers of the past
Adjust the bass and let the alpine blast
Pop in my CD and let it run a rhyme
And put your car on cruise and lay back, cause this is summertime…

The smooth voiced Will Smith always knew how to make any rap song thrive. Before he became the box office king that we know today, he was one-half of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, a hit making hip-hop duo from Philadelphia. Along with his good friend, Jeffery “Jazzy Jeff” Townes, Mr. Smith, then known as The Fresh Prince, crafted an unforgettable anthem for everyone’s favorite season. Sampled from Kool & The Gang‘s 1974 hit “Summer Madness”, “Summertime” won Grammy Awards for Best Rap Single, and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 1991, making one of the most popular songs of that year. Taken from the duo’s fourth album Homebase, It spent a week at number one on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart. It also became the duo’s first single to enter the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number eight. Known for its mellow groove, and infectious hook, the song was also used in a series of commercials and television shows. “Summertime” is still played in rotation around the world, especially during the summer months.

“Summer in the City”

Summer in the City

Summer in the City

1960s folk/rock band The Lovin Spoonful struck gold with this sing along tune. The lyrics were once submitted as a poem for lead singer Mark Sebastian’s school’s literary magazine. That poem was also entitled “Summer in the City.” His older brother John changed the slower verses to make them more upbeat, while keeping the title and the refrain.

“Summer in the City” appeared on their album Hums of the Lovin’ Spoonful, and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in August 1966, for three consecutive weeks. The song features a series of car horns during the instrumental bridge, starting with a Volkswagen Beetle horn, and ends up with a jackhammersound, in order to give the impression of the sounds of the summer in the city. The song is ranked number 401 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. City life never sounded so good.

“Summer Nights”

Summer NightsBreak out the poodle skirts, bobby sock and leather jackets, as we drift back to 1978, with the gang from Rydel High. Although the movie Grease is indeed a pop culture favorite, it is the steamy yet cutesy duet between Sandy and Danny that had everyone wishing for his or her very own summer fling.

Performed by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, “Summer Nights” became a massive hit in both the United States and United Kingdom during the summer of 1978. Included on the Grease’s soundtrack album, the song was one of several hit singles from the movie. Because of Grease’s success, the song was introduced to a new audience when it was re-released in the 1990s as part of a megamix of several songs from the movie version. Despite being released years ago, neither the song, nor the movie ever gets old.

“Summer Girls”

LFO's Summer GirlsGotta love those 90s boy bands! “Summer Girls” is often identified by one of the lines in the chorus: “I like girls that wear Abercrombie and Fitch“. Once known as, the Lyte Funky Ones aka LFO consisted of Rich Cronin, Brad Fischetti, and Brian “Brizz” Gillis. After Gillis left to pursue a solo career, Devin Lima came aboard. Songwriter Cronin said that the song included numerous inside jokes, and that he never anticipated its success. The song’s formula consisted of writing a line about Cronin’s summer relationship with a girl and following it with humorous rhymes.

“Summer Girls” also features many 1980’s and early 1990s cultural references such as the lyrics: “Fell deep in love, now we aint speakin, Michael J. Fox was Alex P. Keaton” (referring to Fox’s character on the 1980s sitcom, Family Ties. And “Stayed all summer but went back home, Macaulay Culkin wasn’t Home Alone”.

“Summer Girls” was certified Platinum by RIAA and reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot Single Sales in 1999. In 2010, Billboard Magazine named it the number sixteenth biggest summer song of all-time. Sadly, in September of that same year, Rich Cronin succumbed after a long battle with leukemia. Although, he is no longer with us, his voice and this feel good song will always be.

Summer Breeze by Seals & Crofts“Summer Breeze”

Played in at least a dozen television shows, commercials, and movies, The Seals and Crofts’ unforgettable classic “Summer Breeze” is indeed a summer staple. Released from their album of the same name, the harmony filled rock anthem reached number 6 on the US pop singles chart and number 4 on the Easy Listening chart of the U.S. Billboard charts in autumn 1972.

Despite being covered by various artists,’ one of the most notable versions of “Summer Breeze” belonged to The Isley Brothers. It was covered in a harder rock/soulful style as a single in 1974. Issued also on their 1973 album, 3 + 3, it became a staple on the Pop, R&B, and the UK singles charts. The Isleys’ version is notable not only for the vocal harmonies of O’Kelly, Rudolph and lead singer Ronald, but also for the guitar solo by younger brother Ernie. Can you say awesome?

“Under The Boardwalk”

Under the BoardwalkWe‘ve heard of excitement “on” the boardwalk, but “under” That’s both interesting, and mysterious, not to mention romantic.

A 1964 pop classic by The Drifters, “Under the Boardwalk” describes a tryst between a man and his beloved in a seaside town, who plan to privately meet “out of the sun,” and “out of sight” from everyone else under a boardwalk. The song’s chorus is so endearing that it makes your mind truly wander.


 LL Cool J

LL Cool J

LL Cool J‘s “Loungin” made the summer of 1996 sizzle. Although he’s currently heating up television screens on the hit primetime drama NCIS, the Queens, New York born James Todd Smith will always be known for his countless hip hop hits. Released from his sixth album, Mr. Smith, the album’s version of “Loungin” was different from the popular remix. The Trackmasters produced remix featuring vocals by former R&B group Total, made “Loungin” a huge success. Its catchy hook, with its repetitive chant of “Who do you love, are you for sure” made “Loungin” simply irresistible. The song, which samples singer/songwriter/musician Bernard Wright’s 80s, hit “Who Do You Love,” peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also number 1 on the Hot Rap Singles chart, and number 4 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. One of many reasons why the Ladies Love Cool James!

“Summertime Summertime”


Nocero's Over the Rainbow Album included Summertime Summertime

Album included Summertime Summertime

Latin Freestyle music has always been and still is a summertime favorite. It developed primarily in the Latino communities of New York City in the early 1980s. Of all the notable freestyle songs, there are none that define the season more than the club banger “Summertime, Summertime”. Whose voice is that? None other than the Sicilian-born Maria Nocera. Simply known by her last name, Nocera is an American club DJ in addition to being a freestyle singer.

Released on the independent label Sleeping Bag Records in 1986, “Summertime, Summertime” was included in Nocera’s 1987-debut, Over the Rainbow, and reached #2 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Club Play chart in 1986. The 80s. Ahhhh what an era!

Although these hits were created for one season, there is no doubt that they continue to last all year around. 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr0tTbTbmVA  Summertime: DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc0F-fw3tkY Summer In The City: The Lovin Spoonful
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h978NmoPzkE Summer Nights: Olivia Newton- John and John Travolta
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BthCLLO-PY0 Summer breeze : Seals and Crofts
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkwBMO16JzM Summer breeze: The Isley Brothers
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPEqRMVnZNU Under the Boardwalk: The Drifters
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ya8Qp_RVxYU Loungin: LL Cool J featuring Total
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcurEoUvK-E Summertime Summertime: Nocera

Ashly is a freelance writer and poet from Baltimore, MD.

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