We will not be talking about drought in this post. (That word will not appear again.)
Enough of aridity and deprivation for the moment, yes? Plenty of time—it’s not even July yet!—to wring our hands and plan the choreography of our rain dances for the fall. Instead, we’re going to be all about the best of summer. And the best of summer, and every other season, actually, has to involve music.
So let’s move right into this Third Annual Songs of Summer offering, shall we? Though before you scan the trio of songs below and ask, “Whoa, how could you leave out thus & such???…” I invite you to revisit the first two volumes of this annual series here and here. And if you still don’t see a fave song or a better rendition of one already mentioned, drop it into the Comments section below and I may just get to it next year, the gods willing and the planet still spinning.
That’s what happened with our first selection below, noted with all appropriate indignation for its absence on last year’s list by reader and friend Kevin. This KA-LASS-ic 1969 version by Sly & the Family Stone is notable for its supreme groove, its immediate and ever-so-natural segue to “I Wanna Take You Higher,” and also for the outrageous clothing of the Stone(r) family, which surely represented the very foundation of the $2 word, “funkadelic.”
Funk on, Sly, and may you be grooving still wherever you have landed in your troubled latter years.
Seals & Crofts is a little ways across the music and cultural spectrum from Sly Stone & Co., but vive le difference, as those other noted culture devotees, the French, would say. The duo’s “Summer Breeze” isn’t nearly as breezy in tone as Frank Sinatra’s “Summer Wind” (an honoree on last year’s list), but manages to convey other tones that will be familiar to anyone who has used the summer months to exult in romance and its many associated pleasures.
Finally, you can’t get to the lake or into the surf every weekend of summer, but it’s a fine consolation indeed when you’ve got Martha & the Vandellas hanging around, urging you to shamble out from your stoop and get dancin’ in the streets. There’s something profoundly liberating about shaking it up under God’s blue skies in the warm season. The advice from here is not to let it slip by without indulging.
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Deep appreciation to photographer Elizabeth Haslam, whose photos grace the rotating banner at the top of this page. Some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing, see more at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lizhaslam/
Shovel & sand castle photo on Coney Island Beach, Brooklyn, NY by drpavloff, some rights reserved under Creative Commons licensing, see more at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/niceimages/