We’re approaching that magical time of year when sensible shoes are traded in for flip flops, outdoor (or Foreman) grills are prepped and ready, and vacation plans are in the works. Whether you’re headed to the beach, Branson, or the Jersey Shore, these are my picks for just the right Summer Soundtrack:
Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett
The quintessential summer song, Margaritaville, conjures up memories of stress free, beach filled days “living on sponge cake…covered with oil.” Living in landlocked St. Louis, I haven’t spent much time on the beach, I certainly haven’t lived off sponge cake, nor have I been covered in oil, but I have spent a few vacation days in the tropical locales of Orlando and Gulf Shores. That counts, right? Either way, hearing this song instantly relaxes me and reminds me of lazy summer days and slow summer nights.
Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Simply hearing the opening chords to this 1974 hit by Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd and I’m reminded of summer road trips and family float trips.
Fun Fact: Of the three songwriters of Sweet Home Alabama, Ronnie Van Zant, Gary Rossington, and Ed King none of them were actually from Alabama.
Summer of ’69 by Bryan Adams
Whether written about the cultural revolution of the 1960’s or a subject a bit more intimate (wink, wink), songwriter Bryan Adams has never been clear on his inspiration for this 1980’s hit. Released in 1985, Summer of ’69, takes me back to the annual three month break from school when summer really did seem to “last forever.”
Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty
The video for Free Fallin’ is set on the beaches and in the backyards of California. With the Pacific Ocean as its backdrop, Free Fallin’ is a true anthem of summer when we all just want to be free of stress and obligations.
Rock and Roll by Eric Hutchinson
Singer-songwriter Eric Hutchinson was a virtual unknown when his single Rock and Roll hit the airwaves in 2008 and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s finger snapping, head bopping, lighthearted and just plain fun, just the way a summer song should be.
Only Wanna Be With You by Hootie & the Blowfish
Released the summer before my freshman year of high school in July 1995, every time I hear Only Wanna Be With You, I’m transported to the football field at GCHS where I baked in the unforgiving Midwestern sun while practicing during band camp (Color Guard unite!). The hits of Hootie & The Blowfish continue to be an important part of my high school memories, but it all started with this summer hit from their album Cracked Rear View.
What’s on your summer soundtrack?