Oldies Vault: Summer Beach Music

June 20th is the official start of summer.  But even if you can’t get to the beach right now, you can still get in those happy beach vibes with some great summertime oldies.   So get to chillin’ and grillin’ – crank up the blender and follow Jimmy Buffet to Margaritaville (even if it’s in the comfort of your own backyard, patio or balcony).

Happy, catchy songs like The Jamies Summertime Summertime are sure to put you in a sunny frame of mind.   Lost Hits, Distant Shores by Chad and Jeremy and Kokomo by the Beach Boys are incredibly beautiful, romantic summer songs.   The Drifters had us all falling in love Under the Boardwalk and Richard Marx provided those Endless Summer Nights.

Who remembers Richard Mondo, also known as Daddy Dewdrop – a one hit wonder that gave us a truly  infectious 1971 summer song about the “chick in the black bikini” – Chick-A-Boomdon’t ya jes´ love it?

The sixties summers were hot – hot babes, hot cars and catching a wave was all the rage!  The Beach Boys, Hondells, Rip Chords and many other groups sang about their woodies, little deuce coupes, stingrays, cobras, and more.  Jan and Dean’s album Surf’s Up, provided soundtrack music to the beach movie Ride the Wild Surf.  This 1964 romantic drama was best known for its big wave surf footage of the North Shore of Hawaii.

Filled with an all-star beach babe/surfer boy cast including Fabian, Shelley Fabares, Peter Brown, Barbara Eden and Tab Hunter, the movie focused on two guys heading for a worldwide surf competition.  Jan and Dean were supposed to appear in the film, but were canned after one of Dean’s friends became involved in the Frank Sinatra, Jr. kidnapping.

In 1978, Grease “was” the word and the hit musical/movie had Franki Valli slamming the theme song (written by Barry Gibb) to a #1 hit, while John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John sang and danced their way through summer.

In 1984 along came Miami Vice – making the Metro Dade PD in Miami Beach the hippest police department ever!  Mix two hunky undercover guys wearing the latest European clothing styles, stellar beach scenery, killer music with drug smugglers and now you’ve taken summer to a whole new level!

Miami Vice had the most successful TV soundtrack at that time.  It showcased a barrage of Billboard hits including the Miami Vice Theme (Jan Hammer), Smuggler’s Blues and You Belong to the City (Glenn Frey).  The trendy music fit the Miami Beach setting where it was summer all year ‘round!

So don your flip flops, Escape with a Pina Colada, and load these summer oldies hits onto your favorite listening devices – and don’t forget to check out them out on YouTube:

Beyond the Sea – Roger Williams: (’56)   Bobby Darin (’60)

Summertime Summertime – The Jamies – hit it twice (’58 and again in ’62)

Tequila – The Champs (Billboard #1 in ’58), also by Eddie Platt (#20 in ’58)

Sea Cruise – Frankie Ford  (’59)

Palisades Park – Freddy Cannon (’62)

409 – Beach Boys (’62)

Route 66 (theme from TV show) – Nelson Riddle (’62)

Surfin’ Safari – Beach Boys  (’62)

Surf City – Jan and Dean  (’63)

Surfin’ Bird – Trashmen  (’63)

Wipe Out – Surfaris ’63 & ’66 (’87 the Fat Boys teamed up with Beach Boys and made it a hit yet again!)

Wildwood Days – Bobby Rydell (’63)

Surfer Girl – Beach Boys (’63)

Heatwave – Martha and the Vandellas (’63)

Little Honda – the Hondells (’64)

Dead Man’s Curve (’64)

Sidewalk Surfin’ – Jan and Dean (’64)

Fun Fun Fun – Beach Boys  (’64)

I Get Around – Beach Boys (’64)

Under the Boardwalk – Drifters (’64)

Hey Little Cobra – Rip Chords (’64)

Three Window Coupe – Rip Chords (’64)

California Girls – Beach Boys  (’65)

Distant Shores – Chad and Jeremy (’66)

Summertime – Billy Stewart (’66)

Summer Wind – Frank Sinatra (’66)

Good Day Sunshine – The Beatles (’66)

Summer Rain – Johnny Rivers (’67)

(theme from) Hawaii Five-O – Ventures (’69)

In the Summertime – Mungo Jerry (’70)

Chick-A-Boom (don’t ya jes´ love it) – Daddy Dewdrop  (’71)

Grease – Franki Valli  (’78)

Hot Summer Nights – Night  (’79)

Good Vibrations – Beach Boys (’79)

Cruel Summer – Bananarama  (’84)

Sunset Grill – Don Henley (’85)

Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams  (’85)

(theme from) Miami Vice – Jan Hammer (’85)

Heat is On (from Beverly Hills Cop) – Glenn Frey  (’85)

Party All the Time – Eddie Murphy  (’85)

Kokomo – Beach Boys  (’88)

California Love – Tupac (featuring Dr. Dre & Roger Troutman – ’96).  Had to include this one – it’s a great song to go crusin’ with the top down on a happy summer day!


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