High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summer Means Fun Part 11: Summer Flings and Things

A curious phenomenon
XXXXXtakes place every year
XXXXXXat the start of summer.

According to the rules of dating etiquette outlined in pop songs, its perfectly acceptable for a guy and a girl to take
a break from going steady and have a "summer fling or two." Some of my favorite songs explore that theme, and I would like to share them with you.

Let's begin with "Save Your Heart for Me" by Gary Lewis and the Playboys, a record that climbed the Billboard chart during the summer of 1965, reaching its peak in the top 5 in mid August.

"Save Your Heart for Me" - Gary Lewis 
and the Playboys (August 1965, 
highest chart position #2) 

Hold on a minute, Gary. Let me make sure I got this straight. You're tellin' me that young lovers agree to go their separate ways during June, July, and August, with the understanding that they will both date other people? Come September, the poor unsuspecting others get kicked to the curb and the original boy and girl get back together and pick up where they left off? Hmmm.

The plan sounds oh so simple.  To hear Jan and Dean tell it,
it's as easy as 1,2,3.

"It's as Easy as 1,2,3" - Jan and Dean 
(July 1965, uncharted B side of 
"You Really Know How to Hurt a Guy") 

Breaking it off for the summer isn't always as easy as 1,2,3. In their top 5 hit from August 1966, the Happenings said goodbye at the station with a good bit of trepidation.

"See You in September" - Happenings 
(August 1966, highest chart position #3) 

In July of 1962 Brian Hyland attempted to ensure that his girl would come back to him at summer's end by sealing the deal with a kiss.

"Sealed With a Kiss" - Brian Hyland 
(July 1962, highest chart position #3) 

A summer fling might be just what the doctor ordered to fix your ticker after getting dumped. Beach Boys Mike Love and Brian Wilson wrote a song from a dumpee's point of view and it became a top 50s hit in the summer of 1964. It's all about a heartbreaker named "Wendy."

"Wendy" - Beach Boys (from July 1964 
album All Summer Long, single charted 
in October/November 1964, highest 
chart position #44) 

Solution oriented Jan and Dean found the perfect place to lose the love sick blues. It's Surf City, a place where there's two swingin' honeys for every guy and all you gotta do is just wink your eye. Gosh, old Shady Del never had to go to all that trouble!

"Surf City" - Jan and Dean 
(July 1963, highest chart position #1) 

News flash! Either Jan or Dean (I'm thinkin' Jan) found himself a squeeze in Surf City and now she's his summer girl!

"She's My Summer Girl" - Jan and Dean 
(August 1963, uncharted B side of 
"Surf City.") 

Stay where you are! More hot weather music and memories are coming up in the 12th and final installment of

Summer Means Fun! 

Have a Shady day!


  1. I love these summer songs! It's kind of funny how skewed views were- breaking up just for the summer and then getting back together again once school starts. I was listening to the 60's station the other day and was struck by something. Although those were revolutionary years in music and in life, it seems many of the songs were still a little idealistic and a little innocent, especially compared with the lyrics of today.
    Another great post, my friend!

  2. Sealed with a kiss - one of my most favourite songs:-).

  3. Shelly - My parents were part of the WWII generation. When they were teenagers if was customary for guys and girls to "play the field" and date a large number of people before settling down, marrying and having children. I remember my mother telling me that she had dated dozens of different guys. Nowadays if a young person plays the field they'd likely develop a bad reputation because the perception would be that they are having sex with a large number of people. Decades ago dating was a social activity that did not automatically include sex. The 60s was a schizophrenic decade. It started out innocent. A war and three assassinations later almost all innocence was gone. Thank you very much for your comments, dear friend Shelly.

    Wanilianna - This is uncanny! When I selected "Sealed With a Kiss" for this post you automatically popped into my mind and I got a sense that it would be your type of song. I am absolutely not making this up! I think it's because you have demonstrated over time that you are very well informed about the music and principal recording artists of 1950s America. Thank you very much for stopping by, Wanilianna, and please hug your lab for me!

  4. Those are still some of my favorite songs. I had the 45 of the Gary Lewis (and Jerry's son) hit. I always thought it a sad song. The picture of Jan and Dean in the striped shirts remind me of prison clothes! haha. Thanks too btw, on the great comments on my last few posts.

  5. Happy Monday to you dear Tom. I absolutely loved Sealed with a Kiss by Brian Hyland, and I have it here on my jukebox at home. Another one of my favourite songs from around that time was "It Might As Well Rain Until September" by Carole King, and, here in England, it usually does! LOL!! They were really great summer sounds that you picked for us today and I was here bopping around as I was listening to them. (On another tack, I did laugh at your comment on Gawgus' post yesterday!!!). Toodles dear friend!

  6. Bouncin' Barb - If those stripes gave you a laugh wait until you see the Jan and Dean images that I present in Part 12 a week from now! I am very happy to know that my humor is a good fit for you, dear friend. There is always a period of testing the water at the start of a friendship but I firmly believe that you and I are on the same wavelength. As I wrote before, you are a great sport and a funny lady and I'm pleased to meetcha!

    Thisisme - Your comment is most interesting, dear friend, because I own that Carole King song on a CD but don't remember hearing it when I was a kid. It's an example of a song that was a bigger hit in the UK than it was stateside (#3 UK, #22 USA). I am aware that you keep track of comments on Gawgus-Girl's blog and I thought you might get a chuckle out of that comment. I hope that she did as well. Thank you very much for reading and listening, dear Thisisme!

  7. Great songs, although I'm not so sure I'd be agreeable to breaking up just for the summer!

  8. Ashton - I hear ya! I never had a "summer girl" when I was a teenager and I didn't know of anybody else who engaged in the practice either. Must be a California thing. Your visits and comments are greatly appreciated, my dear friend. Hope your week's off to a great start!

  9. Oh Tom, I've been soooo busy studying for your pop quiz I almost missed class...
    Now I have a question and I'm sure you know the answer. I 'studied' the album cover of the Beach Boys, but I can't decide which one is Brian Wilson...a musical genius in my very humble opinion. The BB on the far rear right seems most like him now. He's had a lot of hard living, but I think I see him there.
    I danced my way through the session and really enjoyed the always!

    Thanks and

  10. Sush - I'm assuming that you are referring to the pic sleeve of the Beach Boys' EP that includes "Wendy." In that case you are correct in identifying the chubby cheeked boy on the far right as Brian. As long as you're examining my post pics may I call your attention to the last image? If you look closely you'll see Shady on those rocks with a pair of binoculars oogling Annette. Thank you very much for coming over to see me, dear Sush. Hugs to you and keep on cramming for that quiz!

  11. I love your choices of songs, most of which I haven't heard before. Being of a similar mind as Mr. Bupp, and buying very little that wasn't soul or blue-eyed soul in my teenage years, I missed many (not all) of these songs. Thanks for being a counter-Ron (as in counter-Earth, from John Norman sci-fi novels from years back). Thanks also for including one of my long-time favorites "Sealed With A Kiss". I'm going to have to look up a video of my other Brian Hyland favorite, "Ginny Come Lately" which I believe preceded SWAK. Liked your re-telling of your great VW adventure, a cross between "Ballad of Thunder Road" and "I Want My Baby Back".

    Have a great week!

  12. Ron - SWAK seems to be everybody's Pick to Click. You are correct, sir. "Ginny Come Lately" was released three months before "SWAK" and reached position #21 on the chart in the spring of 1962. Brian Hyland released quite a large number of singles and had some big hits, yet a high percentage of his records remained on the lower rungs of the Hot 100 ladder. The sick-o novelty song "I Want My Baby Back" will be featured in Dell Rat Ron's Halloween special so don't miss it! Thanks for checking in, Ron, and have a great day, good buddy!

  13. Only one more installment in your wonderful "Summer Means Fun" series? I have truly enjoyed it so much! The summer has flown by and knowing you, Shady, you have great things lined up for us this fall! I can say with certainity that no boyfriend of mine ever "played the field" during the summer because I had no boyfriend! (shy and a little scared of boys) My top three songs listed are Surf City, See You in September and I have to say I love Sealed with a Kiss, too. I read Brian Hyland was 19 when SWAK was recorded. Looking forward to seeing Annette and Frankie in your next post, Shady.

    *•-:¦:-* Thank You! *•-:¦:-*

  14. Cindy - This is no time to start telling lies, dear friend! I can hardly believe that a lovely girl like you had no boyfriends. If you're saying that it was by choice because you were shy and reticent then I can relate. I was also a shy teenager who compensated by acting wild (code for "jackass"). Actually I was only using that picture of Annette as illustration. She and Frankie do not appear in my next post. However, Annette will be the focus of a two-parter that begins next week so please stay tuned. Thank you very much for your visit and comment, dear Cindy, and happy Wednesday to you!

  15. Well I certainly never participated in this summer fling thing but the tunes are catchy. PS the fact that you wrote carpeting munching as part of your comment on my post proves that we are meant to be best buddies

  16. Amber Blue Bird - I'm glad I didn't ruffle your feathers when I wrote that, my dear friend. It's wonderful to know that we share the same twisted sense of humor and I certainly do wanna be your BFF. Thanks for sampling the sounds over here, Amber, and have a fabby day up your way!

  17. Since I have heard Gary Lewis and the Playboys quite often on your blog I now feel like buying one of their best hits CDs. I loved "Save Your Heart for Me." The harmony is so nice. They had such an innocent sound.

    Sealed With A Kiss is very romantic, I melt when I hear it. Thanks for all the great songs tonight. They brought a smile to my face.

  18. Belle - Thank you for visiting, dear friend! Music has the power to alter the mood, comfort and soothe, refresh and invigorate. I'm glad you came here and allowed these innocent old songs to work their magic. Bless you, dear Belle!


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