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From June 02, 2003:

Your Picks for Summer

The mail poured in with lots of great music picks for summer listening. We couldn't begin to put all of them up, but here are some of the tunes - and memories - you shared (along with our own picks):

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Bob Dylan


 

Bob Dylan

CD: Highway 61 Revisited
Song: "Like A Rolling Stone"
Label: Sony

Host Bob Boilen's pick. "I remember my summer in Queens, 1965. I was 12. We had a ride that would come around on a truck. It was called 'the Whip' and if you sat on one of the amusement-type cars that were on this truck, you'd get whipped around. I hated the truck. But it always had this big loud speaker on it playing WABC, the local NY radio station. On one summer day it blared out the oddest song I'd heard: 'Like A Rolling Stone.' Gosh that was a weird AM radio song."

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Adrian Belew


 

Adrian Belew

CD: Lone Rhino
Song: "Big Electric Cat"
Label: Japanese Import

Producer Robin Hilton's personal favorite. "It's probably the last song anyone else would pick to celebrate summer. But for me it was the soundtrack to many long, hot days growing up. We used to pull the speakers out of my VW Bug, set them on the roof and blast 'Big Electric Cat' while throwing a frisbee around all afternoon in the park. Every time I hear it, I see a frisbee floating through the air, silhouetted against a brilliant sun."

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Chicane


 

Chicane

CD: Far From the Maddening Crowd
Song: "Early"
Label: Eagle

From Shaun in Maidenhead, Berkshire, England. "An atmospheric piece of music that really does conjure up the image in one's mind of an early summer morning, the start of a day that you know is going to be very hot. It sent a shiver up my spine the first time I heard it."

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Fountains of Wayne


 

Fountains of Wayne

CD: Utopia Parkway
Song: "Red Dragon Tattoo"
Label: Atlantic

From Jeff in Chicago. "Without a doubt, the best summer song."

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Chariman of the Board


 

Frank Sinatra

CD: The Very Best of Frank Sinatra
Song: "Summer Wind"
Label: Warner Brothers

From John in Nashville. "When I hear those horns and that organ I always get this mental picture of a varanda overlooking a sunny blue bay with sailboats and then that timeless voice, you're there!"

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The Byrds


 

The Byrds

CD: The Essential Byrds
Song: "Mr. Tambourine Man"
Label: Sony

Submitted by Nancy in Kansas City. "It's a warm night in Washington, DC in the summer of 1966, and I'm 15 years old, visiting cousins. My cousin, Paul is driving the beltway for fun with the top down, and my dear friend (and cousin Mary) is there in the car too. I'm free, so free; I'm on the cusp of everything being possible in my life. The air is perfect, the stars are out, and the radio is playing 'Mr. Tambourine Man'. Every time I hear that song, I'm 15 years old and tasting all the possibilities that life can offer."

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Sugar Cubes


 

Sugar Cubes

CD: Life's Too Good
Song: "Birthday"
Label: Elektra

From Sarah in Minneapolis. "Must be because I listened to 'Life's Too Good' over and over one summer. It's fun. Light. Bouncy. Summer."

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Tears for Fears


 

Tears for Fears

CD: Songs From the Big Chair
Song: "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"
Label: Polygram

From Ivelisse in Boston. "Yes, a song from my formative years. Even now, it makes me wish for a back yard, breeze through the trees, lazy mornings. Love it!"

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The Beach Boys


 

The Beach Boys

CD: Surfer Girl
Song: "Surfer Girl"
Label: Capitol

From Elise in Jonesboro, AK. "I grew up in the '60s and... ...can still remember being a shy 13-year old attending Teen Night at the Country Club. When the DJ would start to play 'Surfer Girl' I would hold my breath, hoping against hope that my latest crush would walk across that huge dance floor, extend his hand to me, and shyly say, 'Would you like to dance?'"

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REM


 

R.E.M.

CD: UP
Song: "At My Most Beautiful"
Label: Warner Brothers

From Mike in Westlake Valley, CA. "A wonderful sentiment, and happy, like summer. It's really R.E.M. doing the Beach Boys, which is another reason it reminds me of summer. Brian Wilson would be proud to have written (it) I think."

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The Drifters


 

The Drifters

CD: The Very Best of the Drifters
Song: "Up On the Roof"
Label: Rhino Records

From Hank in Austin, TX.

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Fountains of Wayne


 

Orchestra Baobab

CD: Pirate's Choice
Song: "Coumba"
Label: Nonesuch

From Shawn in Lafayette. "I first heard the song on World Cafe, so then I bought Pirate's Choice. I play it on weekends while lounging outside. I belong to a wine club and the group loves listening to this during the summer. It has that African/Latin/Reggae feel that fits perfectly with summer."

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See the slideshow we did on this album in February 2002.


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Meat Puppets


 

Meat Puppets

CD: Up On the Sun
Song: "Swimming Ground"
Label: Rykodisc

From Gary in Oregon.

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Junior Walker


 

Junior Walker

CD: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection
Song: "What Does It Take To Win Your Love"
Label: Polygram

From Steve in Cullowhee, NC. "In the summer of 1969, I was attending Governor's School at Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC with a bunch of other 16-17 year old high school students. The song on the juke box that we played the most was 'What Does It Take To Win Your Love' by Junior Walker and the All Stars. Simple lyrics? You bet. Great instrumental part? Got it. Sound good on the juke box? None better. But the bottom line for a good summer song is, does it blend with warm nights and teen romance. Isn't that why summer was invented?"

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Minutemen


 

The Minutemen

CD: Double Nickels on the Dime
Song: "Jesus and Tequila"
Label: Sst Records

From Liz in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. "Without a doubt."

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Bobbie Gentry


 

Bobbie Gentry

CD: Ode to Bobbie Gentry
Song: "Ode to Billy Joe"
Label: Raven

From Robin in Austin, TX. "Remember when you actually liked/listened to all or most of the songs on an album, or even better an 8-track cassette? I recently had a blast reliving my teen years in a vintage sky blue Cadillac listening to... ...some great summer singles (including) 'Ode to Billy Joe.'"

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War


 

War

CD: All Day Music
Song: "Cisco Kid"
Label: Rhino

From MJ in Michigan. "The summer this was out (between my junior and senior year in college) was my first month working at Butch McGuire's Bar on Division St. in Chicago. Very upscale at the time and one of THE bars on the north side. Boy did I think I'd hit the big time. Both this song and "Me and Mrs. Jones" are emblazoned on my brain from constant playing."

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Lovin' Spoonful


 

Lovin' Spoonful

CD: Greatest Hits (Remastered)
Song: "Summer in the City"
Label: BMG

From Donna in Encinitas, CA.

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Van Halen


 

Mungo Jerry

CD: In the Summertime
Song: "In The Summertime"
Label: Phantom

From Mike in Jupiter, FL. "Growing up on Long Island, NYC held a mystique and allure (still does). When I got my license it was the beach in the daytime, work at night, then after work we were likely to head into the city to check out some live music - jazz, blues, but not disco. I guess I was acting out the images conjured by those 'gonna have fun in the city' songs."

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Wilco


 

Wilco

CD: Summerteeth
Song: "I'm Always In Love"
Label: Warner Brothers

Suggested by Michael in Washington, DC.

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Bruce Springsteen


 

Bruce Springsteen

CD: Born To Run
Song: "Jungleland"
Label: Sony

From Maggy in Takoma Park, MD. "Whenever I hear this song, I feel as if I'm watching a movie about characters on a collision course during one hot summer night in New Jersey, all of them twitchy and looking for trouble either because of or despite the heat rising from the asphalt ('...outside the street's on fire in a real death waltz...'). It's a stunning piece of poetry and powerfully evocative: '...And in the quick of the night they reach for their moment and try to make an honest stand, but they wind up wounded, not even dead. Tonight in Jungleland.'"

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Van Halen


 

Van Halen

CD: 1984
Song: "Panama"
Label: Warner Brothers

Submitted by Steve in Baltimore who says, "I vividly remember (this) song playing constantly the summer I was 16. I don't particularly like it, but whenever I hear it (which is more than you might think) I think of summer."

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Prince


 

Prince

CD: 1999
Song: "Little Red Corvette"
Label: Warner Brothers

Submitted by Steve in Des Moines who calls the song "just perfect" for summer.

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