For the second in a series of summer songs, All Things Considered host Melissa Block spoke to author Ann Patchett, who wrote The Patron Saint of Liars, Bel Canto and Run, among others. Patchett shares what she calls "a deeply humiliating story" about the song she thinks of when she thinks of summer.
At a neighborhood party last weekend, as everyone was talking about favorite Michael Jackson songs, Patchett slipped up and named "One Bad Apple," which she thought was recorded by the Jackson 5.
But, no. That's The Osmonds, doing their best to imitate the Jacksons. Patchett says she has probably spent her whole adult life fooling herself into thinking she was cool back then, but her rural Tennessee upbringing almost surely means she and her friends only listened to the squeaky-clean Mormon brothers. "We worshipped them," says Patchett.
She remembers spending the summer of 1971 on a farm in Ashland City, Tenn., with her sister Heather and her two stepsisters, Tina and Angie. They didn't have a record player, so they spent most of their time dialing the local radio station, enduring the busy signal until they could finally get through to request "One Bad Apple," over and over again.