Listeners' Summer Songs: 'Big Man,' 'Sherry'

All summer long, we've been hearing personal stories inspired by songs of summertime from musicians, writers and listeners. The series comes to an auspicious end with submissions from two listeners who offer memories of music overheard.

The Four Seasons

hide captionThe Four Seasons' "Sherry" hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts on Sept. 15, 1962, the summer when Alice Schechter found herself hopping from blanket to blanket on Manhattan Beach.

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Scarlett Hepworth, Oakland, Calif.: 'Big Man'

I was a little girl in Salt Lake City, Utah. This was the summer of 1958. I would have been 5 then.

My parents were musicians: My dad was a jazz musician and my mother was a classical musician. We never listened to the radio, but I had three teenagers who lived next door to us and they listened to the radio. There was this song called "Big Man" by The Four Preps.

I had never heard pop music, I don't think, before that time. It was the most delicious and wonderful, exciting thing I have ever heard. I used to hang out in our backyard or leave the windows open in our house so I would just by chance hear it coming out of the radio.

Kids growing up today, who can have it right away, don't really know what it was to have to wait and wait for a song to come over the air. Time just stood still when I heard that song. I would stop whatever I was doing. I was just transfixed.

Alice Schechter, Brooklyn, N.Y.: 'Sherry'

My summer song is "Sherry" by The Four Seasons. The year was 1962, and I was about 14 years old. My friends and I, my cousins, anyone who was around, we would often walk to Manhattan Beach ... maybe two-and-a-half miles.

One day, we set out, and I had bought new sandals. Within a few blocks, they were killing me. They had cut into my ankles. I had blisters. It was a total mess. By the time I got to the beach, I had taken my shoes off and was carrying them.

We get to the edge of the beach, and we have a long way to walk on very, very hot sand. I basically decided to hop from beach blanket to beach blanket. And every blanket had a transistor radio, and every radio was playing "Sherry." It just had that soaring summer sound. It felt like the whole beach was just pulsing with that song.

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The Very Best of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons [Rhino 2002]

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  • Album: The Very Best of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons [Rhino 2002]
  • Artist: Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
  • Label: Rhino
 

Absolutely the Best

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  • Album: Absolutely the Best
  • Artist: The Four Preps
  • Label: Fuel 2000
  • Released: 2005
 

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