MELISSA BLOCK, host:

From time to time this summer, we'll be asking people this question: What's your favorite song of summer, a song that, for whatever reason, signifies summer? Maybe it brings back a time or place or emotion.

We're going to kick off today with singer-songwriter Todd Snider. We heard him on the program yesterday, talking about his new CD, "The Excitement Plan."

Today, he'll tell us about a song that transports him back to his childhood.

Mr. TODD SNIDER (Musician): I forget who sang it, but everybody knows it. It's…

(Singing) Brandy, you're a fine girl, such a good wife you would be, but my love, my life and my lady is the sea.

BLOCK: I remember that chorus.

Mr. SNIDER: I have a great memory of being a kid in Beaverton, Oregon, on Chestnut Street, and my father had just put in one of those blue, plastic pools, you know, with a deck around it. And he was so happy. We were grilling outside, and the radio was playing - AM back in the day, 62 KGW. He had the grill spatula, and he was making burgers. And when that song came on, he pretended that spatula was a microphone, and he sang and danced to it.

(Soundbite of song, "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)")

Mr. ELLIOT LURIE (Vocalist, Looking Glass): (Singing) And I said Brandy, you're a fine girl. What a good wife you would be. Your eyes could steal the sailor from the sea. Brandy wears a braided chain…

Mr. SNIDER: And I've - every time that song comes on now, it makes me very happy. And when we're grilling out in our house in East Nashville, we always put on the oldies station, and when this comes on, someone usually will sing into the - what do you call it, a spatula?

BLOCK: Yeah.

Mr. SNIDER: Yeah.

BLOCK: You'll be the one holding the spatula?

Mr. SNIDER: Yes, sometimes I'll recreate the moment here.

BLOCK: We do turn into our parents, really, in the end.

Mr. SNIDER: Yeah, I do think I've turned into my dad.

(Soundbite of laughter)

(Soundbite of song, "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)")

Mr. LURIE: (Singing) The sailors said Brandy, you're a fine girl…

Mr. SNIDER: I love the background, the horns and bass. That makes me think of the '70s, AM radio, you know, I miss this time in America.

BLOCK: And you would have been how old?

Mr. SNIDER: Six.

(Soundbite of song, "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)")

Mr. LURIE: (Singing) Brandy used to watch his eyes when he told his sailor's story. She could feel the ocean fall and rise. She saw its raging glory, but he had always told the truth, Lord, he was an honest man, and Brandy does her best to understand.

Mr. SNIDER: She loves this guy, but he had to go back to sea.

(Soundbite of song, "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)")

Mr. LURIE: (Singing) At night, when the bars close down, Brandy walks through a silent town and loves a man who's not around. She still can hear him say, she hears him say Brandy, you're a fine girl. What a good wife you would be.

BLOCK: So "Brandy" is the sound of summer.

Mr. SNIDER: Yeah, I wonder if now - and I'm just now, I'm just thinking this. I bet if I ask my mom, she'd go, oh, yeah, that was good. Those were good years. You know, dad was dancing and singing a little bit in those days.

(Soundbite of song, "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)")

Mr. LURIE: (Singing) What a good wife you would be, but my life, my love and my lady is the sea.

BLOCK: That's Todd Snider with his summertime memories of the song, "Brandy," from the group Looking Glass. It was a number one hit for a week in August 1972. The single, a B-side, actually, stayed on the charts all summer. The group Looking Glass, college friends from Rutgers University, had just one other top-40 single before they split up.

Well, today we called lead singer Elliot Lurie, who wrote "Brandy." He says over the years, a lot of people have told him they've named their daughter or their cat or dog after this song. It's kind of astonishing, he says, but gratifying that the song remains popular. He told us: I wish I could have had 10 of them, but I'll take one.

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