ROSEMARY HARRIS: People change their closets when the seasons change. Some women change their makeup (I used to change my hair color...more gold highlights in the summer, more red in the winter.) Although I swore I never would after seeing my mother do it for years, I change all the curtains, from velvet to cotton.
One of the biggest seasonal changes for me is music. The first time I hear Feliz Navidad in November I love it. By January 6 I'm less feliz about hearing it and I'm ready to pack it away with the Christmas ornaments. And when it gets warm, my playlist changes again.
For me summertime will always mean Coppertone. Potato knishes on the beaches in Brooklyn and Queens - Neponsit, Manhattan Beach, Brighton, Riis Park. Dr Scholl's sandals. Sun-in, which we apparently all tried and hoped that it would create sexy, beachy streaks that didn't turn orange like Jan's did.
Most of my pals stayed in the city for the summer. We took the bus to the beach and got there early to work on our tans. And the music we listened to then takes me back every time I hear it.
In the Summertime by Mungo Jerry, Hot Fun in the Summertime by Sly and the Family Stone, A Summer Song by Chad and Jeremy. Anything by the Beach Boys. These songs instantly turn me into a teenager, whether they were new and hits or already moldy oldies by the time I heard them. Anyone remember Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini? See You in September?
Pass the baby oil and iodine! Which songs take you back to the beach?
DEBORAH CROMBIE: Not the beach for me, Ro, but the country club swimming pool. The smell of chlorine, Sea n' Ski, and I Can't Get No Satisfaction on the pool jukebox. The Beach Boys, of course, but probably my fave summer song EVER is Summer in the City by The Loving Spoonful. Now I've got to go see if it's on my playlist somewhere....
RHYS BOWEN: In England I lived too far from the beach to go with friends (and nobody had cars anyway--driving age 18). It was the un-heated swimming pool that I had to sneak to without my mother knowing, as she'd forbidden me to go there because of polio scares. (the vaccine reached us while I was in middle school but she still didn't trust it)
Beach Boys are the ultimate for me too. And Summer Nights from Grease. And all the silly camp songs we used to sing.
JAN BROGAN: One summer I worked on a disco on the New Jersey Beach, the Surf Club, which I'm pretty sure Snookie et crew from Jersey Shore must frequent or would have frequented when I worked there because I actually remember those people. Anyway, I worked every single day and Friday and Saturday nights. There was a live band that played Heaven Must be Missing an Angel and all those Barry White and KC and the Sunshine Band songs from 4 p.m. on. I worked there when I was deep into my cowgirl phase (playing a lot of guitar and going to a lot of Eagles, Grateful Dead and Jackson Brown concerts), so I detested the music in an irrational, I-must-remain-loyal-to-my-identity-kind-of-way. I was anti-disco. The funny part is, now when I hear that Barry White music, it brings back only the pleasant summer memories.
LUCY BURDETTE: Oh yes, we spent a ton of time at the beach, both the Jersey shore and Hatteras Island off the coast of NC, as my mom was nuts for the ocean. I remember all the songs you're naming, but no one has yet named the pop classic "Red Rubber Ball" sung by the Cyrkle. (And what kind of oddball group name is that anyway??) And who writes those lyrics?
I should have known you'd bid me farewell
There's a lesson to be learned from this and I learned it very well
Now, I know you're not the only starfish in the sea
If I never hear your name again, it's all the same to me
And I think it's gonna be alright
Yeah, the worst is over now
The mornin' sun is shinin' like a red rubber ball
John and I were having this discussion recently when I couldn't get "Macarthur Park" out of my head. "Someone left the cake out in the rain...I don't think that I can take it, cause it took so long to bake it, and I'll never have that recipe agaiinnnnnn...oh noooooo". Could that be the silliest song ever written?
ROSEMARY: There's always Louie, Louie...that was a pretty dumb song. Wooly Bully?
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Well of course the beach boys--Surfer Girl and the silly song called Car Club"-- remember that? And Jan and Dean's Little Deuce Couple "it's got a positraction clutch with a four on the floor"...whatever that means. And there was Summertime Summertime Sum Sum Summertime..but I won't mention that.
There's an album by Basia that always take me to summer..and how about the Girl from Ipanema?
The fragrance of coconuts and chlorine. How the sun hits you when you get off an airplane somewhere summery. Sun in..my mom laid down the law. So..well, she told me it would turn my hair orange.
But! How about iodine and baby oil?
ROSEMARY: Another baby oil and iodine devotee! It's wonder we have any skin left!!