This Sunday Elder Music column was launched in December of 2008. By May of the following year, one commenter, Peter Tibbles, had added so much knowledge and value to my poor attempts at musical presentations that I asked him to take over the column. He's been here each week ever since delighting us with his astonishing grasp of just about everything musical, his humor and sense of fun. You can read Peter's bio here and find links to all his columns here.
(Seasons - Summer Part 1 is here.)
This is the second of the summer columns and you might think that I have the leftovers in this one. However, checking out the musicians present, that's far from the case. You might even accuse me of saving them up for this column. Not really; it's just the way it all worked out.
I'll start with the two best singer/songwriters to come out of Canada. What do Canadians know about summer? I could ask. Of course, that could retort: What do Australians know about winter? Okay, fifteen all.
People who read these columns regularly will probably know of whom I speak. First off, and there's no prize for guessing, GORDON LIGHTFOOT.
Gordie had a couple I could have used and I went back and forth between them. Finally I settled on Summertime Dream from the album of the same name.
The second is IAN TYSON.
Ian made an appearance in Spring as well but if it's a good song it deserves to be included is my philosophy for the column. Until I wrote that I didn't realise I had a philosophy. You live and learn.
Ian's song is Summer Wages, one of his best (and that's saying something).
Now we have a family affair, starting with FRANK SINATRA, who also made a spring appearance.
This was Frank in the sixties when he was recording slightly different songs from previously. People who were listening to him then will know the song I've chosen. Summer Wind, originally a German song was given English lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
Keeping the family together, NANCY SINATRA is next.
There's only a single letter different from her father's song. Nancy's is Summer Wine, written by LEE HAZLEWOOD who sang along with her on this record (and quite a few others).
MARIO LANZA sang the soundtrack for the film The Student Prince.
He was originally supposed to act in it as well but due to all sorts of shenanigans that didn't happen. From that film we have him singing Summertime in Heidelberg with a little help from ANN BLYTH.
For a complete change of pace, here is the NITTY GRITTY DIRT BAND.
The Nittys celebrated their 50th year as a group in 2015 and still sound as good as ever – probably better with all that practice they've had over the years. They are equally adept at playing electric rock music and acoustic country and bluegrass, as well as everything in between.
Here, they're acoustic with Sarah in the Summer.
Another abrupt change to JO STAFFORD. I just want to keep you on your toes.
The Things We Did Last Summer was written by Sammy Cahn and Jules Styne. Many people have recorded the song but Jo had the biggest selling version taking it into the charts in 1946.
Jumping forward a couple of decades to the middle of the sixties, CHAD & JEREMY.
That's Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde. Like a lot of their compatriots, they had quite a few hits on the coattails of The Beatles, so to speak. They were far more successful in America than in their native country. This is one that hovered around the top of the charts, A Summer Song.
Ronni and I both have a soft spot for JOHN HARTFORD.
Besides being a singer, songwriter and player of several instruments, John had a love of riverboats to such an extent that he managed to get a pilot's licence and worked on the Mississippi, Illinois and Tennessee Rivers.
When he wasn't piloting, he entertained the passengers with his music. Alas, he died in 2001. John performs Empty Afternoon of Summer Longing.
TOWNES VAN ZANDT wrote some of the best songs around and some of the saddest you've ever heard. They were often the same ones.
A good example is Like a Summer Thursday, but I could have chosen any really.