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.
There are so many good summer songs that you're going to get two column's worth. I complained about Spring last week and I'll keep that going with Summer. The hay fever's gone but it gets too bloody hot in my neck of the woods. Maybe it's better where you are.
As I mentioned, summer can get a little, well hot is the really the only word for it, around here. That always gives me the blues, the Summertime Blues.
That sounds like a cue for a song, and EDDIE COCHRAN is the obvious person to start proceedings.
Eddie could have been a contender in rock & roll (indeed, he already was) but he was killed when his taxi in London blew a tyre and the cab crashed into a lamppost.
JERRY KELLER only had one big hit in his career and it's this one.
Later on he wrote songs that were quite successful for others as well as writing songs for films and television jingles. I imagine they paid better than being a music performer.
Here is his charted song, Here Comes Summer.
I imagine you all expected this next song to be present so I won't disappoint you. There was a previous column devoted entirely to various versions of the song Summertime, so I'm not using anything from that one.
That didn't really reduce the choices much at all as I have quite a number of options from which to choose. So many, that I selected enough for a second column devoted to the song.
In the mean time we need one today. I pencilled in several over a few days but finally decided on PAUL ROBESON.
I was surprised I hadn't used him in the original Summertime column, but there you go. Here he is today with the song.
MUNGO JERRY is an English rock(ish) group who were formed in the late sixties and are still going today. However, the only member who has been there for the entire journey is Ray Dorset.
They had a big hit in 1970 with the song In the Summertime. There were other songs of theirs that made the charts but I imagine few people will remember what they are. I certainly can't.
Anyway, here is their biggest hit.
The album "Quiet Nights" was far from MILES DAVIS's finest.
He had so many good albums that this one pretty much slipped down the back of the sofa along with all the change, paper clips and other things that gather there.
It did, however, have a couple of summer tunes on it, one of which we have today, Once Upon a Summertime. It's very atmospheric and even lesser Miles is well worth a listen.
NAT KING COLE had a huge with with Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer.
His record company insisted that he rush into the studio and produce an album because of the success of the single. It was a long way from Nat's best album. Indeed, the single was far from his best either but it is Nat which means it's going to get a place in the column.
Normally I'll try to use the original version of the song, particularly if that person also wrote it. Today, though, after playing both versions, I really like the way JOAN BAEZ performs this one.
I don't wish to denigrate Stevie Wonder but Joannie really nailed it, I think. It was from her excellent, and best selling, album "Diamonds and Rust". The song is Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer.
CLIFF RICHARD started out as a rock & roller but turned into, well Cliff.
I suspect that he has a painting of himself in a locked room in his attic that he never shows to anyone. Anyway, from his early days, Cliff's going on a Summer Holiday.
For people of a certain age, that is somewhere around mine, you only have to hear the first couple of bars of this next one to recognise it immediately. The players are the LOVIN' SPOONFUL.
The song is Summer in the City. No more needs to be said.
It was pretty much certain that WILLIE NELSON would turn up somewhere in this series, and here he is.
Willie's song was one I wasn't familiar with before searching my music collection for these columns (hey, I've got a lot of Willie). I'm now very familiar with the song, Summer of Roses. I could have used this one in any of the seasons.