Retro Dee is a regular contributor to The Grooveyard’s website, writing about music, fashion and other trends of the 1950s. Check out her blog, Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever here, and her column here every Wednesday.
Hello folks! Retro Dee here and once again WCWP’s The Grooveyard has brought us another swell song survey!
This song survey isn’t just swell, it’s SURFING the swell, because it’s The Summer Song Survey!
That’s right. The 5th Summer Song Survey hosted by The Grooveyard’s Alan Seltzer was counted down on June 22, 2019 on WCWP 88.1 FM.
The way the Summer Song Survey works is each year this survey counts down 50 songs in order of the way they were voted for by listeners. We had from May 22 to June 16 to vote once per day, for up to 10 songs.
Listeners were encouraged to vote for songs that they love and/or remind them of great summer memories. What I like to do is reveal my votes after the countdown and explain to my readers why I voted the way I did. And I always have a reason. Good or not, I don’t know, but there’s always a reason!
On the day of the show, I tweeted that I couldn’t wait for the countdown and that I wondered if The Crickets would beat Allan Sherman this year. D.J. Alan Seltzer responded to my tweet with a most ambiguous reply: “You’re assuming both are on the survey this year. I’m not saying either way, but there are 8 new songs. See you at 7!”
Ah! Yes, never assume anything when it comes to countdowns- there are ALWAYS surprises! With approximately 90 songs on the ballot and only 50 on the countdown, that means 40 or so didn’t make it at all. Of course, this made me anticipate the show even more…
So now that the results of the Summer Song Survey for this year have been revealed, it’s time for me to reveal what songs I voted for!
(For those too busy to read the rest of this post, I added emojis) 😀
Here are my 10 picks, in the order they came in on the countdown:
# N/A “Bird Dog” by The Everly Brothers (1958) 🐦 🐶
“Bird Dog” is not only my favorite Everly Brothers song, but one of my favorite songs, period. I think I might have mentioned this before. “Bird Dog” was released in July 1958, and that’s summer, so there ya go. But even so, it didn’t make the countdown this time. Well, maybe next year, Don and Phil. At least the brothers made it onto the survey with “Bye Bye Love” at #47.
# 24 “Poison Ivy” by The Coasters (1959) ☠️ 🌿
This song was new on the survey this year. I just think this is the greatest summer song, even if it makes you itch a little. Just bring your calamine lotion. If they still even sell that stuff.
# 21 “Love Letters in the Sand” by Pat Boone (1957) 💌 🏝️
In all honesty I’m not a huge fan of Pat Boone. He doesn’t rock. He can sing, but he doesn’t rock. And he’s a little too squeaky clean for my taste. I did, however, vote for “Love Letters” for one of my picks because I think it’s the perfect easy, breezy romantic song for a lovely summer’s day. Plus, no need for white bucks when you’re walking hand in hand barefoot on the beach.
# 20 “That’ll Be the Day” by The Crickets (1957)
Yes! The Crickets beat Allan Sherman’s “Hello Muddah Hello Faddah” which was all the way back at #40. (I actually love Allan Sherman, but when it comes to my Crickets, the competition is ON, baby!) In 2018 The Crickets were just one spot ahead of Allan Sherman, and that’s a little too close for comfort.
“That’ll Be the Day” is possibly my very favorite song of all time. I voted for it even though it’s not necessarily summer-themed. But then I came to the realization that the group’s name comes from an insect that appears mainly in the summertime: CRICKETS 🦗🦗🦗🦗 ! And they’re up 11 spots from last year! So there you have it– with little emoji crickets, even! I tell you, folks, it just doesn’t get any better than that!
# 16 “Splish Splash” by Bobby Darin (1958) 💦 💦
This is a great summer song because of all the “splishin’ and a-splashin”, although technically he’s talking about a bathtub, not a pool. And, technically, you can take a bath at any time of the year. But I still think it’s a rockin’ good summer hit.
# 10 “Whispering Bells” by The Del Vikings (1957) 🤫🔔🔔
This song is on my Personal Top 10 of favorite 1950’s songs (after you count all the songs by Buddy & The Crickets and The Everly boys, of course.) I just absolutely love everything about it. It’s romantic, and so indicative of the 50’s. It could be playing at a summer’s picnic or during an evening of necking over-looking the town in a Chevy convertible. Ahh. Whispering bells.
# 5 “Here Comes Summer” by Jerry Keller (1958) 🚘 🏖️
This is one of the 3 songs I voted for that actually has the word “Summer” in the title. It’s a great tune that captures the joy of summer just beginning. I can picture a family packing up their ’57 Chevy wagon on their way to an all-American tourist destination. Maybe they’d stay at a motel named after something in Space, or somewhere with little pineapples printed all over the bedspread… In those days motels were not only cute, but clean too. Now that I’ve gotten completely off-topic, I guess what I’m saying is that this song encompasses that general idea.
# 4 “One Summer Night” by The Danleers (1958) 1️⃣ 🏖️ 🌃
Ahh, The Danleers, bringing you one summer night from the Fabulous Fifties. Last year this song made it to #4 and this year, it’s… #4. That’s a good spot for it. It definitely deserves to be in the Top 5 Summer Songs.
# 3 “Summertime Blues” by Eddie Cochran (1958) 🏖️ 🕐 🙁
When you’re madly in love with Early Rock N Roll, this is your Summer Anthem! In 2018 it made it to #5, so 2 spots up is pretty good. We love you, Eddie!
# 1 “Sea of Love” by Phil Phillips (1959) 🌊❤️
Last year “Sea of Love” made it to the runner’s up spot on the survey and this year it’s….
What a great song. The sea reference fits it right into the summer theme.
It was a wonderful end to another great countdown.
So that’s what I voted for and that’s this year’s Grooveyard Summer Song Survey! You can see the full results from 2019 HERE. You can also view the video versions of all 50 songs on The Grooveyard website. And remember, listen to The Grooveyard on WCWP 88.1 FM Saturday Evenings 7pm Eastern / 4pm Pacific!
Listen to “The Grooveyard” following “Rick’s Redneck Ranch” each Saturday night at 7 PM on 88.1 FM on Long Island, by clicking the 88.1 FM link on wcwp.org or via the TuneIn app. or the 88.1 FM button on the WCWP app for Android or iPhones. You can also follow us on Twitter.
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