A year ago this month, a nerve with readers was inadvertently touched -- in a good way, mind you -- when I offered my all-time favorite top 10 "summer songs," a list that was admittedly incredibly tough to whittle down.
Dozens of emails, phone calls and ensuing conversations later, I realized I should have either included more songs -- or do it again.
One year later, we're doing it again, this time with a list that is a bit more expanded. Last year I concentrated primarily on the songs I enjoyed most growing up in the late 1960s and 1970s. The following top 10 includes those parameters, but it also reaches beyond the baby-boomer boundaries. I also tried to incorporate some suggestions from readers that made me sit back and go, "Oh yeah! I forgot about that one."
Let the countdown begin for the "Best Summer Songs, Vol. II":
10. "Surfin' Safari," Beach Boys (1963): I'm not sure what is more impressive, the enduring power of this song or the Beach Boys themselves. Do you realize they are celebrating their 50th anniversary? My daughter, Kaysi, who lives in Ohio, called me the other night to tell me she was on her way to a Beach Boys concert. The Beach Boys had already been around 22 years by the time Kaysi was born.
9. "Under the Boardwalk," Drifters (1964): Come on, we've all tried to sing this song at least 100 times.
8. "Summertime Blues," Blue Cheer (1967): This was actually a remake of a 1958 Eddie Cochran offering that told us "there ain't no cure for the summertime blues." Blue Cheer was from the psychedelic rock genre and was a West Coast force in the pop movement at the time. The late Jim Morrison of the Doors called the group "the most powerful band he had ever seen."
7. "Summer Nights," Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta (1978): Kind of sappy, but we all loved Olivia Newton-John at the time. This was one of the contributions from the success of "Grease" and helped break up the disco monopoly on the radio at that point.
6. "Saturday in the Park," Chicago (1972): The "can you dig it (yes I can)" lyrics perfectly punctuate this great Chicago song.
5. "In the Summertime," Mungo Jerry (1970): After a while, the monotonous sound of this drove everyone crazy, but we'd play it over and over just so we could say "Mungo Jerry."
4. "Summer Side of Life," Gordon Lightfoot (1971): Lightfoot, who has been seriously ill for several years, brought a tear to many an eye in the summer of '71 with the retrospective piece. Lightfoot is considered a national treasure in Canada and is one of music's all-time great songwriters. He's probably best known for "If You Could Read My Mind."
3. "All Summer Long," Kid Rock (2008): Not only does Kid Rock give us a great summer song that is perfect for sitting on the front porch and listening to, but he also reminds us of "Werewolves of London" and "Sweet Home Alabama" in the process.
2. "Summer of '69," Bryan Adams (1985): The line about playing his "first real six string" is a classic, and so is a reminder about "the best days of my life." There is no season like summer, and Bryan Adams pointed it out in this longstanding anthem.
1. "Summer Song," Chad and Jeremy (1964): Summers come, summers go. But you always have the memories, and many of those date to when you were first experiencing the wonders -- and the heartbreak -- of young love. What a great song this was -- and is -- and it should have made the original list. Thanks to the reader who pointed it out. You were absolutely correct.