A Summer Song

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"A Summer Song"
A Summer Song Dutch sleeve.jpg
Dutch release
Single by Chad & Jeremy
from the album Yesterday's Gone
B-side"No Tears For Johnnie"
ReleasedJuly 1964
Format7" single
RecordedJune 1964
CTS Studios
GenrePop
Length2:38
LabelWorld Artists Records
Songwriter(s)Chad Stuart, Clive Metcalfe, Keith Noble
Producer(s)Shel Talmy
Chad & Jeremy singles chronology
"Yesterday's Gone"
(1963)
"A Summer Song"
(1964)
"Willow Weep for Me"
(1964)

"A Summer Song" is a 1964 Top Ten hit by Chad & Jeremy. The song was written and composed by duo partner Chad Stuart with Clive Metcalfe and Keith Noble.

Background[edit]

Like the duo's breakthrough selection, "Yesterday's Gone," "A Summer Song" is a reminiscence of a summer romance. However, "A Summer Song" eschews the Merseybeat sound of "Yesterday's Gone" in favor of a gentler folk-influenced arrangement, with the lyrics also being wistful in tone.

Stuart recalled on The Steel Pier Radio Show that his "A Summer Song" collaborators, Clive Metcalfe and Keith Noble, were a musical duo with whom he and Clyde had become friendly and that "A Summer Song" was written and composed in Stuart's flat in London: "We were sitting around jamming on four chords and we came up with 'A Summer Song.'"[1] "We never thought 'Summer Song' could possibly be a single," he recalled another time. "It was just a pretty, romantic song. Or so we thought...you never can tell, can you?"[2]

The selection was one of a number to be included on the Yesterday's Gone album recorded at CTS Studios Bayswater in June 1964 under the production auspices of Shel Talmy, with Johnnie Spence conducting the orchestra.[3]

"A Summer Song" was issued in both the UK and the U.S. in July 1964; the UK single version opens with Chad and Jeremy trading vocals while the U.S. single features unisonant singing throughout.[4]

Impact[edit]

"A Summer Song" was played on Juke Box Jury where guest judge Ringo Starr assessed the track as a "miss" (i.e., flop) with no U.S. hit potential.[5] Indeed, in the UK – where Chad & Jeremy's "Yesterday's Gone" had been a rather mild hit, followed by the unsuccessful "Like I Love You Today" – "A Summer Song" did not reach the charts. In the U.S. however, following the near Top 20 success of "Yesterday's Gone," the track afforded the duo their career record, reaching No. 7 on 17–24 October 1964.[6] "A Summer Song" also went to No. 2 for six weeks on the Adult Contemporary chart.[7] It is considered one of the signature songs of the British Invasion.[5] When Gary James asked him about it, Stuart suggested: "The American market was bigger. [...] You'd never hear something that sweet in the British charts. [...] For some reason in America it worked."[8]

"A Summer Song" also reached #7 in Canada and #49 in Australia. The selection is featured on the soundtrack of the film Rushmore, and was used in the "ESPN's Sports Heaven" commercial that aired during Super Bowl XL. It also is featured in the movie Men in Black 3.

Remakes[edit]

The Lettermen covered "A Summer Song" for their August 1965 Capitol Records album release The Hit Sounds of the Lettermen produced by Steve Douglas. The Lettermen made a second recording of the song for "Alive" Again...Naturally, a 1973 Capitol Records release which the group self-produced with Ed Cobb. Both versions of "A Summer Song" by the Lettermen abridged the original three word title to "Summer Song."[9]

Skeeter Davis's RCA Victor album release Singin' in the Summer Sun, which Chet Atkins and Felton Jarvis produced, included Davis' version of "A Summer Song;" the album was recorded in January 1966 at RCA Victor Studio in Nashville, Tennessee for release that June.[10]

In the summer of 1967, the Doodletown Pipers had an Easy Listening hit with their remake of "A Summer Song;" produced by Stu Phillips, this Epic Records release reached No. 29 on the Easy Listening charts, affording the group their only chart appearance.[11] Also in 1967, the Memories, an Irish group who became a top showband attraction and scored eight domestic chart hits, remade "A Summer Song" as their debut single, released on Rex Records.[12]

A version of "A Summer Song"1 by Laila Kinnunen was issued by Mediamusiikki in 2000 on the compilation CD Muistojen Kyyneleet, which featured selections Kinnunen had recorded with the Erkki Melakoski (fi) orchestra for the Yleisradio TV series Kuukauden Suositut, Kinnunen's performance of "A Summer Song" having been prepped to air in that series' 1966 season.[13]

The 1998 Narada album Songs From an English Garden by David Lanz features an instrumental version of A Summer Song.[14]

New York based folkie Christine Lavin included the song on her 1986 LP Beau Woes and Other Problems of Modern Life.

A French rendering of "A Summer Song" entitled "Souviens-toi des nuits d'été" was introduced in 1965 by Frank Alamo on the Rivièra label; the B-side of Alamo's single "Qu'est-ce Que Peut Bien Faire Un Garçon," "Souviens-toi des nuits d'été" was also included on a four track EP and was subsequently included on the singer's 1966 self-titled album release.[15] "Souviens-toi des nuits d'été" was also recorded by Line Renaud, her rendition being included on a four track 1966 EP release by Disques Line.[16]

A Finnish rendering of "A Summer Song" entitled "Kesämuisto"1 was recorded by Eero ja Jussi & the Boys (fi) for their 1991 Audiovox Records album release 3 Kitaraa (fi), and the selection was one of several on the album recorded at Ogeli Recording Studio between January and February 1991.[17]

  • 1The Laila Kinnunen recording of "A Summer Song" is subtitled "Kesämuisto;" however, the track is sung in its original English format.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stuart, Chad (October 20, 2010). "Interview". Steel Pier Radio Show (Interview). Ed Hurst. WBIG (AM).
  2. ^ Rhoden, Frank Jason (2006). "Yesterday's Gone". Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde. Electric Paintbox. Retrieved April 24, 2016.
  3. ^ "Chad Stuart & Jeremy Clyde". Jasonrh.com. Archived from the original on 2016-03-05. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ a b Jordan, Chris (13 May 2011). "Reaching a verdict on 'Summer Song'". The Central New Jersey Home News. New Brunswick, New Jersey. p. 48. Archived from the original on 15 November 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2018 – via Newspapers.com. open access
  6. ^ "Hot 100: Chad & Jeremy". Billboard. 2017. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961-2001. Record Research. p. 51.
  8. ^ Pore-Lee-Dunn Productions. "interview with Chad Stuart". Classicbands.com. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  9. ^ "The Lettermen Homepage". Thelettermen.com. Archived from the original on 2015-09-07. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  10. ^ "Praguefrank's Country Music Discographies: Skeeter Davis". Countrydiscography.blogspot.ca. 2010-12-13. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  11. ^ "A Summer Song (song by The Doodletown Pipers) ••• Music VF, US & UK hits charts". Musicvf.com. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  12. ^ "Vinyl Database - Records - Music Reviews - Discographies, Discussions, Discoveries". 45cat.com. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  13. ^ "Database and Marketplace for Music on Vinyl, CD, Cassette and More". Discogs.com. Archived from the original on 2012-04-21. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  14. ^ "List of songs on David Lanz CDs". Davidlanz.com. 1989-12-04. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-10-30. Retrieved 2012-09-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Line Renaud". Linerenaud.net. Retrieved 2016-09-27.
  17. ^ Raimo Öystilä. "Eero ja Jussi & The Boys / Eero Raittinen / Jussi Raittinen". Saunalahti.fi. Retrieved 2016-09-27.