Songs of summer

Someone asked me a trivia question a few years ago and I got the right answer, just like that.
“What hit song came out in the summer of 1967?”
It was “Light My fire” by The Doors.
I know this partly because that was the year I graduated from high school, but mostly because that also was the year I started working in the newspaper business. This was long before computers, so composing rooms were loud. We had to deliver our typewritten stories to Line-O-Type operators and it seemed every time I walked into that cavernous room, “Light My Fire” was blasting on the radio and the typesetters were typing right along to the beat. It was invigorating.
I thought of this the other evening when I stopped at a local bar for a quick beer. Someone played “In the Summertime” by Mungo Jerry and it got me to thinking of summer music. I found it fascinating how many summers I associate with a song that was popular at the time.
“Hot Town, Summer in the City,” by the Lovin’ Spoonful, takes me to my front porch when I was in high school and my brother took a summer school class in French. His teacher was Jackie Kolmansberger, younger brother of my French teacher Jimmy Kolmansberger. My brother’s Mr. Kolmansperger told the kids he liked that song. I think of him every time I hear it.
Rod Stewart’s “Maggie Mae” takes me to Southern California and the green Chevy Vega my buddy Danny Lorenzini and I rented in the summer of ’71.
“The Letter,” by the Box Tops, puts me in a station wagon with my neighbor Judy Adonizio the day she asked me to help her move into her dorm room at Bloomsburg State Teachers College, as Bloomsburg University was called back then.
“I Get Around,” by the Beach Boys, sends me to the Pittston Pool and my friend Joe Leone cracking me up as he strained to hit those high notes when he sang along.
“Satisfaction,” by the Rolling Stones, takes me the same place, the pool, and the same friend, Joe. “Did you hear the new Stones song?” he asked one summer when we were still in high school. “Then he played it on the juke box.”
There are so many others.
“Wild World,” by Cat Stevens, has me riding to work with my dad when he got me a summer job at his woodworking plant between my junior and senior years.
“Summer Breeze,” by Seals & Crofts, sends me to the Jersey shore and a girl who caught my fancy and I hers just by offering her a can of warm Michelob.
“Mamma Told Me not to Come,” conjures up memories of driving to boxing matches in Scranton with Kenny Feeney and Moe Mullarkey in the 1965 Buick Special I bought as-is at Roy Stauffer Chevrolet for 600 bucks. It was my first car. Two-tone, red and white. I loved it.
And “Tossin’ and Turnin’,” by Bobby Lewis, puts me in left field at the Pittston Little League, hoping and praying no one would hit it to me.

Ed Ackerman