Monday, August 1, 2011

Die she must...


Summer does have to end, and with the record number of 100+ degree days and 80+ degree nights in our neck of the woods this year (and all that lovely accompanying humidity), I am quite ready for Summer to wind down.

Still, August is the kid not wanting to go back to school yet, knowing there's still time but starting to panic a little inside that there hasn't been enough relaxin'.

To aid in these last Summer days of easing back, a few new sounds have been added to the player on the right, as we do every month.

Accordingly, the first new song for the ol' jukebox is a little jazz lick composed by the late, legendary sax giant Charlie "Bird" Parker, who knew all about relaxin'. Relaxin' In Camarillo, that is. In 1947, Bird spent time in, what shall I call it? A facility, in Camarillo, for various drug-related problems. But the head he wrote soon after being released from said 'resort' is sensational, and smooth, and has become a bop standard for jazz musicians ever since. This 1959 version (off the album Good Pickin's) is from the guitar guru Howard Roberts, with Bill Holman providing some Bird-tribute sax, Pete Jolly on piano, Red Mitchell on bass, and Stan Levy on the backbeat.

The next song I've added for August is a nice piece from the original Beach Boy and insane musical genius Brain Wilson and his long-time collaborator Van Dyke Parks. From their 1993 album Orange Crate Art comes the sound of a romantic correspondence across the miles -- Palm Tree & Moon delivers some nice changes, typically brilliant lyrics from Parks, and Brian Wilson's unique, complex and lush vocal arrangment. Time for love to find ya, right August?

(I took this pic at a friend's home in SoCal... knew I'd use it here at the S&P one day!)

Then, realizing this is the month when most families traditionally get their fullest vacation time, I felt a mix of some classic 1950's family travelogue music would be absolutely perfect. The mid-'50s stock library music is a blast (I adore the genre) but I wasn't clever enough to give my homemade medley a better title than Vacation Music. But since that's exactly what it is -- play it, you'll understand immediately -- I can't complain. Happy trails, families of Summer travel...

And speaking of American institutions of the mid-20th century, the last song I've added for this month is a little more personal, and entirely fitting.

Yep. Back in 1964 when the four Lennon Sisters were temporarily three (Aunt Dee Dee was off making a family and home with Uncle Dick), my mama (Peggy) and aunts Kathy and Janet released #1 Hits of the 1960's, a title which seems a little odd given that the decade was not quite half passed, but no matter. The classic Theme From A Summer Place, with its wistful lyrics and soothing, evocative melody is a perfect Summer ender for my little pub.

But of course, August is still an entire month, and Summer is not over yet.

Not by a long shot.

The August Moon still has plenty of balmy nights to dazzle and daze, to cause all kinds of romantic mayhem to late Summer beach roamers, deck loungers and backyard vacationers, all looking to either find or rekindle a warm, summery love before all the relaxin's through.

Plus, there's still so much Summer to enjoy yet.

More fun in the sun...

More time for monster surfin'...

More time for romance...

More time for cookouts...

More time for a dip in the pool...
More time for a cold one...

... to go with that stake...

And let's not forget, the peak of the season for that Great American Pasttime...


Still time. 

But barely.

Don't waste any of it. Get out and enjoy.

I'll join you presently... but I think I hear that crazy old radio starting to crackle and hum...



  1. :)

    Lammas (today...just barely) always has me thinking about the moment when you realize that summer is at the peak and we are all down hear from there. Thanks for making the journey from this here until Mabon....perfect....and with the best soundtrack it has ever had. :D

    BTW - I miss my grandmother every day of my life....and anything that can make me think of her and smile (Lennon Sisters) warms my heart. Thank you for that.


  2. Thank you Chris, it's my pleasure.

  3. Wonderful post! August has always been bittersweet for me. My birthday falls late in the month and it always signaled the end of summer and the return to (*shudder*) school. Thanks for the reminder that there's still plenty to enjoy. Especially since, in my part of the world, our 100+ days have been few this year.

  4. Well I wish we could have swapped a bunch of our hotter days with your cooler days!