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Reggie Ponder

I’m not sure what songs we might end up associating with this summer but in summers past there have been songs that ruled the roost and still bring back great summer memories.

Here’s a few:

Roseanne Cash, “Seven Year Ache” — This was a big hit for the singer-songwriter and helped propel her out of the long shadow cast by her famous father, Johnny Cash. It was a remarkably catchy tune and told a fairly complicated story.

Lionel Ritchie and Diana Ross, “Endless Love” — Like some of the other songs on this list, this one was a theme from a popular movie. Summer movies and summer hit records often go together, and that certainly was the case here. This was the sweetest love song on the radio in the summer of 1981.

Sweet, “Love is Like Oxygen” — This was about as catchy as catchy pop-rock can be. The British band ruled the airwaves in America during the summer of 1978.

David Frizzell and Shelly West, “You’re the Reason God Made Oklahoma” — This is one of my favorite country duets ever, and it went to number one on the country chart. For a time I became known (within the small circle of my favorite ice cream shop at the time) for playing this song on the jukebox every chance I got. I don’t really remember what kind of ice cream I used to order but I definitely had good taste in music.

Alabama, “Feels So Right” — the summer of 1981 saw this love song by Alabama not only rocket up the country chart but also make a pretty good stand on the pop chart.


Gerry Rafferty, “Baker Street” — This song has what might be the most undeniable saxophone hook ever. It also substitutes an impressive guitar solo for the saxophone hook near the end that just underscores how powerful the saxophone hook is. The record was big in the summer of 1978.

Donna Summer, “Dim All the Lights” — I’m not entirely sure this was a summertime hit in the strictest sense but it definitely was still getting a lot of airplay when summer rolled around. This was a perfect disco groove by a brilliant singer.

Blondie, “One Way or Another” — The new wave band made an unbelievably danceable record that kept a lot of people dancing and even got some folks out on the dance floor who probably would have sat it all out otherwise. You just can’t keep still when you hear this.

Prince, “When Doves Cry” — The infectious beat drove this wildly popular single. The record also got a boost from Prince’s partly autobiographical movie, “Purple Rain.”

Aerosmith, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” — This ultimate power ballad was a number one hit from a movie, “Armageddon,” that was just as huge as the song.

Reggie Ponder writes for The Daily Advance.