John Murray: The sounds of summer

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Back in my Nairn’s employment at this time of year a high anticipation of the ‘Fair Fortnight’ when all factories and offices in our area would close.

This was also the Glasgow holiday so quite a few industries off at the same time, Burntisland was a destination and Pathhead had golden sand.

In the Summer of 1963 the movie of the moment was Summer Holiday starring Cliff Richard and The Shadows and a new album released this week celebrates the record which hit the top for three weeks back then.

The album also includes many other nostalgic summer hits such as The Kinks ‘Sunny Afternoon’, The Lovin’ Spoonful ‘Summer in the City’, Jan and Dean ‘Surf City’, Billy Fury ‘In Summer’, Astrud Gilberto ‘The Girl from Ipanema’, Jerry Keller ‘Here Comes Summer’, Mungo Jerry ‘In The Summertime’ and Elvis Presley ‘Blue Hawaii’.

Many of these tracks are timeless and especially the instrumentals. Percy Faith’s composition Theme From A Summer Place far outlasted the film from which it was taken, Acker Bilk’s Stanger On The Shore was groundbreaking when the Trad jazz clarinet player topped the US Billboard Charts a full two years before the Beatles invasion and of course The Shadows, on this album with Atlantis and the inspirational Wonderful Land which in 1962 when it took a lot of sales to chart at all, stayed at the top for eight straight weeks.

It was worth a visit listening to the 44 hits on here and some old friends from the past.