There is a debate every year around this time about what the song of the summer was. The song, typically a fun, party-type song, that will forever be linked with that magical summer. Whether it takes you back to hearing it on a pontoon with your friends, reminds you of that one forgotten fling, or just the song that you heard whenever you step foot in a bar or a patio.
Well, this summer sucked. Was there any new music? I think there was. Might have been. I honestly am not sure. If there was new music I really don’t want to make any memory associations with any of those songs. “Ahh, yeah, that song always reminds me of that summer I showered a total of four times and my only human interaction was waving at the Uber Eats guy through the glass window as he looked at me in pity because he knew full well he just dropped off enough food for four people but I would be the only one eating it.”
So screw the summer of 2020. The less we talk about it the better. I say we do a throwback and take a look back at the songs of the summer from 100 years ago in 1920 instead.
“Crazy Blues” by Mamie Smith and Her Jazz Sounds
Where else do you start on the songs of the summer 1920 but with the vaudeville queen herself Mamie Smith? This one was EVERYWHERE the summer 1K920. Still holds up.
“I’ve Got My Captain Working for Me Now” by Al Jolson
Nothing says summer like a song about STICKIN’ IT TO THE MAN! And that is exactly what Al-J did in this jam. 100 percent a song of the summer in 1920.
“Dardanella” by Ben Selvin’s Novelty Orchestra
This one is certified fresh. You can feel it when you listen to it, can’t you? Ain’t nobody better on the conducting baton than ol’ Benny Selv. Doesn’t matter where you are or what you are doing, if a Selvie orchestra fires up, you can tell immediately. Big sound. Big song. Huge hit in the summer of 1920.
“Wang Wang Blues” Leo Wood, Gus Mueller, Buster Johnson & Henry Busse
You thought there wasn’t gonna be any jazz on this list?! Get outta here! How much did this song shred? So much so that it was included in the 1996 film THE ENGLISH PATIENT! Nothin’ says summertime party like some a little English Paish.
Well there you have it. The songs of the summer of 1920! I can hear all of you making a Spotify playlist as we speak.