The weather has been scorching over the last week or so, and many BBQs and summer parties will be held. If you are looking for a vintage vibe to your shindig, Bear Family Records‘ latest release may be the answer. A follow up to 2018’s ‘A Banana Split For My Baby’, it continues the theme of summer through another collection of recordings spanning 1938 to 1962.
The album features forays into Rock n Roll, Jazz, Novelty, Doo-Wop and Pop; predominantly focused on the 1950s and early 1960s. Obligatory classics from Jerry Keller, The McGuire Sisters, Eddie Cochran, Brian Hyland, Andy Williams and The Four Voices are all here, alongside rarer gems from Sammy Salvo, The Lifeguards (a spin-off from Bill Haley’s Comets), Bikinis and The Kittens. It is also nice to hear the nostalgic vocal version of ‘(Theme from) a Summer Place’, sung by Joanie Sommers. The only song, in my opinion, that appears a little out of place is 1938’s Tutti Frutti by Slim & Slam; sounding odd next to a large amount of material from a later period. There is no denying, however, this recording has the summer factor that the label is striving for. It’s a mixed bag of tunes, with plenty of variety.
The historical nature of the included material means there are occasional questionable moments; Gerry Granahan’s ‘Too Big For Her Bikini’ being one. The sound quality, despite the vintage of tracks, is mostly excellent with a few minor issues.
The 28-page booklet, included in the set, provides a bit of background information on each artist and song, along with relevant illustrations and photographs. A regular feature for Bear Family Records, but always a welcome one.
Bear Family Records have compiled a colourful and intriguing selection of summer-themed tunes from yesteryear. The eclectic nature, seen in many of the label’s compilations, is a real selling point. Perfect for a vintage themed summer BBQ, your guests will be singing along in no time!
- Here Comes Summer – Jerry Keller
- Three Months To Kill – Huelyn Duvall
- Summer School – Herbie Alpert & His Sextett
- Summer Job – Brian Hyland
- Summer Is Here -The Pals
- Summertime Blues (US Single Version) – Eddie Cochran
- Blue Skies – The McGuire Sisters
- (Theme From) A Summer Place – Joanie Sommers
- She Takes Sunbaths – Sammy Salvo
- Everybody Out’ta The Pool – The Lifeguards
- Summertime – Frances Faye
- Hey! Eula (from ‘The Long Hot Summer’) – Sil Austin
- The Enchanted Sea – The Islanders
- Footprints In The Sand – Garry Mills
- Sea Nymph – Les Baxter & His Orchestra
- Bikini – The Bikinis
- Love Letters In The Sand – Andy Williams
- (Let’s Have A) Beach Party – Dave York & The Beachcombers
- Surf Bunny – Gene Gray & The Stingerays
- Bermuda Shorts – The Delroys
- Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weeny Yellow Polkadot Bikini – Brian Hyland
- Too Big For Her Bikini – Gerry Granahan
- Dark, Dark Sunglasses – The Kittens
- Soda Pop Pop – Vince Eager & The Vagabonds
- Keeping Cool With Lemonade – Nick Noble
- Banana Split – The McGuire Sisters
- Tutti Frutti – Slim & Slam
- Ice Cream Baby – The Pearls
- Summer Night – The Chimes
- One Summer Night – The Diamonds
- This Is The Night – Larry Tamblyn
- Sealed With A Kiss – The Four Voices
- In The Good Old Summertime – The Clovers
‘Another Banana Split, please! (No.2) – More Gems From The Good Old Summertime’ is available to buy from Bear Family Records.