By Jessica Wheeler, AliveTampaBay Columnist
As spring turns to summer, everyone’s thoughts turn to summertime fun—whether that’s going to the beach, cooking out, or just relaxing and enjoying the warmer weather. But, as everyone knows, summer would be nothing without the music. Each year, Billboard tracks the top songs of the summer. For more than 50 years, these songs have provided the soundtrack to countless stories of summer romance, heartbreak and just having a good time. Here, we take a look back at some of the songs that topped the charts in summers past.
1960: “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” by Brian Hyland
Sunshine? Check. Beach? Check. Tiny swimsuits of questionable coverage? Check.
1961: “Quarter to Three” by Gary U.S. Bonds
The ultimate party song, “Quarter to Three” details a night of dancing and partying.
1962: “Loco-Motion” by Little Eva
While we’re talking about dancing, here’s a song about a new dance craze! Every summer needs one of those.
1963: “Surf City” by Jan & Dean
Two girls for every boy? Jan & Dean were living the dream in ‘63.
1964: “Under the Boardwalk” by the Drifters
A true beach classic, “Under the Boardwalk” has stood the test of time.
1965: “Mr. Tambourine Man” by the Byrds
The Byrds’ cover of Bob Dylan’s classic evoked a new kind of Southern California dream.
1966: “Summer in the City” by the Lovin’ Spoonful
The Lovin’ Spoonful perfectly evoke a hot, humid day in the big city—with redemption and a cool breeze up on the rooftop.
1967: “Little Bit O’ Soul” by the Music Explosion
This Ohio garage band urged everyone to reach for their favorite soul record when they were feeling down (or when their party needed a boost).
1968: “Stoned Soul Picnic” by 5th Dimension
The 5th Dimension provided a trippy soundtrack to the hazy summer of 1968.
1969: “Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Tommy James and the Shondells
Tommy James chilled everyone out with the soothing “Crystal Blue Persuasion.”
1970: “Spill the Wine” by Eric Burdon and War
Flutes and congas provided the base for this classic psychedelic song.
1971: “It’s Too Late” by Carole King
Master songwriter Carole King stepped into the spotlight with a string of hits from her album Tapestry.
1972: “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass
The only hit for Looking Glass, this song about a seafaring man and his best girl was catchier than anything else on the radio in 1972.
1973: “Brother Louie” by Stories
The funky story of an interracial romance, “Brother Louie” was a number one smash.
1974: “Tell Me Something Good” by Rufus
Chaka Khan launched her career with this summertime feelgood hit.
1975: “I’m Not in Love” by 10cc
Soft and romantic as a summer love, this 10cc tune was dreamy enough to linger on all summer long.
Jessica Wheeler is a columnist for AliveTampaBay.