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10 Transistor Radio Hits

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When I was a kid growing up in New York in the 1960s, July 4th meant playground sprinklers, visits to Palisades Amusement Park, nok-hockey, stickball, fathers wearing plaid shirts and shorts with black socks and shoes, and the brown radio in my bedroom.

Listening to that radio, day and night, in July and August, I came to equate the rites of summer with specific singles. To this day, whenever I hear them, a powerful feeling sweeps over me—the sound of laughter, the gunpowder smell of caps and the taste of Sweet-Tarts.

Here are 10 songs for July 4th—gateway to the summer....

Percy Faith's Theme From Summer Place (1960)...



Frankie Valli's Can't Take My Eyes Off of You (1967)...



The Supremes' Where Did Our Love Go (1964)...



The Happenings' See You in September (1966)...

Lovin' Spoonful's Summer in the City (1966)...



The Sapphires' Who Do You Love (1964)...



Jackie Wilson's Whispers (Getting Louder) (1966)...



Tommy James and the Shondells' Crystal Blue Persuasion (1969)...



Sonny and Cher's I Got You Babe (1965)...



And Hugh Masakela's Grazin' in the Grass (1968)...


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This story appears courtesy of JazzWax by Marc Myers.
Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.
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