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Friday, July 13, 2007

"Summer's here and the time is right...

For dancing in the streets!"

Now, we here at PlainTalk cannot recommend dancing in the streets of Des Plaines, IL, unless it takes place during a parade or a neighborhood festival when the street is safely protected from traffic. However, dancing within the safe and comfy confines of your own car on a gorgeous summer night can certainly make you feel good and even relieve the stress when you're stuck at ONE MORE freight train.

Summer is indeed the season for cruising with the perfect song on the car stereo. Spring is too rainy and unpredictable - better to keep your eyes on the road. In the Winter, it takes 30 minutes for our hands to warm up when we first get in the car - so fumbling with CDs and radio knobs is less than ideal. But ah...the sweet sounds of music in the Summertime. Your Web Services Librarian (and blogger) has been known to juggle between CDs, iPod and radio, looking for just the right song to fit the mood, the weather and the surroundings.

How about you? Do you have a favorite Summer driving song or album? (We can still call CDs "albums," right?) Is there one song that always brings back warm weather memories for you? A song you heard on a first date or on the night you graduated from high school or even that magical evening when Mom or Dad handed you the car keys for the first time? A song that transports you to a summer vacation in the Wisconsin woods or a long road trip to Disney World, or maybe just a late night cruise down Lake Shore Drive? Whether it's a classic 50s ballad, a big-haired 80s rocker or even some lively Mozart, everyone has a preference when it comes to Summer driving music.

I have so many favorites I can't possibly name them all here - but I will add my votes down below in the Comments section. If you've been wondering how to leave your own Comments on this blog - after every post you'll see a link that says "0 Comments," or "Post A Comment" depending on how many responses have already been made. Click on that link and you'll find a place for typing in your own thoughts. Please write to us! We love hearing from you and we want PlainTalk to reflect the entire Des Plaines, IL, community.

So send us the sounds of Summer. Do you know the Des Plaines Public Library has a large collection of CDs? Some particularly fun selections are CDs that collect songs from particular eras, found in our "Rock Collections" area. For example:

The Sounds of the Seventies collection features driving songs like "Truckin'" by the Grateful Dead (1971), "Takin' It To the Streets" by The Doobie Brothers (1976) and "Cruisin'" by Smokey Robinson (1979).

The Rock N' Roll Era collection has classics like "Leader of the Pack" by The Shangri-Las, "Shake, Rattle and Roll" by Joe Turner, "Sh-boom" by The Chords and yes, even "Dancing in the Streets" by Martha and the Vandellas.

Billboard's Top Rock 'N' Roll Hits collections are organized by year and you'll find such hits as Steppenwolf's "Born To Be Wild" and the Jackson 5's "Dancing Machine."

Stop by the Readers' Services desk and ask the staff for the Rock Collections area of the library or any of our Music collections - they'll be glad to help you find the music that will make your Summer memories come alive.


  1. Just a few of my Summer driving favorites are:

    "Photograph" by Def Leppard (yes, even librarians like guys with big hair); "Who Wouldn't Want to Be Me" by Keith Urban; "Summertime" by Kenny Chesney; "Never Coming Home" by Sting;"Where the Streets Have No Name" by U2.

  2. What a great topic! I love Aliotta, Haynes & Jeremiah's "Lake Shore Drive. It warms me up even in the dead of winter. Also, "Summertime', from Porgy & Bess, done by the Modern Jazz Quartet. And, finally, almost anything by Jimmy Buffet.

  3. Excellent topic! You caught my attention with the "Summer's here and the time is right . . ." which is also a line in Bruce Springsteen's "Racing in the Street."

    One of my all-time favorite summer songs is "Thunder Road," especially the line: "Roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair/Well the night's busting open these two lanes will take us anywhere."

  4. Yes - I actually love Springsteen's "Racing in the Streets" even more than "Dancing in the Streets." I was afraid to mention it only because I didn't want to get in trouble for encouraging drag racing in Des Plaines. :) Good call.

  5. Just like Sara, I love Aliotta, Haynes & Jeremiah's "Lake Shore Drive." What an awesome song.

    I also really enjoy Beck's album "Guero." A fun little album that just seems to fit when it's really hot outside and you're hitting the highway.

  6. Beck's "Guero" has my favorite song of his on it, the one called "Missing." Strangely enough, the first time I heard it was Christmas Eve, so I tend to lump it in with winter thoughts!

  7. "See You in September" by the Tempos. I know it's an oldie, but it makes me think of summer when I was a kid.


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