As you're basking at the beach or reminiscing with friends at the retirement community, you may be reaching for your smartphone or laptop to play some of your favorite tunes. With the vast array of songs, online radios and virtual music storage sites, seniors have many chances to find their favorite songs from their youth or listen to a playlist representative of their preferred decade.
There are several tunes that have stood the test of time and earned the right to be called the ultimate songs of summer. Some of these classics bring back memories of childhoods spent rolling in the grass or teenage years boogying around the block.
Consider these classic songs when crafting your summer playlist.
"Surfin' U.S.A." by The Beach Boys (1963)
Arguably one of the most identifiable songs of the summer, this classic hit by The Beach Boys escalated in popularity upon its release in 1963. It's catchy tune combined with whimsical and fun lyrics about engaging in one of the greatest summertime sports make this timeless selection a great choice for the first song of your playlist.
"Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" by Bryan Hyland (1960)
In his 1960 Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show, Dick Clark described this tune as, "depending on how you look at it, the hottest or the coolest record in the country right now." Bryan Hyland - who was only 17 at the time - wrote this catchy summer staple. Be sure to check out Hyland's appearance on Clark's show, which is replete with both screaming fans and retro fashions quite popular in the '60s.
"Summer Nights" by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (1978)
When Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta paired up to sing this tune from "Grease," people couldn't get enough of the duet. Despite the fact this song came out during the peak of the disco era, it's '50s-inspired flavor made it one of the most popular songs of the summer of 1978. Relive the love story of Sandy and Danny by watching the whole scene transpire.
"Dancing in the Street" by Martha & The Vandellas (1964)
Rolling Stone Magazine named this tune by Martha & The Vandellas as the best summer song of all time - and with good reason. Co-written by Marvin Gaye and performed by one of the greatest female trios of all time, this summer classic has more than stood the test of time, as it still features a prominent spot on many summer playlists. Check out the original video as you groove to the beat.
"Got to Give It Up" by Marvin Gaye (1977)
Speaking of Marvin Gaye, don't forget to add his hit from 1977, "Got to Give It Up," to your list. If you haven't already started dancing, though, get your boogie shoes ready, as this song will have you on your feet in just a few seconds. There are several versions of this song available - when it was originally released, Gaye featured two parts on either side of the record. Hear the entire song here.
"Born in the U.S.A." by Bruce Springsteen (1984)
Independence Day has come and gone, but that shouldn't stop you from showing off some American pride. Bruce Springsteen's American Anthem "Born in the U.S.A." is one of the singer's most famous songs of all time, still receiving a great deal of attention and downloads to this day. In fact, Springsteen told Billboard magazine that the record that features this hit changed his life, as it allowed him to reach the largest group of listeners than he ever had at that point. Relive the magic by playing Springsteen's song during your summer celebration.
"Happy" by Pharrell Williams (2014)
Pharrell Williams' feel-good anthem from "Despicable Me 2" exploded at the start of 2014. Along with the song, Williams produced and released the world's first 24-hour music video, which featured many celebrities and citizens dancing to the song for five-minute increments. In addition to clenching the No. 1 spot on the Billboard chart for eight weeks, the song sparked a wave of copycat videos, including several created by seniors living in retirement residences across the globe. The song is the perfect way to round out your musical arrangement.