Monday, May 30, 2011

On my turntable: Nat King Cole - Those Lazy-Crazy-Hazy Days of Summer

I found this LP earlier this week for 50 cents. Aside from being sealed nothing could make this record closer to mint condition.   
Those Lazy-Crazy-Hazy Days of Summer (1963) is supposed to be a collection of songs assembled for wonderful, fun summer days. As the liner notes instruct us listeners,
...break open the popcorn, fill up a giant-size pitcher with root beer, and listen to some of the happiest music in a long, warm century of summers!
I can't listen to this record without thinking about how much the "good old summertime" was a myth. For privileged middle-to-upper class straight white kids, summer probably was a pretty sweet time fifty years ago.  But for everyone else in America the civil rights movement was percolating pretty fast, and it was not a pleasant era if you were anything else but straight, white, and privileged in this country. You wouldn't know it by looking at this album though, with its 20-something white couples frolicking on the beach. Nat King Cole, the record's actual artist, is pictured on the back of the album cover.

All of the social commentary aside, Cole was a great singer, and this certainly is an interesting and pleasant album.  I chose it today because Memorial Day always seems to be the kickoff to summer (at least in snowy states like Minnesota).  To all our service men and women past and present, thank you for all of your sacrifice.

And to all my readers: I hope you have a badass summer!

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