Guilty pleasures: Songs I’m ashamed of liking

January 17, 2021 • 3:30 pm

I’m not one of the Cool Kids when it comes to music, as I’m hopelessly mired in the popular songs of my high school, college, and immediate post-college years. The good news, though, is this—and I’ll defend it to the death—those formative years happened to coincide with the best rock/pop music in history. I was lucky, but if you’re older or younger you’re not.

Yet there were some mushy songs during that era: songs that I think are good, but I’m ashamed of liking, for admitting that would bring down opprobrium upon me. It’s the same kind of stink-eye that I get from literature critics and teachers when I say I like Thomas Wolfe, or from hard-rock addicts when I admit that I think Crosby, Stills, and Nash (and Young) are fantastic.

So here I stand, naked in my musical embarrassment, and can do no other. But I’m sure we all have these guilty pleasures, and I hope that readers will confess theirs in the comments. Behold: seven songs that I’m ashamed of liking.

They are all sappy love songs (nothing like “Don’t Fear the Reaper” here, which I like a LOT), and that of course is an admission that I’m a softy. They were all hits, though, so others liked them, too.

This first one, I suspect, is the guilty pleasure of many, perhaps because of its great harmony (especially at the end) and its suggestive lyrics about making the beast with two backs during the daytime. It was recorded in 1975, just at the end of the Era of Good Music.

This was a monster hit in 1965, reaching #1 in the UK and #4 in the U.S. I know there are still Seekers and Judith Durham fans out there. You have to admit she had a powerful voice.

Who remembers Spanky and Our Gang? And yet they were popular for both this song (1967) and another good one, “I’d Like to Get to Know You.”

I like this one so much that it’s on my iPod Nano that I listen to while walking. In fact, it was hearing this song today that made me compile this list during the rest of my walk. It’s by the one-hit wonder band Mercy, was recorded in 1969, and made it to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, right behind “Get Back” by the Beatles.

The Cryan’ Shames: what a dreadful name for a band! But they had a couple of hits, the best being this 1967 song. There’s a slight psychedelic vibrato at 1:40.

This song is on the border between sappy and respectable. It was a 1976 hit (#2 on the Billboard Hot 100) by England Dan and John Ford Coley. It was years before I learned that the lyric I heard as “I’m not talking about Millennium” was really “I’m not talking about moving in.”

And my all-time most-ashamed-of song, but Ceiling Cat help me, I do love it. I’ve always been a secret Barry Manilow fan; he really does write good songs (except for “Copacabana”), plays a mean piano, and has a great voice.

As I recall, he used to back up Bette Midler when she played in the gay bathhouses in New York City. Manilow, of course, is gay, so this song, a hit in 1976,  could be read as expressing either heterosexual or homosexual love. But that’s no matter: I can’t stop listening when it’s on. (I suspect “Mandy” and “Copacabana” are often sung in karaoke clubs.)

There used to be a good live version on YouTube, but I can’t find it.

ADDENDUM: I forgot this gem by Pure Prairie League, again on the border between sappy and respectable. A hit in 1980, it’s the youngest song on the list, but is still forty years old. I also love their song “Amie” (1975), but I believe it’s respectable to like that one.

Your turn: what are your guilty pleasures vis-à-vis music? Fess up!

132 thoughts on “Guilty pleasures: Songs I’m ashamed of liking

  1. Not sure if this is a fave, but the Statler Brothers ‘Flowers on the Wall’ has been an ear worm for the past several days.

    1. Geoffrey Miller once had a Twitter poll asking about music that can motivate you. I think he mentioned this song! Or liked someone’s suggestion of it. Indeed, it’s a good one.

    1. I used to sing that song and change it to “Marty Feldman Eyes”. “All the boys think she’s a spaz, she’s got Marty Feeeeeldman eyes!”

  2. I confessed just last week that I like MacArthur Park. Other than that, I can’t think of anything, although I know that there will be another song for me, for I will sing it.

    1. Despite the disapproval I might receive, I love both Muscrat Love and MacArthur Park (as well all the others from last week’s and this week’s lists). To add a new favorite of mine, how about “Happy Together” by the Turtles? Actually I LOVE nearly all the songs from that era.

      1. I remember The Turtles scored a hit with a cover of Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me, Babe.” I had that 45. It was in a shoebox full of 45s an older guy on my block gave me before he shipped over to Vietnam.

  3. A distinction ought to be made between as-released as-produced singles, and covers. They can be quite different products – e.g. All Along The Watchtower. There’s at least three recorded versions and they all have a distinct take on the song.

    1. There must be dozens of covers of “All Along the Watchtower.”

      But you’ve got the Dylan original, the Hendrix cover, and everybody else competing for a distant third place.

  4. Maybe something by Abba. But, hey, of all their hits I think “Fernando” is a pretty good song! But I can’t think of a “terrible” or widely ridiculed song right now that I’m embarrassed to say that I like.

    As for current pop rock people, does anybody in this thread know The Pernice Brothers? The band has never been famous, but, damn, Joe Pernice is such a strong songwriter. Once in a while a song gets in my head and I play it over and over and over. The current candidate is this song from the band’s latest album, Spread the Feeling (from 2019), “The Devil and the Jinn.” I love this song (you may want to look up the lyrics to catch it all; I’d paste them here but don’t want to hog up the space): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-1XXGgyNCw

    Jerry, there’s lots of good pop rock from the past twenty years or so from lots of good bands and solo artists: Aimee Mann, Michael Penn, Crowded House, The Decemberists, The Ditty Bops, Fountains of Wayne, R.E.M., and The Jayhawks, to name a few. If you want me to burn you a CD, ask me.

    [An edit a few minutes later]: I should add that most of the bands and songwriters mentioned above haven’t had any hit songs because we now live in the age of rap and hip-hop. I’m only saying that there are many good pop songwriters around who are still plugging along even though they get little attention apart from their small but devoted and fervent fan bases.

    1. “Aimee Mann, Michael Penn, Crowded House, The Decemberists” not what I call cheesy pop! I have an Aimee Mann from yeeears ago & a Decemberists rom s few years ago. Jerry possibly would like some of those bands… 😎

  5. Foreigner, ‘I Want to Know What Love Is’
    Scorpions, ‘Still Loving You’
    Bread, ‘Everything I Own’

    [guess there’s a pattern here. . . .]

  6. Nothing to be ashamed of, Jerry. I particularly enjoyed the Seekers’ song. Here’s one of my guilty pleasures: 2Raumwohnung: “2 von Millionen von Sternen” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkoxfYHUIb4

    Imagine half a dozen guys in their late thirties, in black leather jackets and with greasy hair, sitting together drinking. I’m playing my favorites from that new-fangled thing (mp3-player), and suddenly that song comes up (which I had forgotten was there). I blushed, and all of a sudden the other guys say “don’t turn that off, I love that song!”.

    It was a song that, at the time, was used in a publicity spot for the European Union, so it got a lot of airplay.

    Here’s something I’m not at all ashamed of liking, but which makes everybody cringe:
    Slim Whitman: “I’m Casting My Lasso” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUGi2uqdAYI

  7. In the same vein as your set: “Tighter, Tighter” (Alive and Kickin’) Good texture, catchy, in a post-bubble-gum/Tommy James sort of way, but overproduced. The guitar and dragged drum beat got me back in the day. I only found out in the 90’s that the reason it reminded me so much of a Tommy James tune is that it is.

    Nothing to feel guilty about with the Seekers or Spanky. Both were genuinely fine groups.

  8. You should definitely feel guilty about the first one, though it was put to great use in Arrested Development 😛

    I honestly can’t think of a single song I like that I (or, I think, anyone else) would consider a “guilty pleasure.” I even looked through my entire music catalogue, but I can’t find one. There are some songs that I don’t hate, like Lionel Richie’s Hello, but I don’t own any of them or would ever intentionally put them on. If I was scrolling through the radio, I wouldn’t even stop on Hello. I just don’t hate it.

    I guess that’s as close as I can come to a “guilty pleasure,” just because I think it’s a pretty well-written song that’s also very corny. Maybe Octopus’s Garden? A lot of people seem to hate that one. Again, I don’t love it, but I’ll listen to it any time I listen to that album, both because I enjoy the song and think that Abbey Road should always be listened to in its entirety, being largely a concept album. And I guess I would stop on it if I was cycling through the radio and heard it.

      1. It still amazes me that the show set up some jokes sometimes 20 episodes in advance. The intricacy of the writing is just incredible and probably remains unmatched in comedy to this day.

    1. Matt Damon did an a cappella version of “Afternoon Delight” for his psychiatrist/hypnotist in Good Will Hunting 🙂 :

  9. I’ve watched that Seekers video a number of times. You are correct, sir — she has an impressive voice. She isn’t what you’d call pretty, but her singing and her stage presence make the lass awfully appealing here. I also like the bass player’s Clark Kent (or is it Swifty Lazar) eyeglasses. The song stays with me for at least 48 hours.

      1. Exactly, and in a very good way, too. I’ve even been wondering if he wore those glasses for effect (as in, non-prescription glass)

  10. 1) Amy. Oh, Amy Amy Amy! You are too delicious for words! This song’s background band is extremely talented and professional. Especially the non-looping bass! There is something called a ‘walk-down-line” Watch for it at 3:00 after the bass disappeared for several moments.

    2) “Every thing is a source of fun, nobody’s safe for we care for none, life is a joke that’s just begun.” From the excellent film “Topsy-Turvy” about Gilbert and Sullivan. Note: catch the deeply buried salacious line near the end, after they’ve sung the word “maids” so many times “won’t have to wait too long they say.” at 1:01

    1. Oh I forgot about that one! It had gone viral (though no one knew what “viral” meant then) when I was growing up, and then suddenly and completely disappeared.

      I just listened to it again after thrity years or so thanks to your link… I could not understand some of the lyrics on the choppy old radio back then, but now I could understand them all…even more fun than I had remembered.

  11. I thinks sometimes we like particular songs because we associate them with periods and events in our lives that we remember fondly. That might have nothing to do with the merits of the song.
    The opposite is true as well. One song, mentioned in the comments here, I hate with a passion. I don’t know if it objectively a good song. Here is what comes to mind when I hear it:
    I was with my wife, holding her tightly. I had 20 minutes or so before we needed to go to the airport, where I was to go to war for the first time. We just held each other, dreading the approaching departure time. Several songs played during that time, and I cannot listen to any of them now.

    Last time we discussed bad music, I listed “tut” tut” tut”, by Gillian Hills. It is still a dumb song, as she sounds like she is having some sort of seizure imitating a busy signal. After mentioning it on this forum, I put it on my playlist. I cannot explain why.

      1. Abba were/are brilliantly musical melodic pop – great songs include SOS, Dancing Queen. If you like a good spoof, Alberto y lost trios paranoias did lots of bands including Abba 😉

      2. Oh I loved Fernando! It’s a pretty tune. The skies were bright! I always thought that it sounded like they were “sounding out” phonetic lyrics in this song.

  12. I suspect a bit of tongue-in-cheek here. Nevertheless, Kind Sir, stand your musical ground. These are sweet songs you mention. I was smitten by them. I remember Mercy’s “Love Can Make You Happy” from the summer of 1969. I and other naive, impressionable 8th graders had a luau along the river. If they were like me, they were transported by that song into another world, if for only a brief time.

    Regarding this and the other songs you mentioned, just who is out there, fancying themselves worthy to judge our regard for such songs, that you or I or anyone else is required to seek their approbation?

    Re: Spanky and Our Gang’s “Like to Get to Know You”: this is a wonderful exercise in exploring the possibilities of vocal harmony.

    One would have to have the cynical mindset of a NY Times arts critic to have a problem with these songs. (Or should one unhesitatingly prefer the likes of CardiB”s “Wap”?)

    1. With a handle like ‘Cyan’ your stars say you should love ‘CBP’. As for ‘C&C’, I would (in fact have listen(ed)) to same ‘over and over.’ For me, the song has risen from a pestiferous ear worm to an aural drug: ‘dah-dah. . . dah-dah. . . dah-dah. . . .’

  13. These are all great. One thing I’ve appreciated about getting older is losing any sense of being worried what people might think about a thing I like. After all, preference is inherently subjective, no? I mean, I like not-chicken-chicken nuggets. What can I say, they are a favorite food when I’m sick. And, wait for it now, I like to dip them in veganiase and ketchup.

    For music, this new freedom has allowed me to expand my repertoire substantively. So while I can’t think of a song I’m ashamed to love (alright, Shaggy’s Angel, maybe), I can think of one I use to de-earworm any other song. It works like magic, every time.
    That song, my friends, is none other than Ace of Base’s – The Sign. Would recommend if you need to get another one out of your head.

  14. I was more in to Beethoven and Mozart during my high school years, but I did like Peter, Paul and Mary (e.g., “If I Had a Hammer…”) when I was in college. Also the Kingston Trio.

    1. Dear god — in the Deep South of my childhood you would have spent more time hiding out from bullies than it would have taken to commit all of Ludwig van’s works to memory. And the Kingston Trio? The mob would have beat you senseless if they had had a hammer.

    2. Kingston Trio for sure, still know the words for MTA.
      Simon and Garfunkel…. Sounds of Slience and Bridge over Troubled Water.
      Dont need anything else!

  15. “Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)” by Travis Tritt is probably the worst of my guilty pleasures. A horrible, cheesy song that I can’t help but like.

  16. It’s a thin line between guilty pleasures and good oldies. Here’s a few old favorites with my attempt at distinguishing between the two categories.

    Guilty:

    “Sister Golden Hair,” America (I think). Contains a really great opening quatrain:

    “Well, I tried to make it Sunday
    But I got so damn depressed,
    That I set my sights on Monday,
    And I got myself undressed.”

    “Vacation,” Go-Gos.

    Guilty or Not Guilty?

    “Darlin’,” Beach Boys. I think this is a terrific, underappreciated song.

    “I’m a Fool for You,” Lulu. Corny in parts, but what a voice! You wouldn’t call anything by Dusty Springfield a guilty pleasure, right?

    “Itchycoo Park,” Small Faces. There are other songs in this quasi-psychedelic vein (“Too Much To Dream,” Electric Prunes, and “Psychotic Reaction,” Count Five) that straddle the guilty/not guilty line.

  17. Perhaps dear ceiling cat you could do a similar ‘guilty pleasures’ of various categories:

    Food

    TV shows

    Movies

    Celebrities

    Historical moments

    Books

    Artists

    Pretty much anything

  18. THANK YOU for clearing up that misheard lyric in “I’d really love to see you tonight”! My ex-husband told me the line was “I’m not talking about the linen…” (meaning bed linen) but it never really made a lot of sense to me. I guess I assumed it was some kind of 70s slang and never bothered to look it up for myself.

  19. Well, I’m 59, and grew up with most of the same. But I consider myself much luckier since in fact there has been fantastic music in the late 70’s, 80’s and even since, and I am fortunate to be able appreciate it and not live in my time capsule. In fact, the era ’77-’81 was easily the best to experience unfold, and I’ll defend it to the death! I don’t have a lawn, but if I did …

    1. They were great!

      “When I first saw him standing there,
      I longed to speak but did not dare,
      Something inside whispered to me,
      You’d better move in carefully.”

        1. Hmmm. I don’t recall that one. Or do you mean their legs? They were known for featuring their legs quite prominently in photos, videos, etc.

  20. Hi Jerry, Some great tracks in that list! But I wonder if you have come across Finnish symphonic heavy metal band Nightwish? Few years ago they played Wembley Arena, London, their final track of the night being ‘The Greatest Show On Earth’ and Richard Dawkins appeared onstage with them! Fabulous! Watch the dvd of that Wembley track – it’s the best one. Enjoy the video and cheer for the line ‘Lucy of the Afar’…! Have yourself a grand 2021 and stay safe! Best wishes, David (Milne) Atheist and Chair of Greater Manchester Humanists.

  21. Thinking about music as a guilty pleasure, I guess for me it is film music and show tunes. When my kids were little, we tended to play mixtapes and CDs of that sort of music, as a way to keep Barney and the Teletubbies out of our eyes and ears. Examples are “Pure Imagination” and “I Want it Now” from WW, everything from “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Sound of Music”, “Cabaret”, that sort of thing. Besides saving us from the wrath of The Wiggles, my kids acquired some musical literacy, before they grew up and moved on to J-pop and Nordic death metal.

    I have a playlist running (in shuffle), loudly, in my shop all day. People sometimes come in to discuss important things, and I am always somewhat worried that ” Two ladies” or “Hard Knock Life” will come on. But, when nobody is around, I do enjoy that music. I always have.

  22. I may be older than most of you, based on the music mentioned here. But I am also a Seekers fan, as well as We Five with You Were on My Mind.

    Other pleasures: Manfred Mann – Doo Wa Diddy. Screaming jay Hawkins – I Put a Spell On You.

  23. Just to pick five (I have hundreds) that have already been mentioned: Happy Together (it’s my and my wife’s “special song”; we’ve been married 44 years); I’ll Never Find Another You (see previous comment); You Were On My Mind; Brand New Key; Crimson and Clover. I wouldn’t put MacArthur Park on this list, as I consider it a great song, not a guilty pleasure.

    Here’s a couple that would probably bring a “you’ve got to be kidding” response if I ever mentioned them to someone in person: Mac and Katie Kissoon’s “Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep” and Mouth and Macneal’s “How Do You Do”. And, am I the only person in the world who likes Anne Murray’s version of “Daydream Believer” better than the Monkees’ original?

  24. Lots of my favorites gave been mentioned, but not my all time favorite guilty pleasure – “Louie Louie” by the Kings Men. It came out when I was in eighth grade, and along with J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, my (male) friends and I speculated about how filthy the lyrics really were. Of course, they were completely benign, but I still enjoy it.

  25. Here’s a very silly song whose chorus seems to consist mostly of made-up words but I like it anyway because it brings back good memories:

    The internet says this about the lyrics:
    “..After its release, the song became controversial due to conspiracy theories that the lyrics were cryptic references to Satanism, the devil, Hell, and a whole smorgasbord of other excitingly evil things.”

    1. I just learned that the famous chorus actually does have a loose connection to a real language. The parts that are in Spanish speak of a man coming into a discoteque and requesting a song from the DJ. But the guy is too drugged out to remember the title of the song, so he sings the first few lines of it. It’s a song in English, “Rapper’s Delight”, but the guy doesn’t know English. The chorus is him in his drugged state trying to pronounce some semblance of the English words to the song he wants the DJ to play..
      .
      I also just learned that this song was one of the best-selling singles of all time! The discos in Ecuador in the early 2000s were full of people dancing to this, night and day, and every girl in the country learned the peculiar joyful dance that went with the song.

      1. It is, like the songs Jerry talks of, musically very clever – I always think a really good song can be reproduced in a different style & still retain its interest.

  26. Here’s a serious confession. I sure wouldn’t tell my grandkids. I’m intrigued by Japanese female metal groups, such as Aldious, Lovender, Band Maid, Mary’s Blood and Babymetal, also with the whole concept of vocaloids like Hatsune Miku, Gumi, Rin

  27. I think liking the music of one’s teens and early 20s is extremely common and I have a theory: – just my crazy theory: I think it has something to do with brain development – similar to the fact that we loose the ability to learn languages after that age, and/ or the development of the PFCtx.
    Pinker has some stuff he’s researched about music and if I ever have his attention I’d bring it up with him b/c the phenom is common. We can guess the ages of the regular posters above by their tastes alone.

    Professor your stuff is a little “early” for me but I like a some of yours still.
    Me? I’m a Beatles, Grateful Dead, Velvet U., Brian Eno, David Bowie, (80s) Pet Shop Boys, Lauper, Bangles guy… though I note you file it as “embarrassing songs” and none of them can touch Afternoon Delight. hehehhe

    I’m 50 btw, so its the late 60s, 70s and 80s for me!
    cheers,
    D.A.
    NYC
    https://whyevolutionistrue.com/2020/06/10/photos-of-readers-93/

  28. I love that Seekers song! Not a guilty pleasure in my eyes since it’s a gorgeous song and of course Judith Durham has an incredible voice!!

  29. It always irritates me that although my ‘youthful music years’ were 1965 – 1975 (roughly) the compilation discs/cds were always ‘Hit of the Sixties’ and ‘Hits of the Seventies’ meaning that half of each compilation was superfluous.

    My guilty pleasures include the Bonzo Dog Do-Dah bands offerings such as ‘Urban Spaceman’ – I saw their last public performance before they broke up.

    1. Hardly a guilty pleasure!

      Anyone with an understanding of music appreciates their genius, even if they personally have other tastes in music. Many proper rock musicians are ABBA fans.

    2. Speaking of ABBA, this is definitely a guilty pleasure:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QCHaioAJSuw

      Now I have never been a fan of mashups, not at all, but this one is really good. I am also familiar with both songs (two of my favorite bands), and while there has been some editing, they haven’t been altered. Not just the sound, but also the images are segued wonderfully.

      Note that both bands are famous not just for being the best in their field, but also for their excellent hair and spandex. 🙂

  30. Romeo – Mr. Big (UK Mr. Big not US metal Mr. Big).
    The Diary of Horace Wimp – ELO
    Let ‘Em In – Paul McCartney & Wings

    Well, this has been helpful. I can feel the shame melt away……

  31. Copacabana is great! As for my own guilty pleasures, I admit, I do love some proper cheese. Madonna, Kylie, Tom Jones, the schmaltzier Elton John, Lady Gaga, Ed Sheeran… Most of whom, I submit, are or can be ‘objectively’ good, but undeniably there’s a lot of goo there, too, which I admit my love for. I’m never as gay as when I’m belting out Kylie in the shower.

  32. Dr. Coyne, I really enjoyed the trip down memory lane with your list of songs you’re ashamed liking. Berry Manilow is my wife’s favorite singer and Weekend in New England is her favorite song of his. She’s a “fanilow.” I’m old school, and don’t really enjoy much of the music past the late seventies, there are exceptions of course.

    My most ashamed of liking song would have to be Karma Chameleon by the Cultural Club. He’s a bit from Wikipedia about the song and group.

    “Karma Chameleon” is a song by English band Culture Club, featured on the group’s 1983 album Colour by Numbers. The single was released in the United Kingdom in September 1983.[3] It spent three weeks at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 in early 1984, becoming the group’s biggest hit and only US number-one single among their many top 10 hits. The sleeve features work from the photographer David Levine.

    In the group’s home country of the United Kingdom, it became the second Culture Club single to reach the top of the UK Singles Chart (after “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”), where it stayed for six weeks in September and October 1983, and became the UK’s biggest-selling single of the year 1983.[4] To date, it is the 38th biggest-selling single of all time in the UK,[5] selling over 1.52 million copies.[6] It has sold over 5 million global copies, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time worldwide.[7] In 2015, the song was voted by the British public as the nation’s ninth favourite 1980s number one in a poll for ITV.[8]

    1. Boy George was unusual for the time in that he could actually sing! So too could George Michael from the same era.

  33. When my devoutly Catholic brother wondered why I, formerly also devout, now an atheist, would find pleasure in listening to a religious song (“Abide with me” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PmjuqZSH_aY), I explained that it was merely a matter of letting the limbic system hold sway over the frontal cortex for a few minutes in the evening.

  34. Although one may disagree with the author’s beliefs one may nevertheless appreciate the sincerity of these beliefs and recognise how they have informed the work. As an atheist I feel no contradiction in loving the sacred works of composers such as Tallis, Buxtehude and Bach and consider the Missa Papae Marcelli by Palestrina to be one of the most beautiful and inspiring works ever written.

  35. The Move’s “Flowers in the Rain” is one I gulp at first, look around before singing along…

    “Shannon” by Henry Gross

    Written and performed by Henry Gross in 1976, “Shannon” is a song written about the death of Beach Boy Carl Wilson’s Irish Setter…Shannon.After just meeting Carl Wilson,Gross was invited over to his Beverly Hills mansion and talking with Wilson told him that he had an Irish Setter at home named Shannon. Gross was quite moved as Wilson told him that he had an Irish Setter named Shannon that had been killed only recently when hit by a car.After learning about Shannon’s life with Wilson,Gross went home and produced “Shannon”… all the while emulating The Beach Boys sound. The following lyrics – “Shannon is gone I hope she’s drifting out to sea,she always loved to swim away,maybe she’ll find an island with a shady tree,just like the one in our backyard” is from Wilson’s reference that Shannon would spent hours in the Pacific Ocean and then would go rest under a tree in his backyard. “Shannon” reached No.6 in The Billboard 100 of 1976. Carl Wilson died in 1998 of lung cancer…he was 51 years old.

    You can hear the Beach Boys in this tune.

    Most of the songs on the list of Prof(E) I’ve never heard before.

    1. “Go Away Little Girl” by Donny Osmond!

      There, done!

      (Note that “Sugar Sugar” by the Archies would have worked as well; there’s no bottom to the hole of my musical taste; I like the one you mentioned as well!).

        1. Yeah, Steve Lawrence. Which happens to be my name, tho I’m not the Steve Lawrence who sang that. I did hear that title many times, tho.

  36. After reading this comment thread I’d strongly recommend a music podcast called “The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn”. He really knows his music and picks some great songs to listen to. There are some deep cuts mostly from the 60s, 70s and occasionally the 80s.

  37. I totally agree with Professor Coyne’s endorsement of Afternoon Delight. I sense nostalgia as this was a Dog’s Day summer song when you were going to meet your girlfriend at 3pm at your abode when it was hot and humid and thus spurred “heated ideas.”

    However, typically nothing happened in the afternoon as you had to attend to your studies and other practical business.

    But a double-down was if the next song on the radio was “Summer in the City” is a song recorded by The Lovin’ Spoonful:

    ” But at night it’s a different world
    Go out and find a girl
    Come on, come on, and dance all night
    Despite the heat, it’ll be alright
    And babe, don’t you know it’s a pity
    The days can’t be like the nights
    In the summer, in the city
    In the summer, in the city.”

    I also agree with Professor Coyne regarding the Seekers and Spanky and Our Gang.

    I would add “Kind of a Drag” by the Buckinghams.

    Shame Professor Coyne, you randy evolutionist.

  38. Carpenters, including You’ve Only Just Begun. Rainy Days and Mondays. I think songs are pinned to a place and time. I worked at Lynn Sign Company as a felter (working felt into grooves of a grooved board, so plastic letters could be placed and exchanged). A radio played. I was in a new relationship with a W&M star, then at Harvard grad school, Social Psych. I was twenty. Once thirty, young lawyer, Fleetwood Mac songs, which take me right back to those stressful times, a balm then and a life marker. Others can share my love for these songs, but the meaning is uniquely mine.

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