In the Summertime

In the summertime tits

Date Aired
June 30, 2017
Running Time
Previous review
Next review

Todd plays "In the Summertime" on the piano

A one-hit wonder retrospective

Todd: Welcome back to One-Hit Wonderland, where we take a look at bands and artists known for only one song. OK

[clip of Richie Havens at Woodstock]

Todd (V/O): So you know in the '60s, music was incredibly important and political and relevant to social issues and meaningful and all that.

Todd: Well, it seems like the '60s kind of ends with a hard snap.

[image of newspaper articles with headlines: "Paul Quits the Beatles"....]

Todd (V/O): In 1970, the Beatles break up, [....."Drugs Kill Jimi Hendrix at 24".......] Jimi Hendrix dies, [....Rolling Stone magazine cover with headline: "Let it Bleed"........] The Rolling Stones try to make a second Woodstock [.......newspaper headline: "4 Deaths Mar Rock Festival"] that turns fatal....

Todd: ......and pop music suddenly gets real, real stupid.

[clips of Tony Orlando and Dawn.........]

Tony Orlando: Whoa, Candida

Todd (V/O): Look at this

Todd: 1969.


John Kay: Get your motor running

Head out on the highway

Todd: 1970.

[....Ray Stevens......]

Ray Stevens: Everything is beautiful

In its own way

Todd: 1969.

[.....Creedence Clearwater Revival.....]

John Fogerty: It ain't me

It ain't me

I ain't no fortunate one, oh

Todd: 1970.


David Gates: I wanna make it with you

Todd (V/O): Of course, these things didn't happen overnight. [....The Archies....] There was silly pop music in the '60s, and [....Santana....] serious music in the '70s obviously, [....and the Jackson 5] but that's the way it seemed to me, at least on the pop charts, and who said that dumb music isn't necessarily bad, dumb can be fun.

Todd: And folks, we're going to get very, very dumb tonight.

[video for "In the Summertime," Todd dances along in his chair]

Ray Dorset: In the summertime when the weather is hot
You can stretch right up and touch the sky

Todd (V/O): In 1970, we could not get enough of Mungo Jerry. You know, this guy...

Todd:.....or band. Is it a band or a guy?

Todd (V/O): OK, it's a band, and their big pop hit was "In the Summertime," the summer jam that went to number one in 16 countries.

Todd: America, actually, was not one of them. It only got to number three here, held off by [clip of Edwin Starr's.....]

Todd (V/O): (singing along) War! Huh!

Todd: We showed you everything about the two opposing trends in music in 1970.

Todd (V/O): On one side, an angry protest anthem. On the other, [clip of "In the Summertime"] a goofy funtime song about day drinking and going to the beach. Spoilers if you didn't already know this, but in the battle for the soul of the 70's, protest music would lose definitively [clip of KC and the Sunshine Band - "Shake Your Booty"] to happy-time songs. But even though 70's pop was a good decade for mindless party songs...

Todd: ...most of it did not sound like Mungo Jerry.

Ray Dorset: Sing along with us, dee dee dee-dee dee
Dah dah dah-dah dah

Todd: Honestly, does anything?

Todd (V/O): I mean, I'm gonna try and put a band like this in context, but I'm not sure "In the Summertime" really has context. It's so...simple, it's like it was always there, like nursery rhymes or cave paintings. This is like the first song ever written.

Ray Dorset: Chh chh-chh, uh, chh chh-chh, uh
Chh chh-chh, uh

Todd: What even is this?

Ray Dorset: Chh chh-chh, uh, chh chh-chh, uh
In the summertime

Before the hit

Transcript in progress