Since I am a professional wedding DJ and having a wide music catalog is my thing, I felt it was fitting on this first day of summer to craft a soundtrack to the most popular season in Charleston. Enough of me talking. Grab those headphones and crank up those speakers. Check out what a Charleston summer sounds like.
1. "Summer In The City" | Lovin' Spoonful | 1966
We begin this ultimate soundtrack of a Charleston summer with this summer classic released in July 1966, which would go all the way to Number 1 for 3 weeks in August 1966. It's a song that also shows up on Rolling Stone's Top 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.
2. "Summertime" | DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince | 1991
Definitely one of the biggest songs of summer back in 1991. It hit the airwaves in May of 1991, and went all the way to Number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
3. "Summer" | Calvin Harris | 2014
This was the second song to be released from his fourth album "Motion" in ther spring of 2014. By July 0214, the single had hit platinum status in the United States.
4. "Summer Breeze" | Seals & Crofts | 1972
This was the title track off their 1972 album that was also covered quite nicely by the Isley Brothers. This soft rock song would be perfect to have in the headphones as you are heading out to some of the area's beautiful beaches.
5. "Boys Of Summer" | Don Henley | 1984
The first single to be released from his album "Building The Perfect Beast" went all the way to Number 1 on the Rock charts. In 2002, DJ Sammy performed a cover of the song and went all the way to Number 2 in England. While you are in Charleston, take in a baseball game at Joe Riley Park and see the Riverdogs. Joe Riley Park provides the perfect atmosphere for this popular summer sport.
6. "Cruel Summer" | Bananarama | 1983
Released in the summer of1983, this song is the absolute perfect song to have in your headphones or on the car stereo as you are heading out to Folly Beach or any of the incredible beaches in the Charleston area. The song was featured in "The Karate Kid", and there would be a remix released in 1989 in England, and then Ace Of Base would cover it in 1998.
7. "Summer of '69" | Bryan Adams | 1985
Released in the summer of 1985, this song was the 4th song to break on the radio from the mega album "Reckless". It's a definite huge request in the 80s category on Charleston wedding playlists.
8. "Wipe-Out" | The Surfaris | 1965
One of the most familiar instrumental songs of the 1960s. The song was originally released in 1963, but later re-released in the spring of 1965 and went on to sell over a million copies.
9. "Summer Nights" | John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John | 1978
Perfect timing for the addition of this song to my blog as the movie "Grease" just celebrated it's 40th anniversary in 2018.
10. "Endless Summer Nights" | Richard Marx | 1988
Richard Marx's 3rd song to break from his first self titled album would go all the way to Number 2 on pop charts in the spring of 1988. The perfect song to listen to as you get lost in the nightlife of Charleston.
11. "Summer Rain" | Belinda Carlisle | 1990
Belinda Carlisle's third album "Runaway Horses" was not nearly as popular as her 1987 release that featured "Heaven Is A Place On Earth", but "Summer Rain" is something that's quite popular in the afternoon and evening around the Charleston area.
12. "Suddenly Last Summer" | The Motels | 1983
The Motels were an early 80s New Wave band from Berkeley, California that released this song in the fall of 1983, where it would eventually crack the Top 10.
13. "Under The Boardwalk" | The Drifters | 1964
If you come into Charleston at the right time, you'll be able to dance to this song at one of the many Shag & Beach Music events going on throughout the area.
14. "In The Summertime" | Mungo Jerry | 1970
The perfect song to celebrate a "care-free" Charleston summer. Released in the summer of 1970, the song would hit Number 1 all over the world.
15. "Hot Fun In The Summertime" | Sly & The Family Stone | 1969
There be lots of hot fun when you visit Charleston in the summer. Be sure to dress light and cool. This song went all the way to Number 2 on the Billboard charts in the summer of 1969.
16. "Sun Is Shining" | Bob Marley & The Wailers | 1978
Those reggae vibes add an extra layer of chill factor and relaxation as you enjoy a Charleston summer.
17. "The Heat Is On" | Glenn Frey | 1985
This was one of the biggest songs of Glenn Frey's solo career. You might remember it from the Beverly Hills Cop Soundtrack. It would go all the way to Number 2 in March of 1985.
18. "Temperature" | Sean Paul | 2006
This "hot" song was Sean Paul's 3rd number one song from his 2005 album "The Trinity". It would go on to become his biggest song in America.
19. "Hot In The City" | Billy Idol | 1982
The first single to break from Billy Idol's self titled album in 1982. It would precede one of his signature songs in "White Wedding", but fail to crack the Top 20.
20. "Hot Hot Hot" | Buster Poindexter | 1987
Buster Poindexter was the alter ego of the lead singer of The New York Dolls, David Johansen. The song was released in the summer of 1987.
21. "Gonna Make You Sweat" | C&C Music Factory | 1990
The title track from this amazing dance record was released in the fall of 1990 and went straight to Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
22. "Island In The Sun" | Weezer | 2001
The perfect song to hear as you are exploring the streets of downtown Charleston or heading out to lay in the sun out at Folly Beach or the Isle Of Palms. The song would go all the way to Number 11 on the Modern rock charts.
23. "Hot Summer Night" | Grace Potter & The Nocturnals | 2010
The perfect uptempo "hot" song to hear as you cruise the streets of Charleston. You'll love Grace's voice on this song too.
24. "Soak Up The Sun" | Sheryl Crow | 2002
The first song to be released from her album "Cmon Cmon". The song would go all the way To Number 1 on the Top 40 Charts, and crack the Top 5 on the Adult Contemporary charts.
25. "Blister In The Sun" | Violent Femmes | 1983
You probably remember this song from the John Cusack movie "Grosse Pointe Blank" from 1997. This was the first song to be released on their self titled album.
26. "Heatwave" | Martha & The Vandelas | 1963
You knew there had to be some Motown on this list. This song was released during the hot summer of 1963 and went all the way to Number 1 on the R&B charts, as well as Number 4 on the pop charts.
27. "Summer Love" | Justin Timberlake | 2007
Released in November of 2007, this song about "summer" would make it all the way to Number6 on the Billboard charts.
28. "Summertime Sadness" | Lana Del Rey | 2012
The sexy voice of Lana Del Rey makes this romantic ballad the perfect soundtrack to your Charleston summer. The song would go all the way to Number 5 on the hot rock charts.
29. "Magic" | The Cars | 1984
Ever since I have been into music and a DJ, this song screams "summer" and should be in your Spotify or Pandora as you make the trek out to one of Charleston's area beaches. The opening lyrics start: "Summer, it turns me upside down...." Sounds about right when you come to Charleston for a summer vacation or weekend trip.
30. "Some Like It Hot" | The Power Station | 1985
If you are coming to Charleston in the summer, you must like it hot. You'll see temperatures in the upper 80s - mid 90s, and sticky sultry nights in the mid-upper 70s."Some Like It Hot" was the first song to be released from the super group Power Station that went all the way to the Top 10 on the Hot 100 charts.
And after this blog post, I am going to jump into the swimming pool on this hot summer night or maybe take a midnight swim out at the beach. All these songs are HOT. I'm sweating. :) I sure hope you enjoy this rather HOT soundtrack as you explore Charleston, SC this summer. Believe me, if you are coming to Charleston for the first time this summer, you'll want to come back maybe in the fall or even the spring. It's a beautiful place that takes multiple trips to get to see. If you and your significant other are coming to Charleston, you might be back soon for your wedding. It's one of the most romantic cities in the world and you won't be able to leave it without thinking about how beautiful your wedding might be here. Are you recently engaged and thinking about getting married in Charleston and want to speak with one of the best Charleston wedding DJs? Click HERE to tell me a little more about your big day.