Guest Post: Tracie Banister's Top 10 Summer Jams

Today I am handing the blog over to Tracie Banister - you may remember I reviewed her novel In Need of Therapy last week. Since it's still technically summer, and In Need of Therapy is such a summer-y read, Tracie's compiled a list of her Top 10 Summer Jams. And now I'm going to stop chattering, and let you get on to the good stuff, take it away, Tracie!

What would summer be without music? It seems like all of my best summer-related memories involve kickin' tunes - whether I was cruising around town with my friends singing along to the hits playing on the radio, hanging out at a pool party with someone's boom box on full blast, or going to outdoor concerts to rock out to my favorite bands, music played a huge part in my hot weather fun. So, what am I listening to on my iPod
this summer? A very eclectic collection of songs that goes all the way back to the '80s (That was my era, after all!) Read on to find out which tunes made the cut and why I deemed them worthy of my playlist.

1) Jessie's Girl - Rick Springfield (Released 3/17/81.)

Working Class Dog was one of the few albums I ever owned (because albums were being replaced by cassettes at the time), and I had such a crush on Rick Springfield! I was too young to see Springfield in concert in his heyday, but I got my chance as an adult when my friend and I went to see him at the Chastain Park Amphitheatre in the summer of '03. He put on an amazing show and despite the mosquitoes and broiling temps, I really enjoyed reverting to my teenybopper self for one night!

2) Every Breath You Take - The Police (Released 5/20/83.)
This was the first summer I could drive, and my Synchronicity cassette never left the tape player in my car (a brand new, eggshell-colored Isuzu that I kept for 9 years!) My friends and I were completely obsessed with this song. On the weekends, we would sit in each other's dens/living rooms with snacks for hours waiting for the moody, black-and-white video to play on MTV. Sting had flowing blond hair back then, and he was a total hottie!

3) Simply Irresistible - Robert Palmer (Released 6/22/88.)
A really great song (and iconic video) that got a lot of airplay in the summer of '88. I remember jammin' out to it in the car on the way to (and from) an outing to Six Flags with friends. And yes, I'll admit it, we all tried to copy the dance moves of those pale-faced, red-lipped models who were bopping in the background behind Robert Palmer. They were so cool!

4) Love Shack - B-52s (Released 9/89.)
The B-52s hailed from Athens, Georgia, (Home of the University of Georgia - Go Dawgs!), so they were a big deal in Atlanta, which is where I moved in the mid-'80s. "Love Shack" was such a great party song that I, along with friends and co-workers, would do a "Woohoo!" and start dancing every time we heard it. I kid you not, we actually did this in the break room where I worked, and the deli where we got our sandwiches for lunch, and the car wash, and the . . . you get the idea!

5) Fly - Sugar Ray (Released 6/17/97.)
I always felt a connection to this group since its members first started playing together when they were going to Corona del Mar High in Newport Beach, CA, and I grew up in SoCal and went to high school (El Toro!) there, too. So, I could totally relate to that chill California vibe Sugar Ray had and I adored the mellow, reggae-inspired groove of "Fly." This is the perfect song to listen to when you're lounging at the pool or beach.

6) Walkin' on the Sun - Smash Mouth (Released 7/18/97.)
The title alone makes this tune a must for any summer-themed playlist. This was the debut single off Smash Mouth's album, Fush Yu Mang, and it was a very memorable introduction to music fans. The first few beats of "Walkin' on the Sun" are instantly recognizable, which is the hallmark of any great song.

7) Livin' La Vida Loca - Ricky Martin (Released 3/23/99.)
I love this song! And I was shocked to find out that it was released in the spring of '99 because I remembered it playing non-stop on the radio that summer. An amazingly catchy tune that makes anyone hearing it want to bust out some salsa moves, along with some serious hairography (Listen to the way Martin sings the line, "Her lips . . .are . . .dev-il . . . red," and try to resist the urge to toss your hair around. I tell you, it's impossible.)

8) Smooth - Santana with Rob Thomas (Released 6/29/99.)
With Carlos Santana's red-hot guitar riffs and Rob Thomas' sultry vocals, this song was destined to be a summer classic. The images in the video were so memorable and sexy (Sweaty is a good look for you, Rob!) that they instantly pop into my head whenever I hear this song.

9) California Gurls - Katy Perry (Released 5/11/10.)
Surprise - I do listen to music that's been released this century! And Katy Perry is one of my favorites because her songs are always so cute and bubbly. This particular one takes me back to my teen years in SoCal (Laguna Beach, which was my summer hangout back in the day, even gets a shout-out from Katy in the lyrics.)

10) Moves Like Jagger - Maroon 5 (Released 6/21/11.)
Last but certainly not least since I consider this to be one of the best songs released in the past decade, this tune gets year-round play from me. I’m a huge fan of Adam Levine's vocals, and he got a nice assist from Christina Aguilera on this one. A lot of people feel compelled to try their own Jagger strut when they hear this song, but it's that whistling melody at the beginning of "Moves Like Jagger" that I'm always trying to imitate (with no success!)

Enjoy whatever you're listening to on your iPod, radio, or CD player this summer, and be sure to check out this video playlist of My Top Ten Summer Jams. It's interesting to see how videos have changed over the last 30 years!

Many thanks to Rebecca for letting me drop by A Word's Worth to share my summer jams with all of you today. If you're looking for a fun read to close out your summer with, I invite you to grab a copy of my comedy and romance-filled e-book, In Need of Therapy, which Rebecca gave a wonderful review to last week!

Book blurb:
Lending a sympathetic ear and dispensing sage words of advice is all part of the job for psychologist Pilar Alvarez, and she’s everything a good therapist should be: warm, compassionate, supportive. She listens, she cares, and she has all the answers, but how’s the woman everyone turns to in their hour of need supposed to cope when her own life starts to fall apart? 
While working hard to make a success of her recently-opened practice in trendy South Beach, Pilar must also find time to cater to the demands of her boisterous Cuban family, which includes younger sister Izzy, an unemployed, navel-pierced wild child who can't stay out of trouble, and their mother, a beauty queen turned drama queen who’s equally obsessed with her fading looks and getting Pilar married before it’s “too late.” Although she’d like to oblige her mother and make a permanent love connection, Pilar’s romantic prospects look grim. Her cheating ex, who swears that he’s reformed, is stalking her. A hunky, but strictly off-limits, patient with bad-boy appeal and intimacy issues is making passes. And the sexy shrink in the suite across the hall has a gold band on his left ring finger.
When a series of personal and professional disasters lead Pilar into the arms of one of her unsuitable suitors, she's left shaken, confused, and full of self-doubt. With time running out, she must make sense of her feelings and learn to trust herself again so that she can save her business, her family, and most importantly, her heart.

Purchase In Need of Therapy at:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/In-Need-of-Therapy-ebook/dp/B008N6Z36Y
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/In-Need-of-Therapy-ebook/dp/B008N6Z36Y/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1342893151&sr=1-1
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-need-of-therapy-tracie-banister/1112265620?ean=2940015006889

Where you can find Tracie:
Blog: http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/traciebanister
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tracie.banister


  1. I absolutely love your first four and I remember them well, having been in my 20s most of the '80s! I do know some of the others, but they don't bring back memories as the first four do. Thanks for the fun walk down memory lane!

  2. You are very welcome, Candy! Wasn't '80s music the best? :)

  3. Oh, gosh - my hubs and I are so stuck, musically, in the 80s! :)

    1. It's a great musical era to be stuck in, Jackie! :)

  4. Ditto on the first four. 80's pop music always makes me think of summer. Great list!

    1. Thanks, Nat! I was very tempted to include a Go-Gos song on my list. Their tunes always make me think of summer and slumber parties! :)

  5. Love Moves Like Jagger! Love Adam Levine. As far as Rick Springfield, I am a bigger fan of "Don't Talk To Strangers" than "Jesse's Girl" LOVE "Don't Talk to Strangers" "Love Shack" always makes me smile. So does "Shiny Happy People" by REM. Nice list!

    1. Who doesn't love Adam Levine? :) I guess that Jessie's Girl is my go-to Springfield song because it was the first one of his I can remember hearing. REM? Wow, I hadn't thought of them in ages, which makes me a bad Georgian since they're one of the big groups from here.

      Glad you liked my list, Meredith!

  6. There is nothing better than 80's music. And Rick Springfield is tops of my 80's loving heart.
    And Adam Levine...so sexy!

    1. Hard to Hold was on one of the Encore channels the other day, and of course, I got sucked into watching it. Rick Springfield was such a hottie back in the day! SWOON