Tuesday, July 31, 2012

95 Songs of Summer, #42 - "Brother Louie" (1973)

We've arrived at the last day of July, the time of year at which all the old farts such as myself say things like, "Wow, I can't believe how fast the summer is going."  Sure, it's a cliche, but it also happens to be true, year in and year out. 

When I was in elementary school, the cycle of summer went something like this - those first few weeks after school ended in June were glorious, a feeling of freedom rarely matched by anything that came later in life.  Then you had the 4th of July, always fun; followed by the rest of the July when the "official family vacations" would often take place.  And then, August.  Still a lot of summer left, but close enough to the beginning of the new school year to start to think things like, "Oh man, only 4 weeks left...only 3 weeks left..." and so on.  You'd even start to see commericals for the new fall shows that would debut in September.  And truth be told, by August a lot of the summer's sheen had worn off.  It was still hot as you-know-what, and in the incessant heat even good, fun things like swimming and playing tennis would start to get a little boring - especially when you'd done them non-stop for almost two months. 

None of that really has anything to do with today's song, except to say that during this little project I'm doing my best to match the songs with the period during the summer when they first hit the airwaves (and the psyche).  The way my mind works (which, admittedly is a bit strange), it would feel odd right now to post a song that was a hit right as school was letting out.  Which reminds me - if I do this again next year, and I think I might, because there are tons of songs I'm not going to get to on this go-around, I will probably begin the countdown on Memorial Day weekend, and end it on Labor Day weekend - the traditional, if not factual, summer season.

It's too late to make a long story short, so about this song, I'll just say that it started to hit the radio in late July, and then made it to the top of the charts sometime in mid-August.  The stations here played it to death, but the song was so strong that it could withstand whatever number of plays it would get in a given day.  We had a lot of teenage conversations about what it all meant, and I'll spare you those except to say that they were pretty embarrassing, and that we really had no idea.

And of course, I also have to thank Louie C.K., for using this as the theme song on his remarkable, brilliant show "Louie" - thereby bringing the song back into the public consciousness. In fairness, I should note that he uses a different version, although it sounds very similar to this one. 

So with all that, today we bring you "Brother Louie," Stories, from the summer of 1973.

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