Trial Balloon


Posted at 5:03 AM on May 26, 2009 by Dale Connelly (37 Comments)

Radio Heartland listeners can win tickets to see Richie Havens this Thursday night at the Cedar Cultural Center. Entries close at 1 pm on Wednesday.

I hope everyone had a fine Memorial Day. I did some yard work, planted flowers and vegetables, spent time with my lovely family and visited those unbearably cute prairie dogs and hard working bears at the Minnesota Zoo.
And I got licked by a giraffe!
Their tongues are incredibly long and are colored black for protection. I guess giraffes spent so much time eating by reaching into the trees for tasty leaves, they'd have sunburned tongues if not for the pigmentation!

My favorite piece of writing from this weekend about those who serve our country was this entry in Bob Collins' always excellent News Cut blog. The folds in the photo (from being in Bob's wallet for the past 18 years) add to its power, which is already considerable. And the way Bob's readers helped solve the mystery is impressive.

The post-Memorial Day conceit is that our summer has officially begun, although the astronomical start of the season is a few weeks away. The Earth won't reach its summer solstice until 12:45 am central time on Sunday, June 21st, which also happens to be Father's Day this year.

So what, you say? So what, indeed!

I'm all for extending the warmest season, so if we can use music to claim these intervening days between "popular" summer and "actual" summer, we should do it. Let me know your favorite summertime songs and I'll try to work them in.
Also, I looked at the All Music Guide online and it listed 5,591 recordings of George and Ira Gershwin's "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess. Could there be 19 worth playing once each weekday morning at about the same time between now and June 21? Or would that simply be too much of a good thing?

I rely on you for inspiration and guidance.

Comments (37)

good morning! usually Sherrilee gets up earlier than i - on vacation?
as for playing one version of "Summertime" each day until June 21 i say what Steve says when he means yes, do it: "gopher!"
this weekend i planted seeds, in anticipation of promised rain (none yet). planted 2 kinds of slicing cukes, a yellow watermelon variety, cantelope, sweet dumpling winter squash, carrots, kale, mustard greens. still have to get the taters in the ground - soon.
on the goat front we are fine except poor huge Dream. she is her usual calm self, but can barely walk four steps for the weight of the kids and udder. Dale and Mike, do you have the Everly Brothers' (or other artist) "Dream?" i'll be back in from milking, feeding, cleaning about 7:45. maybe if we all sing along she will unload those babies.....

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | May 26, 2009 6:15 AM

Morning Heartlanders! Missed you all last week when I had company.

But had a glorious holiday weekend. Fixed the lawnmower (all by myself!!), spent some quality shopping time w/ my teenager, finished two books and had our first cookout of the summer. Aahhhhh.

Dale.. no such thing as too much of a good thing. I'd love to hear a different version of Summertime every morning!

Have a fabulous day all!

Posted by sherrilee | May 26, 2009 6:16 AM

forgot - Dale and Mike - have you something for Mark on the first day of his new job? we wish him well.
and Kay H must be back from her animal-helping vacation: welcome back!

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | May 26, 2009 6:18 AM

Another vote for reinforcing "summer." It is already the longest summer possble with both the earliest possible date for Memorial Day and the latest date for Labor Day.

My summer soundtrack used to be the opportunity for lawn seats to the remarkable concerts at Wolf Trap outside DC. We got rained on a lot but heard PP&M, Judy Collins, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, and every year the Alvin Ailey dancers did incredible moves to "Wade in the Water."

Have a great Tuesday!

Posted by Beth-Ann | May 26, 2009 6:43 AM

Good morning, all!

How about Nat King Cole singing Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer to bring in summer?

A different version of Summertime each day seems totally feasible. What a great idea!

Have a great day!

Posted by elinor | May 26, 2009 6:45 AM

Dale, I wouldn't mind if you played Summer Time, picking 19 versions for each show from now until summer starts officially. I like the Miles Davis recording on his Porgy and Bess album. It's not too long, so it would probably work for RH programing

Posted by Jim | May 26, 2009 7:09 AM

Dale, I like the idea of hearing Summertime every day until the Solstice. On my "bucket list" is to see a live performance of "Porgy and Bess".

Got my veggie garden all put in - two raised beds installed, filled with soil (gosh, that's heavy stuff), planted with veggie seeds and peppermint, shallots, and tomato plants, all topped with netting, and watered. I'm bone tired, but in a satisfied way.

Licked by a giraffe? Eeewwwwwwwww!!

Posted by Gail in Wisconsin | May 26, 2009 7:21 AM

I like the sound of Summertime version each day!

Well we had a very nice weekend, enjoyed the weather, gosh it was nice if a bit windy. We mostly worked on garden stuff and family gatherings at the grill with a nap or two thrown in for good measure. Lovely!

Posted by Kim in Saint Paul | May 26, 2009 7:25 AM

One of my favorite songs of summer is the Jaymes one with "Summertime, Summertime, Sum sum summertime..." lyrics. And here's another vote for at least 19 verstions of the P & B Summertime.

I was reading yesterday's entries and had to laugh at Barb's in Blackhoof about anthropomizing re: Alba's grieving... Then Beth Ann said she was NOT anthropomizing re: Jasper... I wonder how many of us attribute human type emotions to some object or animal in our lives? I frequently imagine Charlie the Cat's finicky eating habits are because he's upset with us, the birds, the other cat next door, etc.

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | May 26, 2009 7:28 AM

Besides the Porgy and Bess "Summertime" (which I think I could hear daily) - I'm a fan of Janis Joplin's "Summertime" - just right for kicking back with a cool drink.

I think I must have had a parallel weekend to Dale - I also worked in the garden, was duly impressed by the story in the News Cut blog (very moving), and spent time watching the unbearably cute prairie dogs at the Zoo yesterday.

We did not feed the giraffes however - Daughter (it was her 5th birthday yesterday, so she got to choose) was more interested in the goats at the "farm." I think they're more her size...she did not like the "bully goat" as she called him - he was a big white goat who would push the smaller goats out of the way to get at the feed offered by us visitors. Daughter proclaimed him mean and naughty - and asked if I could feed the littler one, who looked a little like Artie I think, through the mesh rather than the big opening where the goats could fit their heads through (mission accomplished). And I couldn't help but think of Dream when I saw the mama goats and their big udders. It just doesn't look comfortable - even if the babies are already out - big tummy, big udders. Ouch.

Posted by Anna | May 26, 2009 7:31 AM

Good Morning!

Great morning actually starting with a fresh hot espresso delivered by my sweetie as a wake up call and then the songs to send me on my way today. Dale and Barb might get a call from my new boss to verify the songs that were played to which I had to listen were in fact the legitimate reason I'm late this morning...

OK actually, I go in a bit later today but what a great send off! I'm in favor of the series of Summer Time as long as the Ray Charles version is in the mix.

Have a great day, I'm goin' in!

Posted by Mark | May 26, 2009 7:31 AM

I'm kind of curious what it's like being licked by a giraffe. Wet and sloppy like a dog, or dry and raspy like a cat?

For summer songs, John Prine's "Lake Marie" comes to mind, since it always pops into my head when cooking on an outdoor grill, and of course "Summer Before the War".

I like Janis Joplin's version of "Summertime".

Posted by Linda in St. Paul (West Side) | May 26, 2009 7:32 AM


Thanks for playing a Dave Frischberg tune. I didn't get to hear it because I was out on my morning stroll (in a light rain this morning), but now that I've got a recording of "Let's Eat Home," that's okay.

Tell Jasper that Frischberg has lots of good late-night sounds on some of his recordings. (I'm usually home and able to listen in the evenings.)

Posted by Ken in Northfield | May 26, 2009 7:35 AM

Okay, it's Dave Frishberg. I must have been compelled to insert that extra letter from my ancient studies of Deutsch sprache. Es tut mir Leid, Herr Frishberg.

Posted by Ken in Northfield | May 26, 2009 7:37 AM

One of my favorite things is the John Coltrane My Favorite Things album, which features a great version of Summertime! Took me a while to think of which version of the song I might choose from among the 5,591 recordings.

Posted by elinor | May 26, 2009 7:44 AM

Good Morning, Welcome to the first day of summer...yes? Dale, "gopher" a versions of Summertime each day.

Do you have Barbra Streisand in your library? I haven't heard her version of "When a bee lies sleeping" for years. (Title?) For me and my bees.

Barb in Blackhoof and I did have a fine Saturday. But in true MN/Scandinavian fashion, I am paying for it by being "under the weather" now. Though getting to stay home and watch the bees and hummingbirds flit around the apple blossoms just outside my windows isn't all bad.

Posted by cynthia in mahtowa | May 26, 2009 7:46 AM

Good Morning RH,
19 days of Summertime? That's sure to rival 12 days of Christmas! A couple of my summer favorites are A Summer Place and June is Bustin' Out All Over. Last week when you played Serious, it reminded me of Johnny Mathis' Wonderful Wonderful, and also the doo-wop song So Much In Love. Do you have either of those?

Posted by Donna | May 26, 2009 7:55 AM

Good morning all,

I'll submit for your consideration most any version of "Summertime Blues" by Albert Lea's favorite son Eddie Cochran. Robert Gordon had a good version (any Robert Gordon rockabilly would be fun).

I'm glad you had the day off yesterday Dale. Enjoyed the Saturday night show. Bob Franke's post in yesterday's blog was good. I look forward to listening to the show and reading the blog - it's a great way to get a positive start to the day.

Posted by Mike in Albert Lea | May 26, 2009 7:57 AM

thanks for the Dream songs, Dale and Mike - gave her a little treat of black oil sunflower seeds for being such a good, patient girl.
Cynthia - ill today? something you ate here? we promise we were eating plain brownies (not a la Alice B Toklas) and coffee!
Anna, i like the "bully goat" name - ha, ha!
thanks All for your good thoughts - did you ever think you'd be thinking, much less talking about udders? :-)

Posted by barb in Blackhoof | May 26, 2009 8:05 AM

Like Donna, I also like "Theme from A Summer Place".

My summer favorites are bluegrass and dobro music - like Mike Auldridge and The Seldom Scene.

Posted by Gail in Wisconsin | May 26, 2009 8:11 AM

Good Morning Heartlanders....

What a great weekend! I'm on vacation for the rest of the week to get a garage sale put together for Thur - Sat. It's more work than being at work!

As for summertime songs anything by the Beach Boys always does it for me.

Posted by Kate | May 26, 2009 8:14 AM

And oh yes please......"Theme From a Summer Place"

Posted by Kate | May 26, 2009 8:19 AM

"Flapping Your Broken Wings" is one of the strangest set of lyrics ever. That said, I've been there -- except that everyone remained fully clothed and we left before the cops showed up.

Posted by Ken in Northfield | May 26, 2009 8:25 AM

One song that I have always associated with summer (riding in a convertible with the top down) is "Wheels". I think it may have been recorded by the Ventures in the early 60's.

Posted by Lu from Plymouth | May 26, 2009 8:27 AM

I am looking forward to hearing some version of 'Summertime' everyday until the summer solstice. Maybe we could vote on our favorite version at the end of the series?

'Brown Eyed Handsome Man' by Mollie O'Brian reminded me of 'Brown Eyed Girl' by Van Morrison, which has always been a summer song to me. Does Jasper have that in the vast archives of the music library?

We opened up our little cabin up north over the weekend. Our neighbors on either side, who live there year round, each came over a couple of times to greet us and rejoice in the fact that the 'long winter' is finally over. I have wondered at times if they might resent us 'part-timers' and view us interlopers and outsiders, but it seems like they are happy to have us back this year. Never thought to reap that kind of benefit from the winter months!

Thanks for the wonderful music, Dale and Mike.

Posted by t | May 26, 2009 8:33 AM

I love the idea of playing a different version of Summertime each day! I hope it happens.

Thanks for the link to Bob Collins' News Cut story. It was moving.

Happy Tuesday-that-feels-like-a-Monday, all!

Posted by Kris in Minneapolis | May 26, 2009 8:33 AM

Good morning-
I say yes to playing a version of "Summertime" every morning until it actually arrives... Doesn't look much like summer this morning though. We also got some gardening in over the weekend and some nice touristy things in Stillwater and Red Wing with our visiting Swiss Miss. Off to work! School's almost out and we need those library books back!

Posted by Amy in St Paul | May 26, 2009 8:38 AM

It's always nice to hear "Brown-Eyed Girl", but I have to say I really prefer the unexpurgated version. In the original, what those frisky kids were doing behind the stadium was NOT laughin' and a-runnin', hey. hey. Pass the word along to Jasper, too - I have heard him play it several times too.

Posted by Linda in St. Paul (West Side) | May 26, 2009 8:46 AM

Anna, are you aware of "The Childhood Goat Trauma Foundation was created in 1982 by a small group that originally came together as a an informal support group for problems that were the result of traumatic experiences at petting zoos as children." at ? I just saw Dale's "Goat Tree" posted on it!

Check it out, your daughter might like a t-shirt or two to commemorate her experience with "Bully goat" (excellent label!)

Have a goat-trauma-free day all!

Posted by cynthia in mahtowa | May 26, 2009 9:08 AM

Summer songs, eh? Well, once again, I make no claims to making the be-all, end-all list. There are, of course, many rock songs dealing with teen age triumphs and tragedies of summer. The trick is finding songs that might be acceptable given that we try to avoid much of the popular rock genre. But here’s maybe a few to look at:
ABBA – Summer Night City
All-4-One – One More Summer Night
Anything by Andy Summers
Andy Williams – Summer Love
Astrud Gilberto – Summer Samba
Asia – Summer
Blues Moody – Long Summer Days
Bob Dylan – Summer Days
Beach Boys – Keep an Eye on Summer
Brandtson – Summer in St. Claire
Brian Wilson – All Summer Long
Brian Wilson – Summer in Monterey
Sarah Brightman – The Last Rose of Summer
Brothers Four – The Green Leaves of Summer
Buffalo Tom – Summer
Kate Bush – Delius (Song of Summer)
Belinda Carlisle – Summer Rain
Carly Simon – Sons of Summer
Celtic Folk – Summer Road
Celtic Frost – Eternal Summer
Eric Clapton – Black Summer Rain
Bob Clayton – Summer Man
Cliff Richard – Summer Holiday
Cocteau Twins – Frou Frou in Midsummer Fires
Cocteau Twins – Summerhead
Cocteau Twins – Summer-Blink
Nat King Cole – That Sunday That Summer
Nat King Cole – Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer
Connie Dover – The Summer Before the War
Connie Francis – We Have Something More (than a Summer Love)
Connie Francis – Summer of His Years
Connie Francis – Summertime in Venice
Corrs – Summer Sunshine
Corrs – Summer Wine
Elvis Costello – The Other Side of Summer
Cowboy Junkies – Summer of Our Discontent
Cowboy Junkies – Thirty Summers
Sheryl Crow – Indian Summer
Dar Williams – End of the Summer
Dave Clark Five – Here Comes Summer
Dean Martin – The Things We did Last Summer
Dolly Parton – Sweet Summer Lovin’
Anything by Donna Summer
Elvis Presley – Summer Kisses Winter Tears
Elvis Presley – Summertime is Past and Gone
Flogging Molly – For the Summer that was Lost
Frank Sinatra – Summer Me Winter You
Frank Sinatra – Summer Wind
Frank Sinatra – The Summer Knows
Frank Sinatra – Something Wonderful Happens in Summer
Bee Gees – Midsummer Nights
Bee Gees – Sweet Song of Summer
Glen Campbell – Summer, Winter, Spring, and Fall
Bobby Goldsboro – Summer
Gordon Lightfoot – Summer Side of Life
‘Grease’ Soundtrack – Summer Nights
Billie Holiday – Summertime
Husker Du – Celebrated Summer
Isley Brothers – Summer Breeze
James Taylor – Summers Here
Jefferson Airplane – Summer of Love
Mungo Jerry – In the Summertime
Jewel – Summer Home in your Arms
Billy Joel – Summer, Highland Falls
John Denver – Sticky Summer Weather
Joni Mitchell – Daisy Summer Piper
Joni Mitchell – Midsummer Morning
Joni Mitchell – The Hissing of Summer Lawns
Mark Knopfler – A Night in Summer Long Ago
Mary Black – Summer Sent You
Van Morrison – High Summer
Van Morrison – Summertime in England
Van Morrison – Youth of 1,000 Summers
Nancy Sinatra – Summer Wine
Paul McCartney – Summer’s Day Song
Paul Simon – Satin Summer Nights
Percy Faith – Theme from A Summer Place
Perry Como – You Made it That Way (Watermelon Summer)
Peter, Paul, and Mary – Summer Highland Falls
Sly and the Family Stone – Hot Fun in the Summertime
Stevie Wonder – Never Dreamed You’d Leave in Summer
Stevie Wonder – Summer Soft
The Monkees – The Door into Summer
Townes Van Zandt – Sixteen Summers, Fifteen Falls
Townes Van Zandt – Like a Summer Thursday
Wilco – Summer Teeth
Willie Nelson – Summer of Roses

Yup, there’s lots more but consider this just a little jumpstart.

Posted by That Guy in the Hat | May 26, 2009 9:20 AM

My grandmother would have appreciated a support group for goat trauma. She was once leaning into the trunk of their car when Suzy, their one and only goat, came from behind and butted her into the trunk. My mother said they never had goats after that.

Posted by Renee | May 26, 2009 9:29 AM

I'd love to hear "Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer" by Nat King Cole! (After 7:30 a.m., please?) Reminds me of sitting on my back steps in central Iowa on a hot summer afternoon eating a cherry popsicle while that song played on the radio in my mother's kitchen...... I probably was around eight, had skinned knees and freckles, and was wearing my favorite sneakers: Keds, Red Ball Flyers, I think they were called.
Ah, good times!

Posted by audrey in mpls. | May 26, 2009 10:17 AM

Cynthia - thanks for the link. The site is a hoot! Their t-shirt with the goats on scooters (the 2005 Awareness Tour shirt) may have to be added to my wardrobe. Thankfully, there was no actual goat trauma for Darling Daughter - she just did *not* like the bully goat. She did, however, brush and pet the mama goat that was out for milking (she liked that goat). And she thought the little goats were very cute - and more in need of treats than the big white bully goat. Hopefully she won't decide we need a goat in our small, S. Mpls. back yard...

Posted by Anna | May 26, 2009 10:28 AM

Anna, glad your daughter had a good goat experience...but the goat-trauma site is truly a good laugh, I'm glad you liked it.

How about Greg Brown's "Gramma put summer in a jar" (never remember the title, just the thought)

Prudence Johnson (and Dan Chouinard) did a spectacular "Summertime" at Moose Lake this it on a cd?

Posted by cynthia in mahtowa | May 26, 2009 11:12 AM

Another old favorite: Summer in the City by the Lovin' Spoonful. Ah, the '60s!

Audrey -- where in central Iowa? I spent the last half of my childhood (/59 -'66) in Marshalltown...

Posted by Barbara in Robbinsdale | May 26, 2009 12:27 PM

Ooh, Cynthia, I like that song too, about Grandma putting summer in a jar. The first time I heard it - on RH - I stopped whatever I was doing and just kept listening.

Posted by Gail in Wisconsin | May 26, 2009 1:11 PM

Dale, You've made my day!! "Summertime" is my favorite song!! We JUST got our HD radio this week & I'm still trying to figure it out. Craig has made some visuals for me, so that helps!!

Are you really going to play "Summertime" every day until the first day of summer?

I have this secret (well, until now it was secret) desire. It's to learn to sing "Summertime" beautifully...maybe some private lessons...I DO sing in our church choir. I want to wear a long, tight, red, slinky, sequined dress and sing it to some a surprise!
Dreamin' Fiamma

PS - How's Gus? What university is he attending? I was always SOOOO impressed when he'd come and "help out" on the Morning Show!

Posted by Fiamma | May 27, 2009 12:39 PM

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