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Date: 16/04/11

Bobby Goldsboro - "Summer (The First Time)" (1973)

This is a bit lazy for me, but the following text is copied and pasted from two other locations on this site:

By the time I first heard this song, I was about fourteen, and was the standard adolescent hormonal explosion (as evidenced by my rampant acne). That meant that the very storyline of this song (a seventeen year old losing his cherry to a much older woman) was enticing to start with.

But it was so well done (the song, I mean) that, even had it been about something else, I would still have loved it. The arrangements in the first half are quite sparse (acoustic guitar, piano and bongos), leading right up to the climax (if you see what I mean) where the orchestra cuts in, but tastefully, before returning to the original line-up. And throughout I can hear a single note, right up at the very limit of hearing, which emphasises the atmosphere of a hot day.

Goldsboro was infamous for such sugary ballads as Honey (which, to be fair, he didn't write), but there's nothing saccharine or cutesy-pie about this (self-penned) effort. A fine song, well sung (except for the last line before the orchestra takes over, where he sings the word "man" like a sheep - way too much vibrato) and well arranged. A summer classic.

For all that, a friend nearly ruined it for me.

Way back in about 1983, we were sitting in the bar of The Nag's Head in Wrexham on a Friday night ('we' being a group of ex-sixth form friends who would meet up there from time to time). Although we were sat right behind the fruit machine, the juke box was still quite audible.

Someone put on Summer (The First Time). I recognised the song immediately, and said to my friend 'Bill' Hancocks, "Oh, I really love this song!".

He listened for a moment, and then recognition flashed in his eyes. "Oh!", he said, "Isn't this the one where they go for a bonk on the beach?".

I swear it was five or six years before I could hear that song again without immediately hearing Bill's words in my head.

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