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What else sets summer apart? Our thoughts often turn to music. Summer has been the muse for generations of musicians and composers who have captured its essence with themes of romance, adventure, pleasure and escape. From surfer songs to movie scores, enjoy testing your musical knowledge with this summer music quiz. It’s the perfect way to start your summer vacation off on the right note.
1. Beach Song. As the sand on the beach heats up, a cool place to be is in the shade of a boardwalk. Who sang the summer classic “Under the Boardwalk”? a) The Rip Chords, b) The Drifters, c) Jan and Dean, or d) The Temptations.
2. Songs of Broadway. The operetta and Broadway classic “Porgy and Bess” gave us the soulful song “Summertime,” which depicts the season as when “the livin’ is easy.” Who wrote the music? a) George Gershwin, b) Johnny Mercer, c) Irving Berlin, or d) George M. Cohan
3. A Big Fish Tale. The blockbuster summer movie “Jaws,” about a man-eating shark terrorizing a beach community, captivated audiences in 1975. Which composer wrote the compelling and ominous theme music for the movie? a) John Williams, b) Jerry Goldsmith, c) Randy Newman, or d) Alan Silvestri
4. Hang Ten. In the ’60s, nothing said summer better than surfing and the music that popularized that trend. The fast-paced instrumental “Wipe Out” spurred teen imagination to run wild with the dream of jumping into the Pacific on a freshly waxed surfboard. Who performed this song? a) The Beach Boys, b) The Isley Brothers, c) The Surfaris, or d) The Ventures
5. Disco Fever. By the late ’70s, a disco ball twirled overhead at hot nightclubs. Many folks with a common bond – including a major league baseball team – adopted the following 1979 summer hit as an unofficial theme song. Who sang “We Are Family”? a) Sister Sledge, b) KC and the Sunshine Band, c) The Bee Gees, or d) The Village People
1. b) The Drifters, a combination doo-wop and R&B/soul group, immortalized “Under the Boardwalk.” Originally, the singers had gotten together to back other musicians.
2. a) George Gershwin wrote the music for “Summertime,” the best-known song from “Porgy and Bess,” which debuted in New York in 1935. George’s brother, Ira Gershwin, is credited with co-writing the lyrics.
3. a) John Williams, one of the most popular composers for the cinema, wrote the music for “Jaws.” His other scores include the “Star Wars” saga, “Superman,” the “Indiana Jones” films, and the first three “Harry Potter” films. A former conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, he has won several Academy Awards from the motion picture industry.
4. c) The Surfaris recorded “Wipe Out,” the “B” side of a single featuring the song “Surfer Joe.”
5. a) Sister Sledge, a group of four sisters from Philadelphia known for disco and R&B, sang “We Are Family.” In 1979, it was adopted as the unofficial theme song of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who won the World Series that year.