Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Tempos

American GraffitiThere just aren’t that many other groups who name themselves after the nomenclature of music itself. The G-Clefs come to mind, and that’s about it. But it’s understandable. There’s not that much else available. The Quarter-Notes maybe. Otherwise what? The notes, the rests, the bars, Sharp & The Flats…

The Tempos had one other top 100 record besides See You In September. I only have the one song though, and it came from the American Graffiti soundtrack.

The Tempos:

See You In September – See, summer isn’t just for swimming and surfing and cruising and hanging out at both kinds of drive-ins. Summer is also a time of separation, and the sense of romantic loss that goes with it. When The Happenings’ version of this song hit the radio in the summer of 1966 it was my older sibling who pointed out the thematic plagiarism of Gary Lewis & The Playboys’ Save Your Heart For Me. But she was unaware of the 1959 original, with its plaintive harmony and unison singing, its heart-on-sleeve emotion, and its ever-so-slightly exotic percussion. “While you’re away,” they sing, “don’t forget to write.” Remember those days when you could only phone once in a while, and you had to write on paper with a pen, and put the letter into an envelope? I don’t know that all that texting and email and cheap long distance and messaging eases the longing all that much. From the summer of 1959.

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