Top 40 songs from your kidhood that are still evocative

What songs from your kidhood era remain evocative today (no matter how objectively glurgey they may be)? Can you describe why?

Close to You (Carpenters) - parents had the 8-track, is first song I can remember (I was 5yo).

Rawhide (Frankie Lane) - we rode our horses, aka living room footstools, and roped one another with extension cords. We literally wore out the record (And the footstools).

Convoy (C.W. McCall) - dad was a truck driver and would let us play with his CB.

Another One Bites the Dust (Queen) - the BEST roller rink song ever! All the cool guys had Queen belt buckles and worshipped Freddy Mercury - funny in retrospective given Mercury was gay.

Stayin Alive (BeeGees) - the middle school gym teacher I had a huge crush on taught us the steps to this (as well as to The Hustle).

I’ll keep to a cut-off at jr. high.

“I Only Wanna Be with You” by Dusty Springfield

“End of the World” by Skeeter Davis

“We’ll Sing in the Sunshine” by Gale Garnett

“Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime” by Dean Martin

There was a restaurant in Minneapolis called The Chestnut Tree where my dad used to hang out for hours. Whenever I was there with him, these songs would constantly be playing on the jukebox.

“Downtown” by Petula Clark

My mother loved this song. It may have been the first pop song I ever really appreciated, at the age of nine.

Mostly she listened to C&W, so I was exposed to a lot of those artists at an early age too:

“Ring of Fire” and “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash

“Big John” and “King of the Road” by Roger Miller

And I’ll add “Goldfinger” by Shirley Bassey to my list. It was the first Bond movie I ever saw, at the age of ten, and I saw it with my dad and older brother.

I didn’t get into the British Invasion until well after it started. The first Beatles song I recall liking was “A Hard Day’s Night,” at the age of nine.

Before the Beatles, there was Hayley Mills, with whom my brother was madly in love. So I heard songs like “Let’s Get Together” a lot.

I liked groups like Chad and Jeremy, Peter and Gordon, and Gerry and the Pacemakers:

“A Summer Song,” “I Go to Pieces,” “Ferry 'Cross the Mersey.”

I remember my (closeted gay) music teacher at my elementary school teaching us “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” for us to sing. This was in Georgia, circa 1980.

“The Candy Man,” by Sammy Davis, Jr. Everybody would join in singing and disrupt the class. When, “Malcolm in the Middle,” had Francis’s military school choir do that incredible rendition, I was in hog heaven.

“Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque,” by The Partridge Family. I don’t know why.

“Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001),” by Eumir Deodato. Had a three-minute version on 45 RPM; when I found the album version was nine minutes, I thought I’d plotz.
ETA: “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown;” it had a cuss word in it and everybody liked the song. Alternated with “Candy Man,” as class favorite.

“The Flower Girl,” by the Cowsills. Don’t ask me why.

“Good Morning, Starshine,” by Oliver. They used to play this at the Minneapolis Public Library’s planetarium, where I hung out on weekends.

“In the Year 2525,” by Zager and Evans. Around the same time I found out the Universe is going to wind down some day because of entropy.

When I was five years old I heardPeggy Lee singing Fever on the car radio.

I can’t say I remember a whole lot from when I was five, but I remember that.

Have you hacked into my YouTube feed, again? BTW, the actual title is, “The Rain, The Park and Other Things.” :confused:

“Secret Agent Man,” by Johnny Rivers. Theme of the TV show of the same name, aka Danger Man in Great Britain.

Okay; first I gotta list all the evocative songs from my childhood, then pick the top 40 of them that are still evocative. I have an enormous music collection and I know thousands of songs from my childhood. This might take some time. I’ll get back to you.

Oops! “Big John” was by Jimmy Dean, not Roger Miller. My lapse! :smack:

The Everly Brothers singing All I Have To Do Is Dream is the first song I remember.

I’ve been meaning to bring this up for a while, and this seems like as good a place as any.

I have vivid memories of hearing Jail Bait by Andre Williams, on the radio at a very young age. It came out in 1957 so I would have only been five or six years old. I distinctly remember hearing it on the radio, but in retrospect, given the subject matter, it seems hard to believe that it would have been played on AM radio. This was in the Washington, DC area.

Any thoughts? This has been driving me crazy for a long time…

“Both Sides Now.” I prefer Judy Collins’ version to Joni Mitchell’s. I remember listening to this song in a dream I had when I was 13 or 14.

So, I was born in '75, therefore grew up in the 80s. So, Top 40 music that is still evocative. Let’s see:

“Purple Rain” by Prince seems to be the one that first comes to mind. There’s no one specific thing it reminds me of, just one general emotion of the 80s. It’s like the song that summed up the best of the Top 40 to me of that decade.

“99 Luftballons” by Nena. Either German or English version. Just brings me back to the good ol’ memories of nuclear annihilation and Cold War brinksmanship set to a catchy pop number! Also very much encapsulated the 80s for me.

“Eternal Flame” by the Bangles. First song I slow-danced with a girl to.

“I Beg Your Pardon” by Kon Kan. It’s rare I hear this in the wild, but, for whatever reason, I was obsessed with this song in 8th grade. It only peaked at #15, and I doubt most people remember this song at all, but it takes me back to my last year of grammar school. I wish I had a more interesting connection, but that’s it.

“So Far Away” by Dire Straits. First girl I kissed. OK. Years after it was a Top 40 hit, but I was in Poland, fell in “love” with the neighbor girl at my aunt’s farm, kissed her the night before I left, and I had some cheap Eastern European pirate copy of “Brothers in Arms” I had bought a week earlier from a kiosk with me, and that song, quite obviously, spoke to me as I left back to return to the States.

“Jump” by Van Halen. WGN made me a Cubs fan. I grew up on the South(west) Side of Chicago, where I should have been predestined to be a White Sox fan, but my Polish parents’ lack of guidance in all things baseball and the Cubs day-games-only at home policy and WGN’s coverage of them on broadcast TV brainwashed me into becoming a fan. Somewhere in the mid-80s, Van Halen’s “Jump” became more-or-less a Cubs theme song. Actually, here’s a beautiful example of it from 1984 and how it was used in Cubs games. I can’t hear “Jump” to this day without thinking of mid-80s Cubs baseball, for better or worse.

“Cast Your Fate to the Wind” by Vince Guaraldi.

The Kinks - “Come Dancin’”
I listened to that over and over. It may have been the first 45 I actually bought myself.

“Aquarius,” by the Fifth Dimension. Marilyn McCoo captured my heart forever with the first note she sang.

“A Taste of Honey,” by Herb Alpert & the TJ Brass.

“Rock On” by David Essex. Still sounds cool.

YES! I love that song. It was during high school for me though.

The most evocative songs for me are ones I used to rollerskate to, so pretty much anything Top 40 between 1981-1984. Too many to remember and list.

There were 3 videos I watched over and over when I was 12, so 1985-86. I’m an only child and my dad was always either at work or with his girlfriend so I was home alone often:

“Captain Of Her Heart” by Double (one-hit wonder)
“I Wanna Be A Cowboy” by Boys Don’t Cry (another one-hit wonder)
“If You Leave” by OMD