1976. Nineteen Seventy-Six. Nine-teen Seven-tee Six. The hottest summer on record – the drought in the UK. Of course, it paled into insignificance compared to those suffered in Africa but this was a problem on our own doorstep and therefore far more of an issue.
There were, I’m told, standpipes across the length and breadth of the nation. I don’t recall any in our street or neighbourhood so we escaped the worst excesses of the impact in our part of the Home Counties.
Quite what the parents of today would make of streetloads of kids playing without suncream on doesn’t bear thinking about – I’m sure one of the tabloids would whip up a storm about it. And you wouldn’t to worry about stupid sods running around in clown suits; it was too bloody hot.
For kids, it was a dream. And ice cream men; they did a roaring trade for about three months. Ours used to come around twice a day with huge queues each time.
Back then, there were more open air pools. The town ‘Lido’ was the place to be, taking the place of the concrete football pitches during the hottest part of the day. Carefree days.
It was also the year Concorde made its’ maiden commerical flight. On a school trip to the Fleet Air Arm museum in Yeovilton, we went on board a prototype of the aircraft. A black panel of switches and dials greeted you at the top of the steps.
Turning to look at the rows of seats, a collective ‘Huh?’ filled the air as we spied rows of deckchairs where customers might be expected to sit. Concorde never held the same allure after that.
Elsewhere, boredom meant a musical revolution was beginning. The nihilistic future punk espoused was sneaking up on an unsuspecting world but for a few more months yet, it would skim under my radar.
Today’s playlist is the usual mix of what was being listened to mixed with the benefits of hindsight. If the playlist doesn’t work in the widget below, click here to open it in your browser.
|Blue Öyster Cult||(Don’t Fear) The Reaper|
|Manfred Mann’s Earth Band||Blinded By The Light|
|The Isley Brothers||Harvest for the World, Pt. 1|
|Bobby Womack, The Brotherhood||Home Is Where the Heart Is|
|Hot Chocolate||Living On A Shoe String|
|The Stylistics||Sixteen Bars|
|Marvin Gaye||I Want You|
|The Trammps||Hold Back the Night|
|Stevie Wonder||Sir Duke|
|Joan Armatrading||Love And Affection|
|The Glitter Band||People Like You And People Like Me|
|Boz Scaggs||Lido Shuffle|
|Bob Marley & The Wailers||Johnny Was|
|Lou Rawls||You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine|
|The Doobie Brothers||Long Train Runnin’|
|Candi Staton||Young Hearts Run Free|
|David Bowie||Golden Years|
|Aswad||I A Rebel Soul|
|Al Green||That’s The Way It Is|
|Gwen McCrae||I’ve Got Nothing to Lose but the Blues|
|Flamin’ Groovies||Shake Some Action|
|The Damned||New Rose|