Saturday 23 August 2008

Ready to Groove, Grab Your Gals, it's gonna be A SWINGIN' SUMMER!

Directed by Robert Sparr and released in 1965, A Swingin' Summer was a variation on the typical 60s beach party movie primarily because it took place in a summertime mountain lakeside resort. Apart from that, the film is only really distinguished by its above average soundtrack and the 'acting' debut of a certain twenty five year old Jo Raquel Tejada aka Raquel Welch.

Aping the hugely popular AIP series of Beach B-movies, the rather thin plot of A Swingin' Summer concerns a bunch of squeaky-clean, peachy-keen teens on their summer vacation trying to prevent the closure of the local dance pavilion on Lake Arrowhead in San Bernadino. They enlist the financial assistance of a rich parent to bankroll the venue whilst running it themselves. Despite the dastardly attempts by smoothy local lifeguard Turk to foil their plans, everything turns out fine in the end and everyone has a good old frug to relieve themselves of any unnatural desires to cross-pollinate, pet or partake of the demon reefer.

The soundtrack for A Swingin' Summer, was released on Hanna Barbera Records and features much of the music featured in the film, including The Righteous Brothers' R&B tinged Justine; The Rip Chords' zippy Red Hot Roadster; Carol Connors' cute A Swingin' Summer; Raquel Welch's enthusiastic I'm Ready To Groove; and let us not forget Donny Brooks' spirited rendition of the curiously titled Penny The Poo. Perhaps Penny the Poo was a precient pre-protest paen to Pacific pollution - or poppycock? The remainder of the soundtrack is made up of instrumentals by The Swingers aka Gary Lewis and The Playboys - the best of which is Out To Lunch.

A Swingin' Summer is never going to change your life but while there's still a bit of summer left there's nothing stopping you from indulging in the guilty pleasures of doing the Dog or the Pony in the garden. Those readers familar with Cockney rhyming slang should perhaps ignore the last suggestion!

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