Larry Martino

Larry Martino

It’s the first official day of summer! The kids are out of school, and it’s time for family vacations, backyard barbecues and pool parties. Let’s find you six cool 80s summer jams to help you “Beat The Heat!”

Summer In Las Vegas Can Be Brutal

All those activities we mentioned sound like a lot of fun. But, here in Las Vegas, summer can be brutal. Unless you have access to a pool, those hot summer days with temperatures above 110 degrees can be dreadful.

Even if you do dive into a pool, the water can be so warm that it feels like you’re taking a bath. The only time you cool off is when you get out of the pool. That dry desert breeze gets you shivering on a 100+ degree day. A strange phenomenon, for sure.

Great Summer Jams From Every Decade

This season has to be the one with the most songs written about it. Well, except for maybe the holiday season around Christmas and New Year. Go back to the 1960’s and you can hear “Summer In The City” by Lovin’ Spoonful. Then, there’s “Hot Fun In The Summertime” by Sly & The Family Stone.

Move ahead to the 1970’s and Mungo Jerry brings us that tune “In The Summertime,” which was featured in the film Wedding Crashers. How about Seals & Crofts with “Summer Breeze?” We can’t forget “Summer Nights” by John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, and the cast from the movie Grease.

More recently, Kid Rock mashed up piano and guitar riffs from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” and Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London.” Per, “All Summer Long” became the most successful hit of his career in 2008.

Cool Summer Jams of the 80s

However, for our purposes, we’re going to focus on the “MTV Decade.” The 1980’s. It’s a decade that provided the world with lots of fun, feel good music. And, those cool 80s summer jams are just what you need for your next pool party, courtesy of 96.3 KKLZ!

  • "Endless Summer Nights" - Richard Marx

    Here’s a huge hit that you don’t hear much on the radio anymore. In fact, you really don’t hear much from Richard Marx these days. But, according to, when his self-titled debut solo album was released in 1987, it ended up producing four singles that not only made the Billboard top 10, they all hit the top 3! “Don’t Mean Nothing,” “Hold On To The Nights,” “Should’ve Known Better,” and this great song for the season, “Endless Summer Nights.”

  • "Suddenly Last Summer" - Motels

    Martha Davis, lead singer of The Motels, possesses one of the great voices of the MTV decade. It’s too bad the group only had two top 10 singles. “Only The Lonely,” and this song, “Suddenly Last Summer.” Per, this track hit the top of the Billboard rock chart and peaked at #9 on the Hot 100. It’s from their 1983 album Little Robbers. Enjoy!

  • "Walking On Sunshine" - Katrina and The Waves

    This fun, upbeat song doesn’t have “summer” in the title, but c’mon! It’s a perfect summer song! This British band only hit the Billboard top 10 one time, and they did it with this song. Per, it was written by the band’s guitarist, Kimberly Rew. The rest of the band didn’t like the song, but it ended up becoming their biggest earning song.

  • "Cruel Summer" - Bananarama

    Here’s one of the popular girl groups of the 80s, Bananarama. These three young ladies from England had a top 10 hit in their home country in 1983 with this song. However, here in the U.S.A., it did not become a big hit until after it was featured in the movie The Karate Kid. According to, it blew up after that, finally peaking at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984. VH-1 named “Cruel Summer” one of their top 100 songs of the 80s! Enjoy this live performance.

  • "Summer of '69" - Bryan Adams

    According to, this rockin’ song from Canadian recording artist Bryan Adams was voted the best driving song while singing in your car by his fellow countrymen. Can’t argue with that. This track peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in late summer 1985. It helped push Adams’ album Reckless to the top spot on the Billboard 200 album chart.

  • "The Boys Of Summer" - Don Henley

    The music video for this Don Henley song would go on to win four MTV Video Music Awards, including “Video of the Year.” Per, the single peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1985. Ironically, this song was written by Mike Campbell, guitarist for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. However, Petty turned it down, so Campbell offered it to Henley, who would go on to claim the Grammy Award for “Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.”

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