While HERC doesn't have any specific Summer memories attached to "Grazing In The Grass", he can't help but think SUMMER each time he hears it and not many songs can do that. The song did top the Hot 100 in July 1968, ending Herb Alpert's four week stint at the pinnacle with his "This Guy's In Love With You". After two weeks at the top, "Grazing In The Grass" was evicted by The Doors with "Hello, I Love You". It's raining outside with thunder and lightning and gusts of wind blowing as HERC types this up and after listening to "Grazing In The Grass" for the past fifteen minutes, it feels like a sunny Summer's day, with the birds singing and MRS. HERC touching up her tan by the pool. That's the power of music.
Nearly a year to the day after Masekela's song was released, The Friends Of Distinction released their cover, complete with vocals (what a trip!) It is a bright burst of energy (outta sight!), as groovy (dig it!) and soulful (right on!) as the original and for many people it is the definitive version. (Today's kids know the song from its inclusion in the Anchorman soundtrack and trailers.) Incredibly, the cover version made it to #3 on the Hot 100 less than year after the original topped the chart proving there's always room in the world for more good music. HERC likes 'em both but has to give the edge to to the original.
Although it peaked at #3 January 1969, "Soulful Strut" always felt like a Summer song to HERC, the perfect soundtrack for watching girls on the beach. The song is the instrumental backing track of "Am I The Same Girl", written by Eugene Record for his wife, Barbara Acklin. (Swing Out Sister do a killer version of that track.) HERC thinks "Soulful Strut" goes well with either version of "Grazing In The Grass" and hereby proclaims it a Song of the Summer. Check it.