Sunday, July 10, 2011

Yellow Balloon weather

Hot, sunny days like we've had this weekend inevitably bring my mind back to the summer of 1967, when Dad and Mom took us to Disneyland for the second time. (Unlike six years earlier, when Dad drove the whole way from New Jersey to Anaheim, Calif., including a wretched journey across the Mojave Desert, this time we stopped in Salt Lake City and flew the rest of the way.)

Somewhere in the middle of Nebraska (I want to say Kearney), we started hearing a wonderful little tune on the radio - "Yellow Balloon" by The Yellow Balloon. These 41 years later, it still give me an inner smile. I learned years later that The Yellow Balloon was formed by Don Grady, who played one of My Three Sons on television. It's an interesting factoid, but the main reason I like "Yellow Balloon" is because it sounds so much like the sixties.

I was deep into the Top 40 charts at the time, and I'd listen with pencil and paper poised for the weekly countdowns on WABC and WMCA in New York. When we returned to the East, I told my friends to listen for a song called "Yellow Balloon," because it was going to be a huge summer hit. But it never migrated to New York radio. Wait, maybe it was a "Long Shot" on WMCA, but the rest of the dour East Coast did not delight in the song the way I did.

Maybe that's another reason I moved to the Midwest when I turned 18 and never looked back.


Wally Conger said...

Loved this song waaaay back then. But then, all of us on the west coast were enjoying it then. ;)

Anonymous said...

This song never hit Wisconsin. Wisconsin had many bands with regional hits most of the rest of the country never heard. You missed a lot of good music if you weren't here.
There were so many bands and music coming out of WI that a fellow named Gary E. Meyer wrote at least one book on it and there are quite a few websites if you search for "Wisconsin 60s bands"