My very first summer job was in 1983 when I was hired to paint all of the fences in a townhouse development in the northeastern district of Toronto called Agincourt. I realize that you can't see inside my memories but, let me reassure you, this was a huge development. I also had to water lawns in the morning and pick up any garbage in the area. Then the remainder of the day was painting the fences a dark green, something that took over 2 months to complete. It was a surreal "Twilight Zone" experience since the neighbourhood was virtually deserted during the day with folks out at work or school. There was a group of kids, mind you, that took care of landscaping once a week but I never associated with them. It was simply me, a can of paint and a paintbrush outside alone.
However, once in a while, someone would play the radio so that I did get some background music. One song that I distinctly remember was the 1983 hit "Never Gonna Let You Go" by Sergio Mendes. Yes, that Sergio Mendes...the one behind "Mas que Nada", his signature tune from the 1960s. And yet, "Never Gonna Let You Go" was the first Mendes song that I had ever heard, a dreamy and epic ballad of the 1980s that was far into the AOR genre. I also remember seeing it on Casey Kasem's "America's Top 40" TV show frequently.
Well, in the 1970s which was perhaps seen as a quieter period for Mendes, he released the album "Magic Lady" in 1979 which had the disco-pop song "Summer Dream" as one of the tracks.
However, I only found out about "Summer Dream" and "Magic Lady" because I discovered the cover version first in the form of Yuko Asano's（浅野ゆう子）"Summer Champion". It was released as Asano's 14th single in April 1979. The Japanese lyrics were provided by Ayumi Date（ 伊達歩）, and like the original, it's quite the roving downtown City Pop number with the sultry vocals by the singer. As with some of her other output during the late 1970s going into the 1980s, it's quite the revelation that she used to perform some of those urban contemporary songs I've enjoyed when I consider that I used to know her simply as the trendy drama queen and the classy if quirky commercial pitchperson.
Not certain which album it was released on or even if it did get onto an album, but it has been placed on her "Golden Best RCA/Fun House Years"（GOLDEN☆BEST 浅野ゆう子 RCA/FUN HOUSE YEARS）from 2005.
I finished my time painting just before my senior year in high school. Battling sunburn, heatstroke and athlete's foot, I rather felt like a summer champion by the time Labour Day swung by. And the money helped in getting me into first year at University of Toronto.