Summertime

George Gershwin, 1898-1937. Library of Congress

George Gershwin, 1898-1937. Library of Congress

George Gershwin composed his brilliant jazz standard “Summertime” for the 1935 opera, Porgy and Bess. This timeless song is recognized as one of the most covered in the history of recorded music, with more than 25,000 renditions by a diverse range of artists.

Throughout the summer on Decadio, listen for many notable versions including recordings by Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, Nick Drake, The Doors, Sam Cooke, Janis Joplin, The Zombies, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, Al Green, Gene Vincent, Fun Boy Three, REM, and more…

A 1936 recording by Billie Holiday was the first to make the U.S. pop charts. The most commercially successful version was this 1966 release featuring Billy Stewart’s distinctive scat singing style: