Song of the Day #309
Song of the Day: Summertime features the music of George Gershwin and the lyrics of Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward. Heyward wrote the novel Porgy and the libretto for the folk opera in which this classic song is performed: "Porgy and Bess." The production made its debut in 1935; it has been revived many times and was even made into a very rarely seen 1959 film, which the Gershwin estate has disowned. I have enjoyed many vocal and instrumental performances of this song, including one by Miles Davis and Gil Evans (audio clip at that link). The 2004 "American Idol" winner, Fantasia, performed it in competition, and recorded it as well (listen to an audio clip here). I also possess a wonderful duet by Ray Charles and Cleo Lane, from their 1976 Grammy-nominated "Porgy and Bess" tribute. Mel Torme sang this song to open a medley from the musical; it was performed on the old Merv Griffin Show, in which Torme also sang with Sarah Vaughan. Just terrific. Torme was also featured on the 1956 studio cast album; Betty Roche sings the song on that album here.