Thursday, April 14, 2011

George Gershwin, "Porgy and Bess" Summertime

Summertime (Porky and Bess)

Music by George Gershwin
Lyrics by Du Bose Heyward and Ira Gershwin

George Gershwin's "American Folk Opera" Porgy and Bess opened on Broadway on October 10, 1935, in the middle of the Great Depression and closed after only 124 performances on January 25, 1936.

In May 1940, Decca Records assembled some of the members of the original cast, including Todd Duncan and Anne Brown, who had played the title characters, for a recording session that produced a 78 rpm album of selections from the score.

Anne Wiggins Brown (born Annie Wiggins Brown August 9, 1912 - died March 13, 2009) was an African American soprano who created the role of "Bess" in the original production of George Gershwin's folk opera Porgy and Bess in 1935.
She was also a radio and concert singer. She settled in Norway in her 30's and later became a Norwegian citizen.

Anne Brown - My Man's Gone now.

Even today, some 72 years later, the tune is still a favorite.

Summertime was a tune from the opera Porgy and Bess that had opened only some 9 months before this recording was made. Billie's was probably the greatest version ever made.

Bechet 1939 Summertime recording.
Accompanied by Teddy Bunn - Guitar, Meade Lux Lewis - piano,Johnny Williams - bass and Big Sid Catlett - drums. Wonderful stuff

Share your favorite rendering of this memorable song in your comment.

1 comment:

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