Summertime: Hot Tune

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George Gershwin’s opera "Porgy and Bess" opened in New York 75 years ago, with an overture and then its first song, "Summertime." As the first day of summer approaches, Sara Fishko considers the this edition of The Fishko Files.

George Gershwin composed "Summertime" for the 1935 opera "Porgy and Bess," and Dubose Heyward wrote the lyrics. Part of the curiosity of "Summertime" is in its simple composition. The song consists of just six notes. If you're playing "Summertime" in the key of A minor, for example, the notes are: E, C, D, B, G, A

Here are a handful of the many different performances of "Summertime."


Janis Joplin

Miles Davis

Kathleen Battle

Ella Fitzgerald

Paul Robeson

Lambert, Hendricks and Ross

Billie Holiday


Mix Engineer: Wayne Shulmister

Web materials: Laura Mayer