Sunday, August 12, 2012

Music Sunday: Summer Edition

It's summertime in the Northern Hemisphere. With a vengeance, at least here. It was 110 degrees F here yesterday and it is forecast to be 109 F today. That's just too hot as far as I'm concerned.

But, the heat and the crappy air, the winding down of the Summer Olympics, and the fact that here in my community summer vacation is ending for all the kids (and adults) who will be going back to school in the next couple of weeks, all have me thinking about "summer" songs. And there are a lot of them. But, because there are so many of them, I decided, for the purposes of this blog post, to stick with songs that actually have the words "summer" or "summertime" in the title.

First up, this is "Summer in the City", by The Lovin' Spoonful, from 1966, with a lead vocal (and bonus mid-60s sideburns) from John Sebastian. Sidewalks "hotter than a match-head" indeed, or at least it felt like that when I was outside yesterday:

"Summertime Blues" was first recorded by Eddie Cochran in 1958, but arguably the best-known cover of the song is by The Who, although it has been recorded by artists as diverse as Blue Cheer, The Beach Boys, Alan Jackson, and Olivia Newton-John. This is a live performance by The Who, at the Monterey Pop Festival, in 1967:

And then there's "Summertime". This song, which originated as an aria in "Porgy & Bess", by George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward in 1935, is one of the most covered songs in recording history, with one source claiming that there are over 33,000 covers of the song in existence. Well, I don't know about that, but I do know that I can't decide which of my two favorite covers of the song to post here, so I'm going to post both of them. First is Billie Holiday's cover:

I also love Janis Joplin's cover of "Summertime", here from a live performance in Stockholm in 1969:

I hope it isn't as hot where you are as it is here. If it is, try to stay cool. If it isn't, just know how jealous I am that you're there and I'm here.

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