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Ski
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PostThu Sep 24, 2020 11:31 pm 
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George Gershwin begain composing "Summertime" in December 1933 and completed it three months later, in February of 1934.
The original recording was a rehearsal performance, sung by Abbie Mitchell with Gershwin conducting the orchestra and playing the piano:


The song has been covered by dozens and dozens of different artists during the almost 90 years since Gershwin wrote it. Among the more memorable:

Billie Holiday recorded it on Vocalian Records, where it reached #12 on the U.S. Charts
Billie's accompanied by Bunny Berigan, t / Artie Shaw, cl / Joe Bushkin, p / Dick McDonough, g / Pete Peterson, sb / Cozy Cole, d.  Recorded in New York, July 10, 1936:


Nina Simone, "The High Priestess of Soul", recorded it live "At Town Hall", in New York City in 1959:


Arguably one of America's greatest operatic divas of the 20th Century, Leontyne Price recorded it live with the RCA Victor Philharmonic Orchestra - Skitch Henderson, conducting - 1963


Probably one of the better known versions is the studio recording done by Janis Joplin and Big Brother and the Holding Company, released on the album "Cheap Thrills" in August of 1968:


A similar arrangement was recorded by Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company live at Winterland in April of 1968:


Like movie sequels, a cover's merit is measured by some perceived "improvement" on the original.
Mr. J.B. Hutto and the New Hawks certainly managed to do just that here. Recorded live in 1982:


(* If you need a bigger dose of that slide, try "Hawk Squat" (featuring Sunnyland Slim)(Delmark DS 617) up.gif

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostFri Sep 25, 2020 6:26 am 
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Got one more rendition for you Ski.

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostFri Sep 25, 2020 6:35 am 
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So apparently this was a big hit in Sweden in the 70s.  It looks like all of the members of ABBA were involved, either background vocals or producing.  First Aid Kit just recorded versions of it in both Swedish and English.

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Ski
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PostFri Oct 09, 2020 12:16 pm 
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"Frankie and Johnny" (aka "Frankie and Albert") is about as "Traditional American Song" as "Traditional American Song" gets.

Inexplicably, the very first recording was made in London in 1912 by American singer Gene Greene. (Pathé 59106-RA ) notes HERE and HERE

The first recording made in America appears to have been made in 1921 by Frank Crumit (Columbia A-3459) HERE

Crumit made another recording of it in 1927 (Victor 20715-A) HERE

The song has been covered by literally hundreds of different artists. Among the more notable:

Mississippi John Hurt recorded it on the "Okeh" label in 1928, with the title of "Frankie". HERE

King Oliver recorded a jazzy instrumental version on December 30, 1929. HERE

Jimmie Rodgers (the "Singing Brakeman") recorded it in 1929. (Victor 22143) HERE

Billy Vest (who accompanied Jimmie Rodgers on tour) recorded it in 1934 on the "Conqueror" label. HERE

Ethel Waters recorded it in 1938 (Bluebird B-10038-B) HERE

Pearl Bailey recorded it in 1949 (Columbia C1438) HERE

Big Bill Broonzy made a recording of it, presumably in 1957. (?) HERE

Sam Cooke recorded it in 1963 (RCA Victor 447-0724) HERE

Louis Armstrong recorded it. (Released on a compliation album in 1965) HERE

Leadbelly (Huddie Ledbetter) recorded it using the alternate title of "Frankie and Albert" (Society SOC 994 released 1965) HERE

Taj Mahal recorded it (with background vocals by the Pointer Sisters) in 1973, also using the alternate title "Frankie and Albert". (Columbia KC-32600) (The liner notes erroneously credit authorship to Missippi John Hurt.) HERE

Roy Clark and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown recorded it live on the television show "Hee Haw" in  1979. HERE

J.B. Hutto (Master of the Slide Guitar) and the New Hawks recorded it live in Switzerland in 1982. (RockBeat ROC-3292)


and Sara Tidwell (real name Anika Noni Rose. recorded it in 2011 for movie version of "Bag of Bones") HERE

* This has been a Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, and Elvis Presley free zone. *

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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PostFri Oct 09, 2020 4:56 pm 
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I wouldn't say Aqualung's cover of a-ha's "Take On Me" (also featured on Grey's Anatomy) is necessarily better than the original, but it adds another dimension and makes you appreciate the lyrics that much more.  I'm glad to see a-ha performed the aqualung version in their MTV unplugged session (also featured in Deadpool 2).

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