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Old 05-18-2005, 08:43 PM   #1
Affair on Touhy Ave.
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many people did this classic. just heard the most famous version of it by Billy Stewart and Janis Joppolin covered it on her 1968 cheap Thrills album but who was the person who wrote it?
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Old 05-19-2005, 12:39 AM   #2
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George & Ira Gershwin

Music & Lyrics

from Porgy and Bess

sung by Bess

The Rez

PS: Ira Gershwin's wife once heard a person at a party say that brother George wrote Old Man River (same-same Summertime.) She turned to the person and said, "My husband wrote Old Man River. George wrote dum-dum-dee-dum."
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Old 05-20-2005, 01:26 AM   #3
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Just a quick PS:

Porgy and Bess is an Opera.

I loved Billy Stewarts R&B take one it. Even backed him in a couple shows back in the day. But his record never has been the best known - especially when realizing that the Opera is from the 20's.

Billy Holliday, Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Dorothy Dandridge, Sinatra, Brother Ray, Big Mama Thornton, Bessie Smith, etc. - The best of the jazz/blues singers.

But you'll be very surprized to hear it in the origianl opera context. First Soprano dipping into Contralto, and absolutely no relation to pop.

The Opera Porgy and Bess must be seen and experienced. As air must be breathed deeply, exhaled, held, and risking another.

Then enjoy Billy Stewart and Pearl to the max. I don't recall a bad version of that marvelous song in the hands of a believer.

The Rez,

. . . Bess You is My Woman Now
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Old 05-20-2005, 12:37 PM   #4
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Didn't Sammy Davis nail the role of Sportin' Life at some point?
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Old 05-20-2005, 03:12 PM   #5
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He sure did, Elizabeth. In a Broadway revival during Sammy's heyday! Like the Gershwins knew that a little boy would grow up to almost literally "become" Sportin' Life.

Music from that role was part of his show as long as he was able to do shows.

In the early 70s, he was in the main room at Harrahs Tahoe. My buddy & I took work in a nameless lounge band. He & I were lucky enough to watch Sammy's show from the wings.

I had to sit down, rather than fall over, when he did a his bit of Sportin' Life.

That man was a marvel . . . a very kind marvel.

The Rez

A PS to my PS about Ira Gershwins wife. Lest I confuse anyone, Old Man River came from Showboat.

And now, a PS to my PS to my PS . . .

. . . I forgot
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Old 05-20-2005, 07:31 PM   #6
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As did 'Lucky Old Sun' (come from 'Showboat') Jerome Kern?
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Old 05-20-2005, 11:59 PM   #7
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Lucky Old Sun sounds like it sure could've been right there w/ Old Man River.

But, it wasn't written till '48 or '49 by Haven Gillespie & Beasely Smith.

Lots of folks have sung it (Frankie Lane first,) Brother Ray to this little boy's heart - and right now a take on it standing tall beside Brother Ray - John Stewart.

It's on John's Album, "Havana" and "Live at Jimmy Dukes (2003)" Elizabeth, you just holler out to John (like I did at Jimmy's in 2003)and get ready to bleed.

I would love to hear Gord's take on it. A body's gotta have a lotta rings around the tree to sing it right. ('course I didn't know that at 16 rings.)

And Summertime, never caught that night on tape but etched in my heart and bandmates, was an instrumental where Johnny Kirkland played his Stratocaster on and on and up and up for nearly 30 min the last night on stage w/ The Rumblers before reporting to the Army in '65. I still get the shiverin' fits.

Johnny's gone.

The Rez

. . . hush, little baby
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Old 06-05-2005, 08:41 PM   #8
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Just got delivery on a Rhino CD compilation of Brother Ray singing Love Songs:

I'd heard most, but not all, across the years. It's a great compilation for me. There are a couple duets w/ ladies - marvelous.

The duet promting this post is not "Summertime," but two other songs from the Porgy & Bess opera.
First Ray sings "Bess You is My Woman," which seques into Cleo Laine (world class soprano of unimaginable beauty - vocally, physically & personally) sings "I Loves You Porgy."

After the two pieces are sung separately, their sung together, tumbling over one another, in the best opera tradition. That's how these 2 songs are done in the stage production.

Porgy - on his knees being a cripple - at far stage left; Bess at stands at far stage right. They are in totally different physical spaces, yet singing to one another - simultaneously.
That's an opera thing, often expanded to 3 or 4 singers at once w/ separate melodies. Quite a feat for the composer to pull of.

Back to Ray and Cleo: that's exactly how they do it the second half of the cut. Knocks a poor boy to his knees, like Porgy.

If you ever see a production of Progy & Bess, get ready for a whollop. Same w/ the CD Ray Charles Sings Love Songs.

George & Ira - awrite!

The Rez
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Old 01-23-2006, 02:08 AM   #9
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As of now I just heard another verion by Joe and Eddie anyone know anything about this Folk duo and when this version of Summertime was released. BTW this reminds me of summer. hate winter.
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Old 01-23-2006, 04:52 AM   #10
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The very wonderful Doc Watson does a superb version of 'Summertime'
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