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Who sang the version of "Summertime" that received a lot of airplay on American pop radio in the late 60s or early 70s? I've been wracking my brain, searching youtube, and I can't find it. It wasn't slow like the Porgy & Bess musical, it had a more uptempo beat, but wasn't the sampled/mixed mess it has become today. I've listened to quite a few versions the last several days trying to find it, my memory is too clouded up to be able to say clearly. There was definitely singing, and I'm pretty sure it was sung by a woman.

I'm pretty sure it wasn't a jazz standards cover, nor Janis Joplin's cover. The 90s/2000s and later remakes are okay, but they changed the song too much for my taste. Wikipedia lists a few artists that covered it, but they are not the same either. One of the closest I could find was this Norah Jones cover. This Olivia Kuper Harris version is good too. It was NOT Mungo Jerry's "In the Summertime."

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    Can you be more specific about where it was played? Radio trends vary from a country to another. And can you be more specific about the song, voice, beat, instruments...? – Bebs Feb 26 at 7:10
  • Pop radio, USA. Wasn't slow like the Porgy & Bess musical, more uptempo beat, but not the sampled/mixed mess it has become today. – CrossRoads Feb 26 at 19:22
  • What if anything do you remember about how this rendition of "Summertime" sounded? For example, was it sung by a solo voice, assuming that there actually was any singing involved? If so, do you remember if it was a male- or female-sounding voice? Same thing for any accompanying instruments, e.g. was it a big sound (such as orchestral, big band, etc.), or was it rather spare (such as just a guitar)? Was there any percussion involved? You say "more uptempo beat"... can you explain that a little more (e.g. "it had a bebop feel"). Any other clues you can give would help. – mlibby Feb 27 at 14:50
  • To be honest, I've listened to quite a few versions the last several days trying to find it, my memory is too clouded up to be able to say clearly. There was definitely singing, pretty sure a woman. Going thru the list of covers I found, no names jumped out at me. Maybe I'm actually thinking of a different song even. – CrossRoads Feb 27 at 15:34
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    This one is good too youtube.com/watch?v=PXt3vzWD4Fw – CrossRoads Feb 27 at 20:19
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According to Wikipedia, there are over 25,000 covers of this song! However, the most commercially successful was Billy Stewart's version. It hit the charts in 1966, so the time frame fits.

I had never heard this version before researching this answer, but his voice could conceivably be mistaken for a woman with a lower voice. It seems to be a reasonable match for the other aspects of your question --uptempo, popular (so it would have been on the airwaves), a little jazzy, but not in a jazz-standards style, reasonably close to the original.

It's always worth noting that Billie Holiday has a version too. It's uptempo and not overly "standardsy" but of course, it doesn't match the time period. (Nina Simone's version is a closer fit to the time period, but it's a slow ballad version, not uptempo at all.)

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