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Six Unlikely Covers of "Summertime"

George Gershwin
George Gershwin

George Gershwin's "Summertime" has racked up thousands of covers since it appeared on the soundtrack to Porgy & Bess is 1935, and while several jazz and blues artists covered it in the 20th century - Billy Stewart's version being perhaps the most goosebump-inducing, next to Janis Joplin's - its appeal continues. Most recently Scarlet Johannson and Massive Attack covered the tune for the Days of Grace soundtrack.

Here are a few of the more under-the-radar covers of the song, to get you ready for more of these beautiful 109-degree days...

Crooked Fingers Archers of Loaf frontman Eric Bachmann does a Crooked Finger-y interpretation for the Onion's AV Club.

The Residents This cover, from 1984's George & James, well, it sounds like the Residents.

Albert Ayler The free-jazz saxophonist haunts this version from start to finish, giving the original a spiritual update.

 

Fun Boy Three This British band consisted of three ex-members of the Specials, and they put out just two albums before disbanding in 1983. There's something equally affective about this new wave/reggae version.

Nina Hagen If you've seen the German singer's live performances, this cover is sedate in comparison.

The Walker Brothers Not really an unlikely cover, though Scott Walker would go on to make music that sounded completely different. The harmonies here are impeccable.


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