Made as part of BBC’s “All America” season, this film shows how SUMMERTIME, Gershwin’s aria from his radical 1935 opera Porgy & Bess, became the most covered composition in the world – with over 25,000 versions.
It reveals how musicians have projected their own dreams & desires onto the song, re-imagining SUMMERTIME throughout the 20th century as a civil rights prayer… a hippie lullaby… an ode to seduction… an Indian lullaby… an African reverie… a modern freedom song.
This intriguing investigation into the secret life of SUMMERTIME doesn’t just explore the song’s breathtaking adaptability but also how it resonates on a deep emotional level too. The tune has magically tapped into something deep inside us all – nostalgia & innocence, sadness & joy and our intrinsic desire for freedom.
DIRECTOR & PRODUCER & WRITER: James Maycock
BROADCASTER: BBC TV / BBC Four
PROGRAMME DURATION: 60 minutes
PRODUCTION COMPANY: BBC Music & Arts Co-Production
BBC EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Jonty Claypole
BBC COMMISSIONERS: Jan Younghusband / Richard Klein / Mark Bell / Ben Weston