- 214 total number
- Not Applicable ()
George Gershwin's (USA) jazz standard "Summertime" (lyrics by DuBose Heyward), recorded by US soprano Helen Jepson (1904–97) for Gershwin's 1935 opera Porgy and Bess, has been covered 214 times, according to WhoSampled.com. Thousands of artists have recorded "Summertime" over the years, including Billie Holiday (1936), Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong (1957), Miles Davis (1958), Sam Cooke (1960), Gerry & The Pacemakers (1964), Sonny & Cher (1966), Rick Wakeman (1979), Fun Boy Three (1982), Paul McCartney (1988), Herbie Hancock (1998), Michael Bolton (2003), Leona Lewis (2006), Annie Lennox (2014) and Willie Nelson (2016).
Jepson's rendition of "Summertime" is itself regarded as a cover version. It was recorded for the first time on 19 July 1935 (with Gershwin playing the piano) by US soprano Abbie Mitchell, who played fisherman Jake's wife Clara in the first ever performance of Porgy and Bess, at the Colonial Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, on 30 September 1935.
Trailing "Summertime" in WhoSampled.com's list of the most covered tracks are the likes of "Yesterday" (The Beatles; 190 covers), "Silent Night" (John Freeman Young; 186) and "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (Simon & Garfunkel, 150).
"The Summertime Connection", a group of fans from around the world with a shared passion for Gershwin's aria, claim that "Summertime" is the most recorded song ever, with a staggering 67,591 recorded versions in existence as of 1 June 2017. The group had collected 57,316 full recordings of "Summertime" by that date.