Tag Archives: Porgy and Bess

Summertime and Billy Stewart: Fruitful and Fleeting

summertimeSummer has left our once-warm grasp.  In memorium, Darkjive presents Chess Records’ Billy Stewart with a 1966 version of the classic song “Summertime” (from Porgy and Bess).  I love how Billy Stewart’s scats interplay with insistent horns and halting guitar licks.  The drummer on the cut is a very young Maurice White (of Earth, Wind, and Fire). 

Originally from Washington, D.C., Stewart scored a string of hits in the mid sixties with Chicago record label Chess, including “I Do Love You”, “Fat Boy”, and “Sitting in the Park”.  He died just shy of his 33rd birthday when his car plunged into a North Carolina river, alongside three of his bandmates.  Billy Stewart’s “Summertime”: Fruitful, fleeting talent singing the praises of a fruitful, fleeting season.

31st street beach

(above, 31st Street Beach, Chicago)


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