Night Lights Classic Jazz

Porgy & Bess: the 1950s Jazz Revival

Porgy and Bess LPGeorge Gershwin’s opera Porgy and Bess met with only middling success when it debuted in 1935, but stagings in the 1940s and 1950s ensured its place in musical history. With Hollywood poised to make a motion picture of the opera in the late 1950s, a number of musicians recorded jazz interpretations of the score, ranging from an ambitious Bethlehem record label project to a small-group version by guitarist Mundell Lowe. We’ll hear from those artists as well as Miles Davis and Gil Evans, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, Hank Jones, and Bill Potts on this edition of Night Lights; “Porgy and Bess: the 1950s Jazz Revival.”

Music Heard On This Episode

Miss D.D.
Mary Lou Williams — Black Christ of the Andes
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Miss D.D.
Mary Lou Williams — Black Christ of the Andes

Notes: Opening theme.

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Prayer (Oh Doctor Jesus)
Miles Davis/Gil Evans — Porgy & Bess
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Summertime
Mundell Lowe — Porgy & Bess
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My Man's Gone Now
Mundell Lowe — Porgy & Bess
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Bess, You Is My Woman Now
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong — Porgy & Bess
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Gone, Gone, Gone
Miles Davis/Gil Evans — Porgy & Bess
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Oh Bess, Where's My Bess?
Miles Davis/Gil Evans — Porgy & Bess
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Here Come De Honey Man
Miles Davis/Gil Evans — Porgy & Bess

Notes: Break music.

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It Takes a Long Pull to Get There
Bill Potts — Jazz Soul of Porgy and Bess
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Clara, Clara
Bill Potts — Jazz Soul of Porgy and Bess
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I Got Plenty of Nuttin'
Hank Jones — The Talented Touch/Porgy & Bess
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If God Want to Kill Me
Johnny Hartman — Porgy & Bess
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It Ain't Necessarily So
Modern Jazz Quartet — Porgy & Bess
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A Woman Is a Sometime Thing
Sammy Davis Jr. — Boy Meets Girl
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Oh Lawd, I'm On My Way
Louis Armstrong — Porgy & Bess
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Night Lights
Gerry Mulligan — Night Lights
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David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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