Best Summer Songs of All Time

School's out, and it's time to get down, get sunburned and get lucky

22

"Summertime," Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke
Gilles Petard/Redferns

Sam Cooke makes it look easy. A near-definitive version of George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward's Porgy and Bess standard from one of the greatest American voices who ever lived, this stunner was the B-side to his 1957 breakthrough single, "You Send Me." It's been done by everyone from Miles Davis to Nick Drake to Janis Joplin to Morcheeba, but no one brings out the beauty – and irony – in this elegant evocation of Southern living like Cooke.

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