Season of “The Time” Part Three

In my previous post, I focused on group efforts…for this one I’m looking at time songs which feature a particular artist. Now I know that I tend to choose songs made popular in a period spanning from about 1965 to 1972. But, for this outing, I’m trying to steer clear of those particular years. So… I guess that means no Sign of the Times (1966), no By the Time I Get to Phoenix (1967) and not even a Time in a Bottle (recorded in 1972, but released as a single in 1973).

My first choice takes me back to 1935. That was the year that George Gershwin (with his lyricist brother, Ira and DuBose Heyward, libretto) completed and premiered an English-language “folk” opera called Porgy and Bess. One of the best-known songs from that show is Summertime(actually composed in 1934) . The song has seen many incarnations and interpretations over the decades (and is considered one of the most-covered songs [over 25 000 versions!] in the history of recorded music ). I’ve chosen Billie Holiday‘s contemporary recording which became a hit for her in 1936.

And… you’ll notice I didn’t choose Janis Joplin‘s 1968 interpretation of the song. The sixties successfully avoided!

Peggy Seeger circa 1957

Most people familiar with The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face probably know it courtesy of Roberta Flack…or even Gordon Lightfoot. You may not know that the folk song actually dates from 1957 …written by British political singer/songwriter Ewan MacColl for Peggy Seeger, who later became his wife. Here is Seeger in a later live performance of the song.

So now we’ll jump past the 60’s and 70’s in order to arrive at the 1980’s.

Billy Joel was drawing his inspiration from the late 50’s (especially Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers) when he composed The Longest Time for his 1983 album, An Innocent Man. The single reached #14 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1984.

In the 80’s Cyndi Lauper was scoring hits…time after time, including True Colors, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Change of Heart and, of course, Time After Time (which became her first #1 hit in 1984).

Daryl Hall (of Hall & Oates fame) composed Everytime You Go Away in 1980 and the duo recorded the song but never released it as a single. That situation was rectified in 1985 when Brit singer Paul Young covered it and took Everytime to #1 in both Canada and the US.

Big Time by Peter Gabriel brings us one year further down the musical road. Recorded in 1986 for the album So, the song reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1987.

Can you think of a better closer than Leonard Cohen‘s Closing Time from his 1992 album, The Future? I couldn’t…so here he is.