|Lyricist(s)|| DuBose Heyward |
"Summertime" is an aria composed in 1934 by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess . The lyrics are by DuBose Heyward, the author of the novel Porgy on which the opera was based, and Ira Gershwin. 
The song soon became a popular and much-recorded jazz standard, described as "without doubt ... one of the finest songs the composer ever wrote ... Gershwin's highly evocative writing brilliantly mixes elements of jazz and the song styles of blacks in the southeast United States from the early twentieth century".  Composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim characterized Heyward's lyrics for "Summertime" and "My Man's Gone Now" as "the best lyrics in the musical theater". 
Gershwin began composing the song in December 1933, attempting to create his own spiritual in the style of the African American folk music of the period.   Gershwin had completed setting DuBose Heyward's poem to music by February 1934, and spent the next 20 months completing and orchestrating the score of the opera. 
The song is sung several times throughout Porgy and Bess. Its lyrics are the first words heard in act 1 of the opera, following the communal "wa-do-wa". It is sung by Clara as a lullaby. The song theme is reprised soon after as counterpoint to the craps game scene, in act 2 in a reprise by Clara, and in act 3 by Bess, singing to Clara's now-orphaned baby after both parents died in the storm.
The song was recorded for the first time by Abbie Mitchell on July 19, 1935, with George Gershwin playing the piano and conducting the orchestra (on: George Gershwin Conducts Excerpts from Porgy & Bess, Mark 56 667).
The 1959 movie version of the musical featured Loulie Jean Norman singing the song. That rendition finished at #52 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.  
Heyward's inspiration for the lyrics was the southern folk spiritual-lullaby "All My Trials", of which he had Clara sing a snippet in his play Porgy.   The lyrics have been highly praised by Stephen Sondheim. Writing of the opening line, he says
That "and" is worth a great deal of attention. I would write "Summertime when" but that "and" sets up a tone, a whole poetic tone, not to mention a whole kind of diction that is going to be used in the play; an informal, uneducated diction and a stream of consciousness, as in many of the songs like "My Man's Gone Now". It's the exact right word, and that word is worth its weight in gold. "Summertime when the livin' is easy" is a boring line compared to "Summertime and". The choices of "ands" [and] "buts" become almost traumatic as you are writing a lyric – or should, anyway – because each one weighs so much. 
Musicologist K. J. McElrath wrote of the song:
Gershwin was remarkably successful in his intent to have this sound like a folk song. This is reinforced by his extensive use (one exception: the note B under the word "high") of the pentatonic scale (C–D–E–G–A) in the context of the A minor tonality and a slow-moving harmonic progression that suggests a "blues". Because of these factors, this tune has been a favorite of jazz performers for decades and can be done in a variety of tempos and styles. 
While in his own description, Gershwin did not use any previously composed spirituals in his opera, Summertime is often considered an adaptation of the African American spiritual "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child", which ended the play version of Porgy.   
Statistics for the number of recordings of "Summertime" vary by source; while older data is restricted to commercial releases, newer sources may include versions self-published online. The Jazz Discography in 2005 listed 1,161 official releases, ranking the song fourth among jazz standards.  Joe Nocera in 2012 said there were "over 25,000" recordings.  Guinness World Records lists the website's 2017 figure of 67,591 as the world record total. 
Other versions to make the pop charts include those by:
George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist whose compositions spanned popular, jazz and classical genres. Among his best-known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue (1924) and An American in Paris (1928), the songs "Swanee" (1919) and "Fascinating Rhythm" (1924), the jazz standards "Embraceable You" (1928) and "I Got Rhythm" (1930), and the opera Porgy and Bess (1935), which included the hit "Summertime".
Porgy and Bess is an English-language opera by American composer George Gershwin, with a libretto written by author DuBose Heyward and lyricist Ira Gershwin. It was adapted from Dorothy Heyward and DuBose Heyward's play Porgy, itself an adaptation of DuBose Heyward's 1925 novel of the same name.
Edwin DuBose Heyward was an American author best known for his 1925 novel Porgy. He and his wife Dorothy, a playwright, adapted it as a 1927 play of the same name. The couple worked with composer George Gershwin to adapt the work as the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. It was later adapted as a 1959 film of the same name.
Porgy and Bess is a studio album by jazz vocalist and trumpeter Louis Armstrong and singer Ella Fitzgerald, released on Verve Records in 1959. The third and final of the pair's albums for the label, it is a suite of selections from the George Gershwin opera Porgy and Bess. Orchestral arrangements are by Russell Garcia, who had previously arranged the 1956 jazz vocal recording The Complete Porgy and Bess.
Porgy and Bess is a studio album by jazz musician Miles Davis, released in March 1959 on Columbia Records. The album features arrangements by Davis and collaborator Gil Evans from George Gershwin's 1935 opera of the same name. The album was recorded in four sessions on July 22, July 29, August 4, and August 18, 1958, at Columbia's 30th Street Studio in New York City. It is the second collaboration between Davis and Evans and has garnered much critical acclaim since its release, being acknowledged by some music critics as the best of their collaborations. Jazz critics have regarded the album as historically important.
Dorothy Heyward was an American playwright.
"It Ain't Necessarily So" is a popular song with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by his brother Ira Gershwin. The song comes from the Gershwins' opera Porgy and Bess (1935) where it is sung by the character Sportin' Life, a drug dealer, who expresses his doubt about several statements in the Bible. The song's melody also functions as a theme for Sportin' Life's character.
Gershwin Live! is a 1982 live album by Sarah Vaughan, of music composed by George Gershwin, accompanied by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. The album was arranged by Marty Paich.
"I Loves You, Porgy" is a duet from the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin. It was performed in the opera's premiere in 1935 and on Broadway the same year by Anne Brown and Todd Duncan. They recorded the song on volume 2 of the album Selections from George Gershwin's Folk Opera Porgy and Bess in 1942. The duet occurs in act 2, scene 3, Catfish Row, where Porgy promises Bess that he will protect her. Bess has a lover, Crown, who is abusive and continually seduces her.
"My Man's Gone Now" is an aria composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by DuBose Heyward, written for the opera Porgy and Bess (1935).
Porgy and Bess is a 1976 album by pianist Oscar Peterson and guitarist Joe Pass featuring music from George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess. This is the only album on which Peterson plays the clavichord.
Oscar Peterson Plays Porgy & Bess is a 1959 studio album by Oscar Peterson, playing selections from George Gershwin's 1935 opera, Porgy and Bess.
Porgy & Bess is a 1997 album by the jazz saxophonist Joe Henderson, released on Verve Records. It contains Henderson's arrangements of music from George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess.
Porgy and Bess is an album by Harry Belafonte and Lena Horne, released by RCA Victor in 1959. It features songs from George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess. Belafonte and Horne sing two songs together: "There's a Boat That's Leavin' Soon for New York" and "Bess, You Is My Woman Now". The album was re-issued on a 2-CD set in 2003 together with Jamaica by BMG Collectables in Stereo.
Pure Imagination is a 1998 album by jazz pianist Eric Reed released through Impulse! Records. This album contains reinterpretations (remakes) of traditional pop songs from classic Broadway and Hollywood productions such as Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Porgy and Bess, A Little Night Music among others. Pure Imagination has peaked at #8 on Billboard's Top Jazz Album charts. All songs are written by famous songwriters of said productions except for the opening and closing tracks composed by Reed himself.
"Bess, You Is My Woman Now" is a duet with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward. This song comes from the Gershwins' opera Porgy and Bess (1935) where it is sung by the main character Porgy and his beloved Bess. They express their love for each other and say that they now belong together.
"I Got Plenty o' Nuttin' " is a song composed in 1934 by George Gershwin for the 1935 "folk-opera" Porgy and Bess (1934). The lyrics are by DuBose Heyward, the author of the novel Porgy on which the opera was based, and Ira Gershwin. It is one of the most famous songs from the opera and it has been recorded by hundreds of singers and music groups.
Porgy and Bess is a 1959 album by Sammy Davis Jr. of selections from George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess co-starring Carmen McRae. Davis is accompanied by orchestras conducted by Buddy Bregman and Morty Stevens, sometimes supported by the Bill Thompson singers. McRae is featured on three of the ten songs, "Summertime", "My Man's Gone Now" and the only duet, "I Loves You, Porgy", all three backed by an orchestra directed by Jack Pleis. "The record is piled to the sky with strings, harps, choruses, and pillowy orchestration," writes Tim Sendra on Allmusic, but "credit[s] Sammy and Carmen for holding up their end of the deal."
Summertime is a 1971 album by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass. It consists of tracks assembled by Alpert's A&M Records label and was released during Alpert's hiatus from performing that occurred between the albums The Brass Are Comin' (1969) and You Smile – The Song Begins (1974).
Gershwin summertime spiritual style.