The song was composed in 1934 by Gershwin for the opera Porgy and Bess, with lyrics by DuBose Heyward. The song was also co-credited to Ira Gershwin.
‘Summertime’ quickly became a jazz standard, with tens of thousands of cover versions. The Beatles recorded it on 15 October 1960 in Hamburg, the first occasion on which John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr recorded music together. Around six copies of ‘Summertime’ were pressed onto acetate disc, though none are known to have survived.
McCartney’s solo version was taped on 20 July 1987, along with the bulk of >Choba B CCCP: ‘Kansas City’, ‘Twenty Flight Rock’, ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’, ‘I’m In Love Again’, ‘Bring It On Home To Me’, ‘Lucille’, ‘I’m Gonna Be A Wheel Someday’, ‘That’s All Right (Mama)’, ‘Just Because’, and ‘Midnight Special’.
The song was left off the original Soviet Union pressing of the album in 1988, but was included on the international edition three years later.