1958 The Jamies – Summertime, Summertime
Sherm Feller was born in 1918 and grew up in the Boston area. He worked for a series of radio stations beginning in 1941. He married singer Judy Valentine and began writing songs for her. Sherm moved to a station in Boston in 1953 where he could interview celebrities as part of his show. He is credited as writer or co-writer of over a thousand songs.
Tom Jameson and his sister Serena teamed up with Jeannie Roy and Arthur Blair to form the singing group The Jamies. Tom wrote and arranged Summertime, Summertime, the group’s first single. Sherm became the group’s manager and received co-writer credit for the song (not an unusual practice at the time). Epic Records released the single, and it peaked at #26 on the Hot 100 in 1958.
Sherm wrote the group’s next single, but it failed to chart. The group moved to United Artists Records in 1959 and released a third single, this time written solely by Tom, but that record didn’t chart, either.
A few lineup changes didn’t help, and the group faded into obscurity until the Summer of 1962, when Epic Records re-released Summertime, Summertime. The record accomplished the nearly impossible task of getting back onto the charts again, but peaked at only #38.
Several other groups later covered the song, although nobody else charted with the song. The Fortunes released the song as their first single in 1963; they didn’t have a hit record until the release of the single You’ve Got Your Troubles two years later.
The song continued to make money for somebody as it became popular as background music for commercials. Applebee’s used a new recording of the song with different lyrics for several years beginning in 1993 to promote their Summer specials.
A more humorous use of the song came in 2019 when McDonald’s used the original recording as part of a Summer commercial.
Sherm hosted a big band-themed radio show in Boston from 1970 to 1985. He also became the public announcer for the Red Sox from 1967 until 1993. Sherm died in January 1994, but the Red Sox continue to broadcast a recording of his iconic opening announcement at the start of their games.
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