Vinyl du Jour — Mungo Jerry, “In The Summertime” and “Baby Jump”

Maybe because it is the first day of summer— today has been my day for “In The Summertime.” It got into my brain, and has just stayed there.

I played the record again and then again; Mungo Jerry from Dawn Records. Side 1 is “In The Summertime,” originally released in 1970. Side 2 is “Baby Jump,” originally released in 1971. This re-issue was released in 2015 by Sanctuary Records Group, Ltd., a BMG Company.

Ray Dorset says that he thought of “In The Summertime” one day, and wrote it the next. It has sold over sixteen million copies worldwide, and went to №1 in England and №3 in America. Ray Dorset was working for Timex, Inc. at the time he wrote the song.

Producer Barry Murray had signed the group (known early-on as Memphis Leather and The Good Earth) to Dawn Records, which released “In The Summertime” as their first single. The band’s name was changed to Mungo Jerry, after the character Mungojerrie from the T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats — later the basis for the Broadway play Cats.

Mungo Jerry appeared at the Hollywood Music Festival in Staffordshire, England on May 23, 1970. Other bands included The Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath, Free, and Traffic; there were around 35,000 fans in attendance.

I have ended the evening by watching the original video of the band, from 1970. It is great fun — I love bands that play instruments I have never seen before and that I cannot identify by sound! No spoiler, but at about two minutes in — the interval is amazing and very, very funny!