a popular song with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by 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 role of Sportin' Life was created by John W. Bubbles. Other notable incarnations of the character include Cab Calloway on stage and Sammy Davis, Jr. in the 1959 film.
The song was notably sung by Aretha Franklin and Bobby Darin on his 1959 album That's All, and Aretha also recorded it for her album "Aretha (with the Ray Bryant Combo)".
It was covered a number of times during the Rock era. It was included as an album track by The Honeycombs on their debut-album, The Honeycombs in 1964. Released as a single, the song was a major Australian hit in 1965 for singer Normie Rowe, reaching number 5 on the Australian singles charts. Also in 1965 The Moody Blues covered the song for their album, The Magnificent Moodies. The Moody Blues' version is notable for the fact that it was their first recording with band member Ray Thomas singing the lead vocals.
In 1984, the song was released as a single by UK band Bronski Beat with Jimmy Somerville on lead vocals. The song was taken from Bronski Beat's debut album, The Age of Consent and reached number 16 on the UK singles charts.
Other versions include Cher in 1994, Jamie Cullum in 2002, Sting, Brian Wilson on his 2010 Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin album and Hugh Laurie on his 2011 album Let Them Talk. In 2014, Spanish Jazz singer Pedro Ruy-Blas included the song on his album "El Americano".
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