|Song by Wayne Newton|
"Summer Wind" is a 1965 song, originally released in Germany as "Der Sommerwind" and written by Heinz Meier and German language lyrics by Hans Bradtke. Johnny Mercer re-wrote the song into English along the same themes as the original, which talked of the changing of the seasons using the Southern European sirocco wind as a metaphor. In America, it was first recorded by Wayne Newton and subsequently by Bobby Vinton and Perry Como.
The song is best known for a 1966 recording by Frank Sinatra which peaked at number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number one on the Easy Listening chart. The Sinatra version originally appeared on his album, Strangers in the Night. A variety of singers and bands have covered the song since, including Shirley Bassey, Fun Lovin' Criminals, Michael Bublé and James Dean Bradfield. Both Barry Manilow and Westlife have included the song on their albums of Sinatra covers.
"Der Sommerwind" was a song composed in 1965 by Heinz Meier, with German language lyrics written by Hans Bradtke. The song was changed to English by Johnny Mercer, who had heard the song being sung by Danish singer Grethe Ingmann. He wrote replacement lyrics along the same theme. The song talks of the sirocco wind which passes from North Africa into Southern Europe at the end of summer, and uses this as a metaphor for the changing of the seasons and the passing of time. It was recorded for the American market in 1965 by Wayne Newton as the title track for his album Summer Wind. At the time of his release, it was predicted to be as successful as his recording of Red Roses for a Blue Lady, which had reached tenth place on the Top 40 and the number one spot on the Easy Listening chart. However it only reached the 86th position. It was also recorded that year by both Bobby Vinton, and Perry Como. Como's version was recorded in Nashville in 1965 and was one of only seven tracks he worked on with Anita Kerr and her singers.
Cover versions and in popular culture
Frank Sinatra version
The best known version of the song is by Frank Sinatra. He had previously worked with Mercer on a number of songs, including "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)" and Nancy Sinatra would later recall Mercer being Sinatra's favourite lyricist. It was recorded for the singer's album Strangers in the Night, which was the final album he worked on with composer Nelson Riddle. The composition of Sinatra's version used both a electronic organ and a big band, and the lyrics were modified to drop the second chorus. This was Mercer's final work to reach the top forty within the United States. Sinatra would later re-record the song with Julio Iglesias for the 1993 album Duets.
Charts and certifications
Wayne Newton version
|US Billboard Hot 100 (Billboard)||86|
Frank Sinatra version
|US Billboard Hot 100 (Billboard)||4|
|US Easy Listening (Billboard)||1|
|UK Singles Chart (Official Charts Company)||36|
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- Friedwald (1995): p. 273
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