Calgary

Popular tune In The Summertime inspired copycats

On this week's edition of his summer music series on the Calgary Eyeopener, Chris dela Torre went out to see what he could find about Mungo Jerry's 1970 hit In The Summertime.

Mungo Jerry's No. 1 hit was written in 10 minutes, swears band's frontman

Mungo Jerry performs live in Berlin 1970. In the Summertime was the band's first No. 1 hit. (Heinrich Klaffs/Flickr)

On this week's edition of his summer music series on the Calgary Eyeopener, Chris dela Torre went out to see what he could find about Mungo Jerry's 1970 hit In The Summertime.

"The front man of this band, Mungo Jerry, is this guy named Ray Dorset and he has said in so many interviews since that he wrote this song in 10 minutes," says dela Torre.

The song then went on to become the band's first No. 1 single but, according to music historians, it had a lot to do with the original vinyl printing.

"It was the first single to come with so much bonus material that it had to be played at the 33 and a third speed which is normally reserved for full length albums," says dela Torre.

The song became popular so fast that a few bands tried to ride their coat tails.

"Other bands immediately tried to imitate it. That very same year an Australian band called The Mixtures did a cover of In The Summertime," says dela Torre.

"But then The Mixtures got even more shameless with their second single which was called The Pushbike Song which was pretty much In The Summertime in a different key and with different lyrics."

  • Listen to Chris dela Torre compare Mungo Jerry and The Mixtures

Amazingly, The Pushbike Song was a hit, but dela Torre says Mungo Jerry got the last laugh.

"To this day, that band is still playing shows and selling copies of In The Summertime."

The song has really permeated into pop culture with most people able to hum the melody — a little surprising, considering the lyrics, says dela Torre.

"It's arguably pro drinking and driving and then there's that other really weird lyric about mistreating women who are poor."