The Complete Porgy and Bess

This 1956 recording based on George Gershwin's opera Porgy and Bess was the second "complete" recording of the opera after the 1951 version, and the first recording of the work to feature jazz singers and musicians instead of operatic singers and a classical orchestra.

Porgy and Bess
Studio album by
RecordedMay 1956
GenreShow tunes
Traditional pop
Vocal jazz
LabelBethlehem Records
Various chronology
Porgy and Bess (1951 album)
Porgy and Bess

Russell Garcia arranged Gershwin's work for the Bethlehem Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Australian Jazz Quintet, the Pat Moran Quartet and the Stan Levey Group. Mel Tormé sang the role of Porgy and Frances Faye the role of Bess. The Ellington Orchestra plays "Summertime" as the overture, but does not appear elsewhere on the album.

Originally released by Bethlehem Records in 1956 (3BP-1); reissued in the 1970s (EXLP-1). Highlights from this recording released by Bethlehem as BCP 6040 and BCP 6009. On CD: Bethlehem Records #BET6028-2 (Released 1994), Rhino Records #75828 (Released 1999).



  • Dachslager, Earl L. (Winter 2000). "Various Artists: George Gershwin's Porgy and Bess". Songbirds. Archived from the original on 2000-09-29.
  • Production notes from the Jazz Discography Project
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