Love In The Key Of Summer For our Summer of Love series, listener Kevin Gibbs remembers a woman he met when working at a jazz club in 1976, one he'll always associate with Michel Legrand's "Once Upon a Summertime."
NPR logo

Love In The Key Of Summer

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/435581461/435741173" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Love In The Key Of Summer

Love In The Key Of Summer

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/435581461/435741173" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We've been asking to hear some of your stories of summer love. By the way, B.J. Leiderman writes our theme music. Some of you have sent in tales worthy of a saucy romance novel that can't possibly be uttered on the radio, but this one can, a tender story from Kevin Gibbs of Minnetonka, Minn.

KEVIN GIBBS: I was born legally blind, but blessed with a remarkable musical talent. For 17 years, I viewed my life through these two competing, coexisting prisms, that is until that magical night in June of 1976 when I first heard three special words meant only for me.

M, the girl at the center of the story, was an usher at a jazz concert series where I was a warm-up act. We stood outside the stage door after a concert by the Stan Kenton Orchestra with The Four Freshmen. I took her in my arms and she whispered, I love you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HYMN TO HER")

THE FOUR FRESHMEN: (Singing) What is that they're playing? It's called a hymn to her.

GIBBS: In that shining moment, I felt transformed. I was suddenly no longer brilliant and broken. I was just a guy who loved a girl. Through her, I came to feel as though I had been made whole by the opportunity to love and be loved in return.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HYMN TO HER")

THE FOUR FRESHMEN: (Singing) One moment distant as a dream.

GIBBS: Decades have passed, and I have been blessed to enjoy a remarkable musical career and an equally remarkable marriage to another woman for whom my heart was truly meant. But I believe that all the wonderful things with which I have been blessed owe some foundation to that first experience of love so long ago. There is a song by the great Michel Legrand that expresses this completely.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ONCE UPON A SUMMERTIME")

TONY BENNETT: (Singing) Once upon a summertime, if you recall, we stopped beside a little flower stall.

SIMON: And Kevin Gibbs told us his favorite version of Michel Legrand's song is, of course, this one by Tony Bennett. It's not too late to share your summer love stories. You can find submission details on the NPR WEEKEND EDITION Facebook page.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ONCE UPON A SUMMERTIME")

BENNETT: (Singing) We laughed the happy afternoon away, and stole a kiss in every street cafe.

SIMON: You're listening to WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News.

Copyright © 2015 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.