The song was written and composed by Ray Dorset in early 1968 as additional repertoire for his band, that at the time was named The Good Earth after the Pearl Buck book of the same name |
The record was released on Friday, May 22nd 1970, as a three track maxi-single, the first of its kind in the world, on the first of Pye Records Dawn label releases |
By the time of the record’s release the name of the band had been changed to Mungo Jerry, the name having been inspired by the cat, ‘Mungojerrie’ who is a character in T. S. Eliot’s iconic book entitled ‘Old Possum’s Book of Cats’ |
The band performed at The Hollywood Music Festival on Saturday May the 23rd, and again on Sunday May 24th after The Grateful Dead’s three hour plus set, and after the weekends record sales, the maxi-single entered the U.K. charts at number 13|
The record stayed in the No.1 position in the UK music charts for seven weeks |
 In Italy the record was given the Golden Gondola Award, and Mungo Jerry was given The Group of the Year award |
In France, In the Summertime was the fastest, and biggest selling record of all time in the history of French Record sales |
In the U.S.A. the record reached the number one position in Record World magazine |
A cover version of the song by Shaggy reached the No.1 position in the U.S.A. record charts, and went on to sell over one million copies. This version contains samples of Ray Dorset’s guitar and mouth percussion from the Mungo Jerry version of the song |
 In the early days of its release in the U.K., the record company shipped out 78,500 copies of the record, incredibly on a Monday morning, which were all sold, and paid for by lunchtime of the same day |
Ray Dorset received two Ivor Novello awards for composing the song, one as writer and composer, and the other for composing The International Hit Of the Year. Barry Murray received one for his role as producer, and Our Music Ltd. received one as publisher of the title |
In 1971 Ray Dorset received The Citation of Achievement award from Broadcast Music Inc., U.S.A. for composing In the Summertime |
In July 2005 Ray Dorset received The PRS ( Performing Right Society Ltd.) Iconic Song Award to recognise the iconic status of In the Summertime |
The Shaggy recording of In the Summertime resulted in Ray Dorset being awarded the ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Award in 1996 for topping the R&B charts in 1995 |
The Mungo Jerry & The Brothers Grimm recording of the song which was released on Miles Copeland’s independent IRS label in 1987 made a large dent in the UK Independent record charts |
There has been over 100 cover versions of the song worldwide including an instrumental version by the “buzzing of a hive of honey bees” |
When Clive James, the celebrated broadcaster and writer, was interviewed on a BBC Radio programme, he was asked which song he would choose as a worldwide national anthem, and his answer to the question was In the Summertime |
The song has been recognised as a celebration of life |
To put modern days sales into context, In the Summertime has sold four times as many as Ed Sheeran’s worldwide hit, Thinking Out Loud |
This song and the recording of it has changed the lives of very many people in very many ways. It will surely continue to do so |

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The original promo film of In The Summertime found by chance by Ray Dorset

Released 22nd May 1970 : In The Summertime, by Mungo Jerry one of the fastest selling singles of all time. It  was recorded early in 1970 and within weeks, the record had become a global hit sending its composer, lead singer and front man, Ray Dorset aka Mungo Jerry into a completely different world from being a semi-pro musician to an overnight international star.

Over the years, Ray Dorset has become known as the songwriter and his alter-ego, Mungo Jerry as the performer.

At the start of May 2020, In The Summertime had clocked up over 200 million hits on You Tube!

Tracks: In The Summertime, Mighty Man/Dust Pneumonia Blues.

Students first hearing! Click HERE

A bottle as an instrument? Click HERE



Shortly before the release of In The Summertime, The Good Earth as they were then known placed an advert in the music press looking for more work. The ad was seen by promoter/producer Barry Murray who had worked with Ray Dorset previously and was looking to contact him again.

This contact eventually resulted in the band’s first big break, when they were signed to PYE Records by Murray, who had taken over as in-house producer and talent spotter for the company. PYE had set up their own progressive label Dawn as their answer to similar such labels as Harvest & Vertigo. They spent some time in the recording studio at the dead of night after gigs performing their entire songbook. Enough tracks were recorded for an LP with some more songs left over to release at least one single.

Ray Dorset 1970.
Photo courtesy of Ray Dorset.

To take advantage of this Barry devised a way to launch the label – the 33 1/3 r.p.m maxi-single, which would basically be like an E.P containing 3-4 tracks, but played at the slower speed, presented in a picture sleeve and to sell for just slightly more than a standard 45. His new charges would be the first band to release a record in this format. At the label’s request, the band underwent a final name change.


The Good Earth had now become Mungo Jerry (named after a character in T.S Eliot’s ‘Book Of Practical Cats’), and (at Barry Murray’s insistence, and rightly so), the decision was made to release a Ray Dorset composition, the infectious and philosophical celebration of life, In The Summertime as the lead track on their debut (maxi) single. It would be backed by another Dorset number, the riotous Mighty Man and a version of Woody Guthrie’s, Dust Pneumonia Blues. The band had wanted Mighty Man as the single but Murray had his way.

It had an astonishing impact on the music world. It raced to number one just a fortnight after its May 1970 release, remained there for an impressive seven weeks and became the year’s best selling single. The band were suddenly in demand all over the world and appearing on countless television and radio shows.

It topped the charts in over 20 countries and in France, became the fastest selling single ever. In the UK, PYE sold 73,000 copies of the record before lunchtime in one day.

To date, including inclusion on compilation albums, the song has clocked up global sales in excess of 30 million.


The day after the single’s release, on Saturday 23rd May, the band turned in a breathtaking performance at the HOLLYWOOD MUSIC FESTIVAL – ,not Hollywood in California, but much closer to home with the festival site located near Newcastle Under-Lyme.

On stage at Hollywood

The festival had been organised by their management company, Red Bus. Acts included, Black Sabbath, Traffic, Free, Jose Feliciano and making their first UK appearance the Grateful Dead.

Following acts including the popular Family on stage, Mungo Jerry with their irregular, drummer-less line-up of guitars, banjo, piano, double bass and washboard gave the performance of their lives!

They did so well, they were asked to make another unscheduled appearance the following day. Ray Dorset, who was initially worried about this second appearance, as they were on stage directly after Free, in the charts with Alright Now, who then played a well received set. But fear not, Mungo Jerry performed to the same  scenes of hysteria as on the previous day.

Soon after, the music press screamed their approval with their headlines of – MUNGOMANIA and MUNGO JERRY FEVER!


“My Grandma bought me Mungo Jerry’s, In The Summertime, and man I still love that song. I saw the video they did and the chops on that guy, wow! It’s a great tune, it really is a great tune. Everything about it is like what the hell were these people on”.

Tom Yorke, Radiohead, June 2017.


“The first song I ever learned to play, and the first song I ever performed publicly (at a ‘skool’ lunchtime concert in Edinburgh when I was 12 years old) was In The Summertime”.

Mike Scott, The Waterboys, June 2017.


OK, if Mungo Jerry must suffer the vagaries of categorisation then I’ll define them – rock, blues, country, jug, jazz. Yeah sure, these are the sounds that colour their music, but it all comes out fresh and original and you must see them to believe it.

Jerry Floyd, Marquee DJ.


The biggest selling cover version of In The Summertime was recorded by Shaggy in 1995. Like the original it was a worldwide hit. This version also included samples of Ray Dorset’s vocal and guitar. Shaggy’s version made it to the number one spot in the U.S.A the only major record selling territory that the Mungo Jerry version didn’t, where it stalled at the number three spot in the Billboard chart.

For years Bob Dylan used In The Summertime in sound checks at gigs where his rendition of the timeless classic often lasted over ten minutes.

Billy Idol and Slash joined forces with ex Dream Theater keyboard wizard, Derek Sherinian to record and video IN THE SUMMERTIME for his 2006 CD Blood Of The Snake.

Sherinian confirmed that In The Summertime was his favourite song from his childhood and one he had always wanted to record. This was a rousing grunge version of the song that certainly grabbed your attention with a video to match.

Elton John in his days as an out of work hungry musician covered In The Summertime for the budget label Hallmark, as a track on one of their Top Of The Pops compilation LP’s.

In the Summertime gold disc presentation.
Photo courtesy of Ray Dorset.


The Ivor Novello awards represent the pinnacle of musical achievement and peer recognition in the music industry. Ray Dorset received two of these awards for the highest certified British sales and the International hit of the year by a British writer in 1970 as the composer of In The Summertime.


The group wanted Mighty Man to be the lead track, and PYE were uncertain, but Barry Murray, who produced it insisted, “if they didn’t issue it I would get someone else to cover it. I remixed it after hearing the acetate and could see it wasn’t quite there yet. After playing it to several people, including John Peel, I knew I was right.”

John Van Der Kiste, A & F Publications, 1990.



Destined to be one of the biggest for summer ’70, the aptly named In The Summertime. A piece of rock/blues/country/jug/jazz and the most original sound I’ve heard for a year. It’s on a maxi-single from Mungo Jerry, the most devil-may-care music since Lovin’ Spoonful. Just watch this one move.

Daily Sketch, 1970.


If you’re looking for value for money, try the new maxi-single. Pye’s Dawn label introduces it; a 7-inch 33 1/3rd stereo disc selling at 9s 11d.

In the Summertime UK sheet music.
In the Summertime UK sheet music.

One of these, by a group called Mungo Jerry, plays for more than 14 minutes. The first track, In The Summertime, is quite something – a blend of rock and reggae, jug band and Tyrannosaurus Rex. It deserves to be a maxi-hit!”

Mike Nevard, The Sun, 25th May, 1970.


One of the first two maxi-singles released by Pye on their own Dawn label. Roughly eight minutes per side in stereo plus fancy sleeve for 9s 11d. Mungo Jerry make a great sound incorporating, as the sleeve notes claim, everything from rock to jug. Their version of Woody Guthrie’s Dust Pneumonia Blues is a right rave-up with a tremendous barrelhouse piano and harmonica backing.

Daily Mail, 23rd May, 1970.


A good try from a cheerful jug and boogie band. Unfortunately they tend to sound amateurish.

Chris Welsh, May 1970.


The songs nagging commerciality resulted in a runaway smash.

Colin Larkin, 1993.


The reason for this mass outbreak of musical madness was not Marc Bolan though. It was Mungo Jerry’s In The Summertime , a sunny, seasonal hit, maddeningly infectious. “What really made Marc a star was Mungo Jerry not Marc Bolan” claims Simon Napier-Bell. “When Ray Dorset arrived with his voice and put it into a super-commercial hit song, suddenly that voice was acceptable”. Marc Bolan played it cool. “I suppose he could have been copying an old blues singer for all anyone knew”.

Mark Payress, Omnibus Press, 2002.


Mungo Jerry’s charismatic frontman and songwriter, Ray Dorset, was still working in a Timex factory when their sun drenched jug-band anthem, In The Summertime took the charts by storm. “I had to ask my boss for the afternoon off to do Top Of The Pops”, he recalled. Virtually unknown, they had been the surprise smash of the UK’s Hollywood Music Festival, outshining headliners including the Grateful Dead and Black Sabbath. Four days later the song entered the UK Top 20, reaching number one on 13th June 1970. Undeniably a classic slab of good-time rock, In The Summertime’s live ‘rootsy’ down-home, banjo-driven vibe provided welcome relief from the era’s sophisticated prog-rock and manufactured pop.

Sean Egan, Octopus Books, 2007.


JOE ELLIOTT – (Def Leppard)

MIKE SCOTT (The Waterboys)

MATT LETLEY (Status Quo)


TOM YORKE (Radiohead)


Keep checking out the site as we add more pages relating to all of Mungo Jerry’s major releases from the days on the legendary Dawn label, the Polydor Years and beyond…

We now have Diary pages covering Mungo Jerry’s gigs and news stories, old fan club info, press cuttings and memorabilia starting with 1970, and the section is now complete, taking it up to the present day.

Ray Dorset aka Mungo Jerry continues touring and recording critically acclaimed albums such as Adults Only (’03), Naked From The Heart (’07), Cool Jesus (’11), the double albums, Rewind (’16) and 100% Live (’17).

There are also two brand new DVD’s – 24 Days, the Mungo Jerry documentary filmed during a tour of mainly Germany in 2016 and a live performance from the Bansko Jazz Festival.

Both are available from the official Mungo Jerry shop as are the latest Mungo Jerry albums, Xstreme and Touch The Sky.

Click HERE for the online shop.

Hopefully, you’ll stay with us and keep re-visiting the site to view the additional pages and keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and list of forthcoming gigs…


We now have an In The Summertime – memories page. Just click ITS MEMORIES.

Check out the Official Mungo Jerry website