Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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A Lover’s Question

Co-written and first recorded by Brook Benton (1958).
Hit versions by Clyde McPhatter (US #6/R&B #1 1958), Del Reeves (C&W #14 1970), Jacky Ward (C&W #3 1978).
Also recorded by Loggins & Messina (1975).

From the wiki: “‘A Lover’s Question’ was written by Brook Benton (‘Rainy Night in Georgia‘) and Jimmy T. Williams, and first recorded by Benton in 1958. That same year, it was covered by Clyde McPhatter (formerly of The Dominoes and founder of The Drifters) and became his most successful solo Pop or R&B release. Only 39 at the time of his death in 1972, McPhatter struggled for years with alcoholism and depression and was, according to Jay Warner’s On This Day in Music History, ‘broke and despondent over a mismanaged career that made him a legend but hardly a success.’

“McPhatter was the first artist in music history to become a double inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame … first as a member of The Drifters and, later, as a solo artist and, as a result, all subsequent double and/or triple inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are said to be members of ‘The Clyde McPhatter Club’.

“Del Reeves charted Country with ‘A Lover’s Question’ in 1970, as did Jacky Ward in 1978. Loggins & Messina included the song on their So Fine collection of 1950s and 1960s Rock, R&B and Rockabilly cover songs.”

Clyde McPhatter, “A Lover’s Question” (1958):

https://youtu.be/THUpkMryjOs

Del Reeves, “A Lover’s Question” (1970):

Loggins & Messina, “A Lover’s Question” (1975):

Jacky Ward, “A Lover’s Question” (1978):

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