Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

Help support this site! Consider clicking an ad from time to time. Thanks!

 
« Go Back to Previous Page «  

Category: Gospel

Oh Happy Day

First recorded (as “Happy Day”) by The Trinity Choir (1913).
Hit versions by The Edwin Hawkins Singers (recorded 1967 |US #4/UK #2/CAN #2/IRE #2/GER #1 1969), Glen Campbell (US #40/MOR #7/C&W #25/CAN #11 1970).

From the wiki: “‘Oh Happy Day’ is a 1967 gospel music arrangement of an 18th-century hymn with long pedigree. It was written in the mid-18th century (‘O happy day, that fixed my choice’) by English clergyman Philip Doddridge (based on Acts 8:35) set to an earlier melody (1704) by J. A. Freylinghausen. By the mid-19th century it had been given a new melody by Edward F. Rimbault, who also added a chorus, and the song was commonly used for baptismal or confirmation ceremonies in the UK and US. Hawkins’ new arrangement contained only the repeated Rimbault refrain, with all of the original verses omitted.

“The first known recording dates from July 17, 1913, on Victor 17499, by the Trinity Choir.

When the Saints Go Marching In

First recorded by The Paramount Jubilee Singers (1923).
Hit versions by Louis Armstrong (US #10 1939), The Weavers (US #27 1951), Percy Faith & His Singers (US #29 1951), Bill Haley & His Comets (as “The Saints Rock ‘n Roll” US #18/UK #5 1956), Fats Domino (US #50 1959).
Also recorded by The Million Dollar Quartet (1956), Tony Sheridan & The Beat Brothers (1961).

From the wiki: “‘When the Saints Go Marching In’, often referred to as ‘The Saints’, is an American gospel hymn. According to jazz critic Al Rose this tune was first published as a Baptist hymn in 1916 and credited to Edward Boatner, the man behind religious-classic ‘He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands’. Though it originated as a Christian hymn, it is often played by jazz bands. This song was famously recorded on May 13, 1938 by Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra.

“The first known recorded version was in 1923 by the Paramount Jubilee Singers on Paramount 12073. Although the title given on the label is ‘When All the Saints Come Marching In’, the group sings the modern lyrics beginning with “When the saints go marching in”. No author is shown on the label. The earliest versions were slow and stately, but as time passed the recordings became more rhythmic. Louis Armstrong was one of the first to make the tune into a nationally known Pop tune in the 1930s. (Armstrong wrote that his sister told him she thought the secular performance style of the traditional church tune was inappropriate and irreligious.)

Put Your Hand in the Hand

First recorded by Anne Murray (1970).
Hit version by Ocean (US #2 1971).

From the wiki: “‘Put Your Hand in the Hand’ is a Gospel-Pop song composed by Gene MacLellan and first recorded byAnne Murray for her third studio album Honey, Wheat and Laughter. It was later covered by Canadian band Ocean and released as the title track to their debut album. Their version is arguably the most popular one of the song, peaking at #2 in 1971 on the US Billboard Hot 100.”

Chain of Fools

Inspired by “Pains of Life” by Rev. Elijah Fair & The Sensational Gladys Davis Trio (1967).
Hit version by Aretha Franklin (US #2/R&B #1 1967).

From the wiki: “‘Chain of Fools’ was inspired by the gospel song ‘Pains of Life’, released earlier in 1967 by the obscure Houston, TX, Gospel group Elijah Fair & The Sensational Gladys Davis Trio. ‘Pains of Life’ has the same melody as the later song; the chorus, ‘Pain, Pain, Pain’, is echoed as ‘Chain, Chain, Chain’ in the Franklin recording. ‘Pains of Life’ first appeared on the Feron record label almost a full year before Franklin belted out her big 1967 hit. ‘Chain Of Fools’ is credited to Don Covay and was produced by Jerry Wexler for Atlantic Records. (Covay’s father was a Baptist minister, so, he might have been familiar with the Gospel music scene.)”

Jesus is Just Alright

First recorded by The Art Reynolds Singers (1966).
Also recorded by The Byrds (US #97 1969).
Hit version by The Doobie Brothers (US #35 1972).

From the wiki: “‘Jesus Is Just Alright’ is a gospel song written by Arthur Reid Reynolds and first recorded by Reynolds’ own group, The Art Reynolds Singers, on their 1966 album, Tellin’ It Like It Is.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close