Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Crying in the Chapel

First recorded by Darrell Glenn & The Rhythm Riders (US #6/C&W #4 1953).
Other hit versions by The Orioles (US #11/R&B #1 1953), Rex Allen (US #8/C&W #4 1953), Ella Fitzgerald (US #15 1953), Art Lund (US #23 1953), June Valli (US #4 1953), Elvis Presley (recorded 1960 |US #3/MOR #1/UK #1 1965).
Also recorded (as “Selassie Is the Chapel”) by Bob Marley & The Wailers (1968).

From the wiki: “‘Crying in the Chapel’ was written by Artie Glenn for his son, Darrell, to sing. Darrell recorded it while still in high school in 1953, along with Artie’s band the Rhythm Riders, and the record went Top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song went on to become one of the most-covered songs of 1953, with additional charted versions recorded by The Orioles (‘C.C. Rider‘), Rex Allen, Ella Fitzgerald, Art Lund, and June Valli. (The Orioles’ recording would be used two decades later in the soundtrack of American Graffiti.)

“Elvis Presley recorded his version of the song in 1960 during the sessions for his RCA Records gospel album, His Hand in Mine. It was not included on that album but, rather, was held back by RCA Records and finally released as an ‘Easter Special’ single in April 1965. ‘Crying in the Chapel’ was later included as a bonus track on Presley’s 1967 gospel album, How Great Thou Art.

“In April, 1968, Bob Marley, Rita Marley (replacing Bunny Wailer, who was in jail at the time) and Peter Tosh recorded an adapted version of the song in Kingston, Jamaica, they titled “Selassie is the Chapel’, the first-ever Rastafarian-themed song recorded and released by Bob Marley. The song is thus very meaningful to Rastafarians as its lyrics were modified to affirm the divinity of Haile Selassie as the born-again Christ. Only a few hundred copies of the single were pressed on a blank label at the time, making the recording a much sought-after rarity for decades until it was finally reissued and documented on CD on the Selassie Is the Chapel album (JAD Records, 1997).”

The Orioles, “Crying in the Chapel” (1953):

Rex Allen, “Crying in the Chapel” (1953):

Ella Fitzgerald, “Crying in the Chapel” (1953):

June Valli, “Crying in the Chapel” (1953):

Elvis Presley, “Crying in the Chapel” (1960, released 1965):

The Wailers, “Selassie is the Chapel” (1968):

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