Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Danny’s Song

First recorded by Gator Creek (1970).
Also recorded by Loggins & Messina (1971).
Hit version Anne Murray (US #7/C&W #10/MOR #1/CAN #1 1973).

From the wiki: “‘Danny’s Song’ was written by singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins as a gift for his brother Danny and the birth of his son, Colin. ‘Danny’s Song’ was first recorded for an album by Loggins’ first group, Gator Creek, in 1970 (recording unavailable) and, a year later, on the album Sittin’ In, the debut album by Loggins and Messina.

“Jim Messina, formerly of Poco and Buffalo Springfield, was working as an independent record producer for Columbia Records in 1970 when he met Kenny Loggins, a little-known singer/songwriter who was signed to ABC-Dunhill. The two recorded a number of Loggins’ compositions in Messina’s home living room. When Columbia signed Loggins to a six-album contract (with the assistance of Messina), recording began in earnest for Loggins’ debut album, with Messina as producer. Messina originally intended to lend his name to the Loggins project only to help introduce the unknown Loggins to Messina’s well-established Buffalo Springfield and Poco audiences. But, by the time the album was completed, Messina had contributed so much to the album – in terms of songwriting, arrangement, instrumentation, and vocals – that an ‘accidental’ duo was born. The debut album was released November 1971 as Sittin’ In.

“Audiences regarded the pair as a genuine duo rather than as a solo act with a well-known producer. So, instead of just continuing to produce Loggins as a sole performer, Messina decided to continue recording with Loggins as a duo – Loggins & Messina. Sittin’ In yielded no Top 40 radio hits, but one song received a significant amount of album radio airplay: ‘Danny’s Song’.

“Canadian Country-Pop singer Anne Murray was a fan of the Loggins & Messina recording and recorded her cover version of it in 1972. Murray’s version, released as a single in 1973, was a hit, reaching the US Top 10. Murray’s version also earned her a Grammy Award nomination in the category Best Female Pop Vocal performance at the Grammy Awards of 1974, losing out to ‘Killing Me Softly with His Song‘, by Roberta Flack. Murray has stated that she loved the original version, but that the song took on a deeper meaning for her after the birth of her first child a few years later. In an interview, she stated that ‘Whenever I was singing that song, it was very meaningful.'”

Anne Murray, “Danny’s Song” (1972):

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