Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Early Morning Rain

First released by Ian & Sylvia (1965).
Hit versions by Peter, Paul & Mary (US #91/MOR #13 1965), George Hamilton IV (C&W #9 1966), Oliver (MOR #38 1971), Paul Weller (UK #40 2005).
Also recorded by The Grateful Dead (1965), Gordon Lightfoot, author (1966), Elvis Presley (1972).

From the wiki: “‘Early Morning Rain’ (sometimes ‘Early Mornin’ Rain’) was composed by Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, perhaps as early as 1964. The song appears on his 1966 debut album Lightfoot! but is thought to have been recorded in 1964 or 1965. Husband and wife duo Ian & Sylvia were the first to release ‘Early Morning Rain’; Peter, Paul & Mary’s version, also recorded in 1965, was the first to chart on the Billboard Hot 100. There was over a year’s time lag between the PP&M recording and Lightfoot’s recording and its release. The Grateful Dead also recorded the song in 1965.”

“In addition to Peter, Paul & Mary’s hit version, George Hamilton IV charted Country Top 10 in 1966. UK singer Oliver charted US MOR Top 40 in 1971; Paul Weller charted with ‘Early Morning Rain’ in 2005 on the UK Singles chart.”

Peter, Paul & Mary, “Early Morning Rain” (1965):

The Grateful Dead, “Early Morning Rain” (1965):

Gordon Lightfoot, “Early Morning Rain” (1966):

George Hamilton IV, “Early Morning Rain” (1966):

Oliver, “Early Morning Rain” (1971):

Elvis Presley, “Early Morning Rain” rehearsal video from Aloha from Hawaii (1972):

Paul Weller, “Early Morning Rain” (2004):

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