Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Every Beat of My Heart

First recorded by The Royals (1952).
Hit version by Gladys Knight & The Pips (US #6/R&B #1 1961).

From the wiki: “‘Every Beat of My Heart’ is a rhythm and blues song by Johnny Otis (‘Willie and the Hand Jive‘). It was first recorded in 1954 by his group The Royals (later to be known as Hank Ballard & the Midnighters). The group was first formed as the Four Falcons by the guitarist and songwriter Alonzo Tucker in Detroit in 1952. In the group’s early years, it included Jackie Wilson, Little Willie John, Freddie Pride, and Levi Stubbs, who went on to become stars after they left the group.

“Hank Ballard and Sonny Woods met when they worked on the same Ford auto assembly line in Detroit. They became friends, and when Smith, the group’s lead singer, was drafted, Ballard joined the group to take his place. This was the lineup when the group was discovered by the legendary bandleader, songwriter, and record producer Johnny Otis in 1953. For their recording debut, their name was changed to The Royals (because there was another Detroit-based group with a similar name, the Falcons). Early Royals and Midnighters recordings featuring Booth were doo-wop ballads, including the original version of ‘Every Beat of My Heart’, written by Otis. After a switch to Federal Records in 1953, the group name was changed again (to avoid confusion with label mates, the 5 Royales) to the Midnighters.

“In 1961 Gladys Knight & the Pips recorded the song (credited to ‘The Pips’) for their debut single on the Vee-Jay label. It would be the first of eleven #1 R&B hits, and The Pips’ first #1 Top 40 hit, for the group.”

Gladys Knight & The Pips, “Every Beat of My Heart” (1961):

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