Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Going Up the Country

First recorded (as “Bull Doze Blues”) by Henry Thomas (1928).
Hit version by Canned Heat (US #11 1969).

From the wiki: “Canned Heat, who were early Blues enthusiasts, based ‘Going Up the Country’ on ‘Bull Doze Blues’, recorded in Chicago for Vocalion Records in 1928 by Texas bluesman Henry Thomas. Thomas was from the songster tradition and had a unique sound, sometimes accompanying himself on quills, an early Afro-American wind instrument similar to panpipes. For Canned Heat’s recording ‘Going Up the Country’, Alan Wilson used Thomas’ melody on the quills and his basic rhythm, but re-arranged it for a Rock setting and rewrote the lyrics; multi-instrumentalist Jim Horn reproduced Thomas’ quill parts on the flute.

“I’m going where I never get bulldozed…”

“The term ‘bull doze’ in the original Thomas recording was a reference to a prolonged beating with a whip, and its earliest recorded use in print was from newspapers in 1876, not long after the civil war, when white men would beat black men with whips to warn them not to vote.”

Canned Heat, “Going Up the Country” (1969):

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