Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Harlem Shuffle

Written and first recorded by Bob & Earl (US #44/R&B #44 1963 |UK #7 1969).
Hit version by The Rolling Stones (US #5/UK #13/NZ #1/AUS #6 1986).

From the wiki: “Bobby Byrd and Earl Nelson had both been members of The Hollywood Flames, a prolific doo-wop group in Los Angeles, California whose major hit was ‘Buzz Buzz Buzz’ in 1958. By 1957, Byrd had started a parallel solo career, writing and recording for contractual reasons as Bobby Day. He wrote and recorded the original version of ‘Little Bitty Pretty One‘ (a hit for Thurston Harris), but had a hit of his own with ‘”Rockin’ Robin’ (1958). In 1960, Byrd and Nelson began recording together as Bob & Earl, on the Class record label.

“The original version of ‘Harlem Shuffle’, co-arranged by Barry White and Gene Page, peaked at #44 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #36 on the Cash Box chart. However, the record was much more successful upon its UK re-release in 1969, making the Top 10 there. In 2003, the original Bob & Earl version of the song was ranked #23 by the music critics of The Daily Telegraph on their list of the ’50 Best Duets Ever’.

“The Rolling Stones’ cover version, with Bobby Womack on backing vocals, appeared on their 1986 album Dirty Work, and went to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and #13 in the UK.”

The Rolling Stones, “Harlem Shuffle” (1986):

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