Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Land of 1000 Dances

Written and first recorded by Chris Kenner (US #77 1962).
Also recorded by Danny & The Memories (1965).
Other hit versions by Cannibal & The Headhunters (US #30 1965), Wilson Pickett (US #6/R&B #1/UK #22 1966).

From the wiki: “Written and first recorded by Chris Kenner in 1962, ‘Land of 1000 Dances’ is famous for its ‘na na na na na’ hook added by Cannibal & The Headhunters in their 1965 version. (The ‘na na na na na’ hook happened by accident when Frankie ‘Cannibal’ Garcia, lead singer of Cannibal & The Headhunters, forgot the lyrics. The melody to that section of the song was also created spontaneously, as it is not on Kenner’s original recording.) The song’s best-known version was Wilson Pickett’s 1966 single release, from the album The Exciting Wilson Pickett, which became an R&B #1 and Billboard Top 10 hit, his highest-charting Pop song.

“The original Chris Kenner recording mentions 16 dances: the Pony, the Chicken, the Mashed Potato, the Alligator, the Watusi, the Twist, the Fly, the Jerk, the Tango, the Yo-Yo, the Sweet Pea, the Hand jive, the Slop, the Bop, the Fish, and the Popeye.

“A very interesting version of this song was made ca. 1965 by Danny & The Memories, who later became Neil Young’s backup group, Crazy Horse. ”

Cannibal & The Headhunters, “Land of 1000 Dances” (1965):

Danny & The Memories (predecessors of Crazy Horse), “Land of 1000 Dances” (c. 1965):

Wilson Pickett, “Land of 1000 Dances” (1966):

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