Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Let Your Love Flow

First released by Gene Cotton (1975).
Hit version by The Bellamy Brothers (US #1/MOR #2/C&W #21/CAN #3/UK #7/GER #1/SWE #2 1976).

From the wiki: “‘Let Your Love Flow’ was written by Larry E. Williams, a former roadie for Neil Diamond and was first offered by Williams to Diamond who turned it down. Johnny Rivers also passed on the song. An early recording was attempted by producer Phil Gernhard, who often used Diamond’s road band as session musicians, with David Bellamy singing but the result was disappointing and the session was shelved. Pop-folk and Christian singer Gene Cotton would wind up being the first performer to release ‘Let Your Love Flow’, in October 1975, as the lead promotional single from Cotton’s album For All the Young Writers, but it failed to chart.

“In January 1976, another arrangement of ‘Let Your Love Flow’, produced by Gernhard and Tom Scotti this time with Howard Bellamy singing lead, was released, becoming a crossover hit in the United States for the Bellamy Brothers. Although it only peaked at #21 on the Country Singles chart, the single became a #1 pop sensation on the Billboard Hot 100 and also peaked at #2 on Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks. The Bellamy Brothers’ recording also became a sizable international hit (but kept from the top spot in Sweden, for example, by ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’).”

The Bellamy Brothers, “Let Your Love Flow” (1976):

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