Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Release Me (And Let Me Love Again)

Co-written and first recorded by Eddie Miller & His Oklahomans (1949).
Also recorded by Jimmy Heap (1954).
Hit versions by Ray Price (C&W #6 1954), Kitty Wells (C&W #8 1954), Little Esther Phillips (US #8/R&B #1 1962), Engelbert Humperdinck (US #4/UK #1/IRE #1 1967).

From the wiki: “‘Release Me’ (sometimes rendered as ‘Release Me (And Let Me Love Again)’), is a popular song written by Eddie Miller, Robert Yount, and James Pebworth (under the pseudonym ‘Dub Williams’). Miller worked as a locomotive engineer before becoming a songwriter. Although he never went beyond high school, he taught songwriting at the University of Tennessee. In 1946, Miller co-wrote what was to become his biggest hit, ‘Release Me’. At first he could not get anyone to record it, so he recorded it himself.

“Shortly afterward it was covered by Jimmy Heap and, with even better success by Ray Price and Kitty Wells. Subsequently a big seller was recorded by Little Esther Phillips, who reached number one on the R&B chart and number eight on the pop chart. The recording by Engelbert Humperdinck reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart, and has the distinction in the UK of holding the #1 slot in the chart for six weeks during March and April 1967, preventing The Beatles single, ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’, from reaching the top.”

Ray Price, “Release Me” (1949):

Kitty Wells, “Release Me” (1954):

Little Esther Phillips, “Release Me” (1962):

Engelbert Humperdinck, “Release Me” (1972):

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