Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Ring of Fire

First recorded (as “Love’s Ring of Fire”) by Anita Carter (1963).
Hit version by Johnny Cash (US #17/C&W #1/AUS #12 1963).

From the wiki: “Co-written by June Carter Cash (wife of Johnny Cash) and Merle Kilgore, ‘Ring of Fire’ was originally recorded by June’s sister, Anita Carter, on her Mercury Records album Folk Songs Old and New.

“After hearing Anita’s version, Cash claimed he had a dream where he heard the song accompanied by ‘Mexican horns’. Cash stated, ‘I’ll give you [Anita] about five or six more months, and if you don’t hit with it, I’m gonna record it the way I feel it.’ When Carter’s recording failed to become a major hit, Cash recorded it his own way; adding the mariachi-style horns.”

Johnny Cash, “Ring of Fire” (1963):

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