Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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See You Later, Alligator

Written and originally recorded (as “Later Alligator”) by Bobby Charles (1955).
Inspired by “Later For You Baby” by Guitar Slim (1954).
Also recorded by Roy Hall (1955).
Hit version by Bill Haley & His Comets (US #6/R&B #7/UK #7 1956), Dr. Feelgood (UK #93 1986).

From the wiki: “Originally titled ‘Later Alligator’, ‘See You Later Alligator’ was written by Louisiana songwriter Robert Charles Guidry and was first recorded by him in 1955 under his professional name ‘Bobby Charles’.

“Guidry, a Cajun musician, adopted a New Orleans-influenced blues style to the song, intending it to be recorded by fellow NOLA musician Fats Domino. (Guidry also wrote ‘Walking to New Orleans’, which was recorded by Domino.) The melody for ‘Alligator’ was borrowed from bluesman Guitar Slim’s ‘Later for You Baby’ that had been recorded the previous year in 1954.

“‘See You Later Alligator’ was also recorded in late 1955 by Roy Hall (‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On‘) at a Nashville session. But the most famous recording of the song, however, was produced on December 12, 1955 by Bill Haley & His Comets at a recording session for Decca Records. Haley’s recording of ‘See You Later, Alligator’, released in January, 1956, popularized a catchphrase already in use at the time (of which Princess Margaret of the United Kingdom was quoted as saying it further publicizing the term overseas). ‘See You Later Alligator’ would become Haley’s third and final million-selling single.”

Guitar Slim, “Later For You, Baby” (1954):

Roy Hall, “See You Later, Alligator” (1955):

Bill Haley & His Comets, “See You Later, Alligator” (1956):

Dr. Feelgood, “See You Later, Alligator” (1986):

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