Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Singing the Blues

First hit version recorded by Marty Robbins (C&W #1 1956).
Other hit versions by Guy Mitchell (US #1/R&B #4/UK #1 1956), Tommy Steele (UK #1 1957), Dave Edmunds (UK #28 1980), Gail Davies (C&W #17 1983), Daniel O’Donnell (UK #23 1994), The Kentucky Headhunters (C&W #70 1997).

From the wiki: “Composed and first recorded by Malcolm Endsley, ‘Singing the Blues’ holds a unique record in the UK: It was the first and, in half a century and more of its existence, the only song in the history of the UK Singles chart to knock itself off the top spot twice! Guy Mitchell’s version topped the UK Singles chart at the start of January 1957, and was replaced the following week by the Tommy Steele version. The following week, the Mitchell version again replaced the Steele version at #1.

“Endsley was a childhood victim of polio who spent his life in a wheelchair. His original recording (no video available) was first aired on KWCB radio in 1956 and it was so well-received that Endsley took it to Nashville to try to sell it. There, he met Marty Robbins, who recorded the song for Columbia Records in August 1956. Released and it climbed the charts eventually peaking at #17 and topping the country list for 13 weeks.

“Guy Mitchell was also on the Columbia label, and he was given the song to cover in a more Pop style. His version was released in October 1956, reaching #1 in the US charts in December 1956 and stayed there for nine weeks, outselling and outplaying the Marty Robbins version. Gail Davies peaked at #17 on the Country Singles chart in 1983, while a 1997 recording by The Kentucky Headhunters charted briefly in the Country Hot 100.

“Two other versions, recorded decades after Steele’s chart-topper, have charted in the UK. Rock ‘n’ roll revivalist Dave Edmunds’ recording peaked at #28 with his cover in 1980, and in 1994 Irish singer Daniel O’Donnell reached #23 with his version.”

Guy Mitchell “Singing the Blues” (1956):

Tommy Steele, “Singing the Blues” (1957):

Dave Edmunds, “Singing the Blues” (1980):

Gail Davies, “Singing the Blues” (1983):

Daniel O’Donnell, “Singing the Blues” (1994):

The Kentucky Headhunters, “Singing the Blues” (1997):

[Video no longer available]

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