Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Someday We’ll Be Together

First recorded by Johnny & Jackey (1961).
Hit versions by Diana Ross & The Supremes (US #1/R&B #1/UK #11 1969), Bert Kaempfert (MOR #27 1970), Bill Anderson & Jan Howard (C&W #4 1970).

From the wiki: “The song was written by Johnny Bristol, Jackey Beavers, and Harvey Fuqua in 1961. Bristol and Beavers recorded the song together as ‘Johnny & Jackey’ for the Tri-Phi label that same year. ‘Someday ..’ was a moderate success in the Midwestern United States, but gained little notice in other regions.

Tri-Phi was purchased by Motown in the mid-1960s. Fuqua, Bristol, and Beavers all then joined Berry Gordy’s famous Motown record company, and ‘Someday We’ll Be Together’ became part of Motown’s Jobete publishing catalog. In 1969, Bristol was preparing a cover version of ‘Someday We’ll Be Together,’ to be recorded by Motown act Jr. Walker & the All-Stars. Bristol had already recorded the instrumental track and the background vocals by Maxine Waters and Julia Waters when Berry Gordy happened upon the tracks and heard them. Gordy thought that ‘Someday …’ would be a perfect first solo single for Diana Ross, who was making her long-expected exit from the Supremes at the time, and had Bristol sequester Ross into the studio to record the song.

“Unable at first to get the vocal performance he desired from Diana Ross, Bristol – as producer – decided to try something different: he would harmonize with Ross, helping her to get into the mood needed for the record. On the first take, the engineer accidentally recorded both Ross’s vocal and Bristol’s ad-libs. Bristol and arranger Wade Marcus liked the results, and Bristol had his vocal recorded alongside Ross’ for the final version of the song. Bristol’s ad-libs and words of encouragement to Ross can be heard in the background throughout the song. When Berry Gordy heard the completed song, he decided to release it as the final Diana Ross & The Supremes song even though the background vocals are not of Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong but, rather, of the Waters sisters.

“Other charting versions in 1970, after Ross’ production became a hit, included an easy-listening instrumental treatment by Bert Kaempfert, and country-fied recording by Bill Anderson and Jan Howard charted Top-5 on the Country Singles chart.”

Diana Ross & The Supremes, “Someday We’ll Be Together” (1969):

Bert Kaempfert, “Someday We’ll Be Together” (1970):

Bill Anderson & Jan Howard, “Someday We’ll Be Together” (1970):

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