Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Song of the Volga Boatman

First recorded (as “Ey, Ukhnem!”) by G.A. Kazachenko (1903).
Hit version Glenn Miller & His Orchestra (1938 |US#1 1941).

[Above performance recorded by Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin, in 1922.]

From the wiki: “The ‘Song of the Volga Boatmen’ (known in Russian as Эй, ухнем! [Ey, ukhnem!, ‘yo, heave-ho!’], after the refrain) is a well-known traditional Russian song collected by Mily Balakirev, leader of ‘The Five’ who attempted to keep Russian art clean from European influences, and first published in his book of folk songs in 1866 while also being dramatically depicted by painter Ilya Repin in 1873. First recorded in 1903, it was popularized by Feodor Chaliapin in the 1920s with his recorded rendition. Glenn Miller’s jazz arrangement took the song to #1 in the US charts in 1941.”

Glenn Miller & His Orchestra, “Song of the Volga Boatman” (1941):

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