Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Stoney End

Written and first recorded by Laura Nyro (1966).
Also recorded by The Blossoms (1967), The Stone Poneys (1968), Peggy Lipton (US #121 1968).
Hit version by Barbra Streisand (US #6/MOR #2/CAN #5/UK #27 1971).

From the wiki: “Laura Nyro (1947–1997) was an American songwriter, singer, and pianist. She achieved critical acclaim with her own recordings, particularly the albums Eli and the Thirteenth Confession (1968) and New York Tendaberry (1969), and had commercial success with artists such as Barbra Streisand and The 5th Dimension recording her songs.

“Nyro’s style was a hybrid of Brill Building-style New York pop, jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues, show tunes, rock, and soul. As a child, she taught herself piano, read poetry, and listened to her mother’s records by Leontyne Price, Billie Holiday and classical composers such as Ravel and Debussy. She composed her first songs at age eight. With her family, she spent summers in the Catskill Mountains, where her father played the trumpet at resorts.

“‘Stoney End’ was first recorded by Nyro in 1966 and released in 1967 on the Verve/Folkway album More Than a New Discovery (later reissued as Laura Nyro, 1969, and as The First Songs, 1973). For the single version of ‘Stoney End,’ Nyro was forced to rework some of the lyrics that referred to the Bible, because Verve felt it would cause too much controversy.

“A cover version of “Stoney End” was also released in 1967 by The Blossoms, the female trio of singers (including Darlene Love) best-known for their session work as background singers (Shelley Fabares, Doris Day, many Phil Spector groups including The Ronettes), and for ‘ghosting’ the recording of The Crystals’ ‘He’s A Rebel‘ (1962) in place of the actual group. After spending a few years as TV’s Shindig! ‘house’ singers, The Blossoms resumed recording in 1967 with their pop-gospel version ‘Stoney End’, released as the B-side to the ‘Wonderful’ single, and then again in 1969 as the A-side.

“Linda Ronstandt recorded ‘Stoney End’ in a style similar to Nyro’s recording for the 1968 album Linda Ronstadt, The Stone Poneys & Friends, Vol. III. Actress Peggy Lipton ‘bubbled under’ the Billboard Hot 100 with her 1968 cover of ‘Stoney End’, using a similar arrangement to that of The Blossoms’ recording.

“Barbra Streisand covered ‘Stoney End’ in 1970. It was the title track and first release from her twelfth studio album. Fanny, one of the first notable rock groups to be made up entirely of women, provided the backing vocals.”

Laura Nyro, “Stoney End” single version with alternate lyric (1967):

The Blossoms, “Stoney End” (1967):

The Stone Poneys, “Stoney End” (1968):

Peggy Lipton, “Stoney End” (1968):

Barbra Streisand, “Stoney End” (1971):

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