Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Swinging on a Star

First performed and recorded by Bing Crosby (US #1 1944).
Other hit versions by Big Dee Irwin & Little Eva (US #38/UK #7 1963), Spooky & Sue (NL #2 1974).

From the wiki: “The Pop standard ‘Swinging on a Star’ was composed by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics by Johnny Burke, and was first introduced by Bing Crosby in the 1944 film Going My Way, winning an Academy Award for Best Original Song that year.

“Composer Van Heusen was at Crosby’s house one evening for dinner, to discuss a song for the movie. During a meal with the family, one of the children began complained about how he didn’t want to go to school the next day. Crosbyr turned to his son and said to him, ‘If you don’t go to school, you might grow up to be a mule. Do you wanna do that?’

“Van Heusen thought the clever rebuke would make a good song for the movie. He pictured Crosby, who played a priest, talking to a group of children acting much the same way as his own child had acted that night. Van Heusen took the idea to his partner lyricist Johnny Burke, who approved. Together, the wrote the song. The commercial recording by Crosby, with John Scott Trotter & His Orchestra, took place in Los Angeles on February 7, 1944. The Williams Brothers Quartet, including a young Andy Williams, sang backup vocals behind Crosby. The song would go on to become #1 on the Hit Parade.

“A 1963 cover recording by Big Dee Irwin and Little Eva (‘The Locomotion’) went US Top-40 and UK Top-10. Dutch group Spooky & Sue nudged the top of the Netherlands’ music chart with the song in 1974.”

Bing Crosby, “Swinging on a Star” 78rpm release (1944):

Big Dee Irwin & Little Eva, “Swinging on a Star” (1963):

Spooky & Sue, “Swinging on a Star” (1974):

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