Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Aaron Neville

Over You

First recorded by Aaron Neville (US #111/R&B #21 1960).
Other hit version by Paul Revere & The Raiders (US #133 1964).

Don’t Know Much

Co-written and originally recorded by Barry Mann (1980).
Also recorded by Bill Medley (US #88 1981), Bette Midler (MOR #5 1982).
Other hit version by Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville (US #2/UK #2/CAN #1 1989).

From the wiki: “Written by Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil and Tom Snow, ‘Don’t Know Much’ had a rich history prior to its success in 1989. It first appeared on Mann’s self-titled 1980 album, released on Casablanca Records. Bill Medley and Bette Midler (under the title ‘All I Need to Know’) then had minor chart successes with the song in 1981 and 1983, respectively.

All My Life

Written and first recorded by Karla Bonoff (1988).
Hit version by Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville (US #11/MOR #1 1990).

From the wiki: “‘All My Life’ is a song written by Karla Bonoff and first recorded by for the 1988 album New World. In 1989, it would be recorded as a duet by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville for Ronstadt’s Triple Platinum-certified 1989 album Cry Like A Rainstorm, Howl Like The Wind, and released as a single in January 1990. It marked the second collaboration between Ronstadt and Neville, and ‘All My Life’ was one of three Bonoff-composed songs Ronstadt recorded for the album.

Iko, Iko

Written and first recorded (as “Jock-a-mo”) by Sugar Boy & His Cane Cutters (1953).
Hit versions by The Dixie Cups (US #20 1965), Dr. John (US #71 1972), The Neville Brothers (1981), Natasha (UK #10 1982), Belle Stars (UK #35 1982 |US #14 1989), BeauSoleil (1989).

From the wiki: “The song, under the original title ‘Jock-A-Mo’, was written and released as a single in 1953 by James Crawford as ‘Sugar Boy & His Cane Cutters’ that failed to make the charts. The song that tells of a parade collision between two ‘tribes’ of Mardi Gras Indians and the traditional confrontation of a ‘spy boy’ (i.e. a lookout for one band of Indians) encountering the ‘flag boy’ or guidon carrier for another ‘tribe.’ He threatens to ‘set the flag on fire.’ Crawford set phrases chanted by Mardi Gras Indians* to music for the song but himself states that he had no idea what the words meant, and that he originally sang the phrase ‘Chock-a-mo’. But, the title was misheard by Chess Records president Leonard Chess, who misspelled it on the label as ‘Jock-a-mo’ for the record’s release.

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