Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Amy Winehouse

Girl from Ipanema

First released (as “Garota de Ipanema”) by Pery Ribeiro (1962).
Hit versions by Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto (US #5/MOR #1/UK #29 1964), Stan Getz & Astrud Gilberto (MOR #1 1964).
Also recorded by Ella Fitzgerald (as “Boy from Ipanema”, 1965), Amy Winehouse (2002).

From the wiki: “‘Garota de Ipanema’ (‘The Girl from Ipanema’) was the worldwide Bossa nova hit song that won a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965. It was written in 1962, with music by Antônio Carlos Jobim and Portuguese lyrics by Vinicius de Moraes. English lyrics were written later by Norman Gimbel. The first commercial recording was in 1962, by Pery Ribeiro. The 1964 single, performed by Astrud Gilberto and Stan Getz and shortened from the album version recorded in 1963 by Getz and Joao Gilberto, became the international hit. The original choice as vocalist was Sarah Vaughan, but when Gilberto heard the English translation, he decided that Astrud – Joao’s wife – should sing it. Her subtle vocal added a nuance to the song.

“Numerous recordings have been used in films, sometimes as an elevator music cliché, and the song has been covered by other singers innumerable times (including a gender-turning version. titled ‘Boy from Ipanema’, sung by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee). ‘Girl from Ipanema’ is believed to be the second most recorded pop song in history, after ‘Yesterday’ by The Beatles.

Teach Me Tonight

First recorded by Janet Brace (US #23 1953).
Other hit versions by Dinah Washington (R&B #4 1954), The DeCastro Sisters (US#2/UK #20 1954), Jo Stafford (US #15 1955), George Maharis (US #25 1962), Al Jarreau (US #70/R&B #51 1982).
Also recorded by Amy Winehouse (2003).

From the wiki: “‘Teach Me Tonight’ was written by Gene De Paul, the lyrics by Sammy Cahn, and first recorded in 1953 by Janet Brace. Dinah Washington recorded the first cover in 1954, charting into the R&B Top 5. The DeCastro Sisters, a Cuban trio, recorded it with Skip Martin’s orchestra and had the biggest hit with the song. Jo Stafford hit #15 with her version in 1955, and George Maharis charted at #25 in 1962. ‘Teach Me Tonight’ was included as a bonus track in the Deluxe edition of Amy Winehouse’s 2003 album Frank; also performed live on Jools Holland’s New Year’s Eve Hootenanny. Elliott Yamin performed it on American Idol in 2006.”

Valerie

First recorded by The Zutons (UK #9 2006).
Other hit versions by Amy Winehouse (UK #37 2007), Mark Ronson (UK #2 2007), Cast of Glee (US #54 2010).

From the wiki: “‘Valerie’ is a song by the English indie rock band The Zutons from the band’s second studio album, Tired of Hanging Around (2006), and gave The Zutons their joint-biggest single to date as well as their second UK Top 10 single, climbing from #41 (from download sales alone, the day before physical release) to its peak at #9 in the UK Singles Chart. Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse covered ‘Valerie’ for Ronson’s second studio album, Version (2007).

A Message to You, Rudy

First recorded (as “Rudy, A Message to You”) by Dandy (1967).
Hit version by The Specials (UK #10/NETH #22 1979).
Also recorded by Barenaked Ladies (demo 1988), Amy Winehouse (2008).

From the wiki: “‘A Message to You, Rudy’ is a 1967 rocksteady song by Dandy Livingstone. The song, originally entitled ‘Rudy, A Message to You’ later achieved broader success when, in 1979, The Specials’ cover reached #10 in the UK Singles Chart. Veteran trombone player Rico Rodriguez played on both Livingstone’s 1967 and The Specials’ 1979 recordings.

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