Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Benny Goodman

Blue Skies

First recorded by Vaughn De Leath (1927).
Popular recordings by Ben Selvin (US #1 1927), Al Jolson (1927, in The Jazz Singer), Benny Goodman (1935), Count Basie & His Orchestra (US #8 1946), Bing Crosby (1946), Willie Nelson (MOR #32/C&W #1/CAN #1 1978).
Inspired Theolonious Monk “In Walked Bud” (1947).

From the wiki: “‘Blue Skies’ was composed by Irving Berlin in 1926 as a last-minute addition to the Rodgers and Hart musical Betsy. Although the show ran for 39 performances only, the song was an instant success, with audiences on opening night demanding 24 encores of the piece from star Belle Baker. During the final repetition, Ms. Baker forgot her lyrics, prompting Berlin to sing them from his seat in the front row.

Glory of Love

First recorded by Willie Bryant & His Orchestra (1936).
Hit versions by Benny Goodman with Helen Ward (US #1 1936), The Five Keys (R&B #1 1951), Otis Redding (US #60/R&B #19 1967).

From the wiki: “‘The Glory Of Love’ wasg written by Billy Hill, and first recorded by Willie Bryant & His Orchestra in 1936. Bryant was American jazz bandleader, vocalist, and disc jockey who first put together in 1934 a big band which at times included Teddy Wilson, Cozy Cole, Johnny Russell, Benny Carter, Ben Webster, Eddie Durham, Ram Ramirez, and Taft Jordan. The cover recording by Benny Goodman & His Orchestra, with Helen Ward, topped the Pop music charts in 1936. In 1951, R&B vocal group, The Five Keys, had their biggest R&B hit with their version of the song, hitting #1 on the R&B chart. Otis Redding covered ‘Glory of Love’ in 1967, landing his recording in the Billboard Hot 100 and the R&B Top 20.”

How High the Moon

First recorded by Benny Goodman & His Orchestra with Helen Forrest (1940).
Also recorded by The Les Paul Trio (1944).
Hit versions by Stan Kenton & June Christy (US #27 1948), Les Paul & Mary Ford (US #1 1951).

From the wiki: “‘How High the Moon’ is a jazz standard written by Nancy Hamilton and Morgan Lewis. It was first featured in the 1940 Broadway revue Two for the Show. The earliest version to be recorded was by Benny Goodman & His Orchestra and released by Columbia Records in 1940, with the flip side ‘Fable of the Rose’. The Les Paul Trio recorded a version released as a wartime V-Disc, with a spoken introduction, issued in 1944 by the U.S. War Department. The best-known recording of the song is also by Les Paul, with Mary Ford, completed on January 4, 1951. It spent 25 weeks (beginning on March 23, 1951) on the Billboard chart, nine of those weeks at #1.”

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