Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Blues Brothers

Gimme Some Lovin’

Based on “(Ain’t That) A Lot of Love” by Homer Banks (1966).
Hit versions by The Spencer Davis Group (US #7/UK #2 1966), Traffic (US #68 1971), The Blues Brothers (US #18 1980).

From the wiki: “Homer Banks was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and, at the age of 16, formed The Soul Consolidators gospel group which toured around the southern states. After military service, Banks returned to Memphis in 1964 where he began a singing career with the small Genie label where he met Isaac Hayes and David Porter. Soon, Stax founder Estelle Axton hired Banks to work at the record shop attached to the company’s Satellite Studios. He stayed for three years, also recording for the Minit label subsidiary of Liberty Records. One of his Minit recordings, ‘(Ain’t That) A Lot of Love’, co-written by Banks and Deanie Parker, provided the basic riff later used by the Spencer Davis Group on their hit ‘Gimme Some Lovin”.

“‘Gimme Some Lovin” was written by Steve Winwood, Spencer Davis and Muff Winwood (although solely credited to ‘Steve Winwood’ on the UK single label). Winwood recalls that the song was conceived, arranged, rehearsed in just half an hour. At the time, the group were under pressure to come up with another hit, following the relatively poor showing of their previous single, ‘When I Come Home’, written by Jamaican-born musician Jackie Edwards, who had also penned their earlier number one hits, ‘Keep On Running‘ and ‘Somebody Help Me’.

“The original UK version, which is the ‘master’ take of the song, differs in several respects from the version subsequently released in the US on the United Artists label, being slower, lacking the ‘response’ backing vocals in the chorus, some percussion, and the ‘live-sounding’ ambience of the US single.

“‘Gimme Some Lovin” would also be covered by Winwood’s next group, Traffic, in 1971. The Blues Brothers included their recording of the song on the The Blues Brothers movie soundtrack.”

Rubber Biscuit

First recorded by The Chips (1956).
Hit version by The Blues Brothers (US #37 1979).

From the wiki: “‘Rubber Biscuit’ is a Doo-wop song by The Chips, first recorded in 1956. It was famously covered by The Blues Brothers (on their debut album, Briefcase Full of Blues). Label credit for writing the song was given to Chips lead singer Charles Johnson and Adam R. Levy. Levy, though, was the son of label owner Morris Levy, who was notorious for adding either his or his son’s names to songwriting credits in order to claim partial, or in some cases all composer royalties on songs they did not write. There is no evidence that Morris or Adam ever wrote any songs. When Josie Records heard the song they signed The Chips and the record was issued in September 1956. Although it did not chart, ‘Rubber Biscuit’ became an instant east coast radio favorite.

Hey Bartender

Written and first recorded by Floyd Dixon (1954).
Popular versions by Laurel Aitken (1961), The Blues Brothers (1978), Johnny Lee (C&W #2 1983).

From the wiki: “‘Hey Bartender’ was written and first recorded in 1954 by West Coast R&B pianist Floyd Dixon. A 1961 Ska cover by Laurel Aitken popularized the song, as did the inclusion of it on the first Blues Brothers album in 1978. The only charting version of ‘Hey Bartender’ was recorded in 1983 by Johnny Lee.”

Everybody Needs Somebody to Love

Co-written and first recorded by Solomon Burke (US #58/R&B #4 1964).
Also recorded by The Rolling Stones (1965).
Other hit versions by Wilson Pickett (US #29/R&B #19 1967), The Blues Brothers (1980 |UK #12 1990).

From the wiki: “‘Everybody Needs Somebody to Love’ was written by Bert Berns, Solomon Burke and Jerry Wexler, and was originally recorded by Burke at Atlantic Records in 1964. His original charted in 1964, peaking at #4 on the R&B chart but missing the US Top 40. Wilson Pickett covered the song in 1966, and his recording did make it to #29 on the Top 40 and #19 R&B in early 1967. A re-release of The Blues Brothers’ 1978 recording nudged the UK Top 10 in 1990. ‘Everybody Needs Somebody to Love’ is ranked #429 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

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