Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys

Deep in the Heart of Texas

First recorded by Alvino Rey & His Orchestra (US #1 Feb 1942).
Also performed by Gene Autry (1942).
Other hit versions by Ted Weems & His Orchestra with Perry Como (US #23 Feb 1942), Bing Crosby with Woody Herman & His Woodchoppers (US #3 March 1942), Horace Heidt & His Musical Knights (US #7 March 1942), The Merry Macs (US #11 March 1942), Duane Eddy (US #78/UK #19 1962).
Also recorded by Gene Autry (1944), Bob Wills (1955), Ray Charles (1960).

From the wiki: “‘Deep in the Heart of Texas’ was written by June Hershey with music by Don Swander, with a title taken from a movie Western of the same name starring Tex Ritter. (The song was not performed in that particular movie, but would make an appearance in the Western movie Heart of the Rio Grande in 1942, sung by movie cowboy Gene Autry.) The first recording was by Alvino Rey on November 21, 1941 that first charted in early 1942. It spent five weeks at #1 on the Hit Parade. The song was covered by Ted Weems & His Orchestra (with Perry Como on vocals) on December 9, 1941 for Decca Records, also released in early 1942 as the flip-side to ‘Ollie Ollie Out’s in Free’.

“Other charting covers in 1942 were recorded by Bing Crosby with Woody Herman’s ‘Woodchoppers’ (#3 in the US but uncharted in the UK because it was banned by the BBC during factory hours to prevent workers being detracted by its infectious handclapping rhythm that would’ve disrupted the war effort), Horace Heidt & His Musical Knights (#7), and The Merry Macs (#11).

“Texas Swing stars, Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys, covered ‘Deep in the Heart of Texas’ in 1955. Ray Charles included the song on his album The Genius Hits the Road (1960). Rock ‘n roll guitarist Duane Eddy charted in the UK with his 1962 instrumental recording of ‘Deep in the Heart of Texas’.”

Sugar Blues

First recorded by Leona Williams & Her Dixie Band (1922).
Popular versions by Clyde McCoy (US #2 1931), Fats Waller (1935), Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys (1936), Ella Fitzgerald & the Chick Webb Orchestra (1940), Johnny Mercer (US #4 1947).

From the wiki: “‘Sugar Blues’ was written in 1920 by Clarence Williams and recorded for the first time by Leona Williams (no relation) and Her Dixie Band in 1922. The song was made popular by Clyde McCoy in 1931, featuring the sound of the growling wah-wah mute. MCcoy recorded it no less than four times, and it became his trademark song. ‘Sugar Blues’ would also be recorded by Fats Waller (1935), Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys (1936), and Ella Fitzgerald (1940), and chart again on the Hit Parade in 1947 with a vocal cover by noted songwriter-lyricist Johnny Mercer (‘Satin Doll’, ‘Fools Rush In‘, ‘Jeepers Creepers‘).”

Faded Love

Co-written and first recorded by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys (1946).
Also recorded by The Maddox Brothers & Rose (1950).
Hit versions by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys (C&W #8 1950), Leon McAuliffe (C&W #22 1962 |C&W #22 1971), Patsy Cline (US #97/C&W #7 1963).

From the wiki: “‘Faded Love’ is a Western swing song written by Bob Wills; his father, John Wills; and his brother, Billy Jack Wills. The tune is considered to be an exemplar of the Western swing fiddle component of American fiddle. The song was first recorded as an instrumental in April, 1946 by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys for the Tiffany record label; a 1950 re-recording for MGM Records, with lyrics by Billy Jack, became a major hit for the group, reaching #8 on the Country charts in 1950, becoming one of the Playboys’ signature songs.

Corrina, Corrina

First recorded by Bo Carter (Chatmon) & Charlie McCoy (1929).
Hit versions by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys (1940), Ray Peterson (US #9/UK #41 1960), The Rising Sons (1966).
Also recorded by Elston Gunn (Bob Dylan) (1962).

From the wiki: “‘Corrina, Corrina’ may have traditional roots; however, early versions are different musically and lyrically. One of the earliest is the commercial sheet music song ‘Has Anybody Seen My Corrine?’ published by Roger Graham in 1918. Just prior to World War II, Bob Wills adapted the song to a Western swing dance song. Following his recording with The Texas Playboys in April 1940, the song (recorded as “Corrine, Corrina”) entered the standard repertoire of all Western swing bands, influencing the adoption of ‘Corrina, Corrina’ by Cajun bands and later by individual country artists.

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