Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Bobbie Gentry

Let It Be Me

First recorded (in English) by Jill Corey (1957).
Hit versions by The Everly Brothers (US #7 1960), Betty Everett & Jerry Butler (US #5/R&B #1 1964), The Sweet Inspirations (R&B #13 1967), Glen Campbell & Bobbie Gentry (US #36/C&W #14/MOR #7 1969) and Willie Nelson (US #40/C&W #2/MOR #11 1982).

From the wiki: “[O]riginally published in 1955 as ‘Je t’appartiens,’ the score was written and first recorded in French by Gilbert B├ęcaud (‘September Morn’). The English-language version used lyrics by Mann Curtis and was first performed in 1957 by Jill Corey in the television series Climax!. Corey’s version, with orchestration by Jimmy Carroll, was released as a single and was moderately successful.

I’ll Never Fall in Love Again

First recorded by Bobbie Gentry (UK #1 1969).
Other hit version by Dionne Warwick (US #6/MOR #1 1970).

From the wiki: “Originally written for the 1968 musical Promises, Promises, it soon became one of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s most enduring songs. It was introduced in the musical by Jerry Orbach and Jill O’Hara, and was nominated for Song of the Year in the 1969 Grammy awards. A version with studio singers was released as a single under Burt Bacharach’s name in 1969, and achieved a low chart position.

Peaceful

Written and first recorded by Kenny Rankin (1967).
Also recorded by Bobbie Gentry (1968), The Friends of Distinction (1969).
Hit versions by Georgie Fame (UK #16 1969), Helen Reddy (US #12/MOR #2 1973).

[Above: Live solo TV performance, c. 1968.]

From the wiki: “Early in his career Rankin worked as a singer-songwriter, and developed a considerable following during the 70s with a steady flow of albums, three of which broke into the Top 100 of the Billboard Album Chart. He appeared on The Tonight Show more than twenty times. Host Johnny Carson was so impressed by him that he wrote the liner notes to Rankin’s 1967 debut album Mind Dusters, which featured the single ‘Peaceful.’ Kenny’s friend Helen Reddy would reach #2 Adult Contemporary and #12 Pop in 1973 with a cover of it. Earlier covers were recorded by Bobby Gentry and The Friends of Distinction. Georgia Fame (‘Yeh Yeh’) was the first artist to chart with ‘Peaceful’, in the UK in 1969.”

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