Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Bobby Bare

Detroit City

First recorded (as “I Wanna Go Home”) by Billy Grammar (C&W #18 1962).
Other hit versions by Bobby Bare (US #16/C&W #4/MOR #4 1963), Tom Jones (US #27/UK #8/IRE #4 1967).
Also recorded by Arthur Alexander (1965), co-writer Mel Tillis (1968), George Jones (2005).

From the wiki: “‘Detroit City’, a ‘citybilly’ lament about the struggles and loneliness of a rural Southerner migrating to industrial Detroit, was written by Danny Dill and Mel Tillis. It was first offered to singer George Jones, who turned it down (but who would later record it in 2005 for his album Hits I Missed … and One I Didn’t), and so was first recorded and made famous (as ‘I Wanna Go Home’) by Billy Grammer in 1962.

“In 1963, country singer Bobby Bare covered the song, releasing it as ‘Detroit City’, scoring a Top-5 hit on both the Country and MOR music charts, and making it the title track from Bare’s debut album ‘Detroit City’ and Other Hits. It would win for Bare a Grammy award for the Best Country & Western Recording in 1963.

Detroit City (I Wanna Go Home)

First recorded ()as “I Wanna Go Home”) by Billy Grammer (C&W #18 1962).
Other ht versions by Bobby Bare (US #16/C&W #6/NOR #1 1963), Tom Jones (US #27/UK #8 1967), Dean Martin (US #101/MOR #36 1970) .

From the wiki: “‘Detroit City’ was written by Danny Dill and Mel Tillis, first made famous by Billy Grammer (as ‘I Wanna Go Home’). Country singer Bobby Bare, and Pop singers Tom Jones and Dean Martin, also enjoyed chart success with the song. ‘Detroit City’ was Bare’s first Country Top 10 hit and his recording won Bare the Grammy award for Best Country & Western Recording in 1964. Tom Jones charted ‘Detroit City’ into the UK Top 10 in 1967. Dean Martin’s 1970 cover of ‘Detroit City’ marked his final appearance on a Pop music chart. (A posthumous re-recording of ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside‘, featuring Martina McBride, would chart in 2006.)”

Four Strong Winds

Written by Ian Tyson and first recorded by Ian & Sylvia (1963).
Also recorded by The Kingston Trio (1963).
Hit versions by Bobby Bare (C&W #3 1965), Neil Young (US #61/UK #57 1978).

From the wiki: “‘Four Strong Winds’ was written by Canadian songwriter Ian Tyson and first recorded by Tyson and his folk singing partner, Sylvia Fricker. Released as a single in September 1963, preceding the Four Strong Winds album release in April 1964. the song did not generate any chart momentum. It was then recorded by The Brothers Four in a version that ‘bubbled under’ the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1963.

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