Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Bobby Vee

Signs

First recorded and released by The Five Man Electrical Band (B-side 1970).
Hit versions by Bobby Vee (US #125 Feb 1971), The Five Man Electrical Band (re-release US #3/CAN #4/AUS #1 1971), Tesla (US #8/UK #70 1990).

From the wiki: “‘Signs’ was written by the Five Man Electrical Band’s frontman, Les Emmerson, and was recorded it for their second album, Good-byes and Butterflies, in 1970. ‘Signs’ was first released as the B-side earlier that year to the unsuccessful single ‘Hello Melinda Goodbye’, thus remaining relatively obscure.

“Re-released by the group in 1971 as the A-side, ‘Signs’ reached #4 in Canada and #3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Billboard ranked it as the #4 song for 1971. It became a gold record. But, prior to the Five Man Electrical Band re-release, ‘Signs’ made its first chart appearance in February 1971 when a recording by Bobby Vee ‘bubbled under’ the Hot 100, peaking at #125.

Take Good Care of My Baby

First recorded (as a demo) by Carole King (1961).
Also recorded by Dion & the Belmonts (1961), The Beatles (1962, released 2009).
Hit versions by Bobby Vee (US #1/UK #3 1961), Bobby Vinton (US #33 1968).

From the wiki: “‘Take Good Care of My Baby’ was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, and was first recorded by King as a demo in 1961.

“Dion & the Belmonts were the first to record the song for commercial release but their version was not published until release of the album Runaround Sue in the slipstream of Bobby Vee’s #1 hit. The song was covered by The Beatles during their audition at Decca Records on January 1, 1962 but was unreleased until 2009.

“In 1968, ‘Take Good Care’ became a hit again, this time for Bobby Vinton.”

Go Away Little Girl

First recorded by Bobby Vee (1962).
Hit versions by Steve Lawrence (US #1/R&B #14 1962), Maryk Wynter (UK #6 1962), The Happenings (US #12 1965), Donny Osmond (US #1 1971).
Also recorded (as “Yu-Ma/Go Away Little Boy”) by Marlena Shaw (R&B #29 1977).

From the wiki: “‘Go Away Little Girl’ was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, and was first recorded in 1962 by Bobby Vee. The song would go on to become notable for making the American Top-20 three times: for Steve Lawrence in 1962, for The Happenings in 1966, and for Donny Osmond in 1971. ‘Go Away Little Girl’ was also the first song, and one of only nine total, to reach US #1 by two different artists (Lawrence, in 1962; and Osmond, in 1971). The original recording by Vee was cut during same session as ‘It Might As Well Rain Until September’ and ‘Sharing You’. Not satisfied with the result, the song was shelved until producer Don Kirshner passed the song along to his good friend, Steve Lawrence.

It’s So Easy!

First recorded by The Crickets (1958).
Also recorded by Bobby Vee (1963), The Trashmen (1963), Waylon Jennings (1969).
Hit version by Linda Ronstadt (US #5/UK #11/CAN #9 1977).

From the wiki: “‘It’s So Easy!'” was written by Buddy Holly and Norman Petty, and first released as a single by Holly under the moniker of his band, The Crickets. The single did not chart.

“Bobby Vee, The Trashmen (‘Surfin’ Bird’), and Waylon Jennings were among the several performers who recorded cover versions of ‘It’s So Easy!’ in the decade after its original release, before Linda Ronstadt’s Peter Asher-produced Top-5 single was released in 1977 to promote Ronstadt’s Simple Dreams album.”

Since I Met You Baby

Written and first recorded by Ivory Joe Hunter (US #12/R&B #1 1956).
Other hit versions by Mindy Carson (US #34 1956), Bobby Vee (B-side US #81 1960), Sonny James (C&W #1 1969).
Also recorded (as “Desde que conozco”) by Freddy Fender (US #45/C&W #10 1975).

From the wiki: “‘Since I Met You Baby’ was written and first recorded by pianist Ivory Joe Hunter. The song, which Hunter recorded and charted with in 1956, has since become an American R&B standard, and saw renewed popularity in 1969 when Country music artist Sonny James released his #1 version. Hunter had already tasted major success with Pop and R&B audiences with songs such as ‘I Almost Lost My Mind‘. He moved to Atlantic Records by 1954, and around that time wrote ‘Since I Met You Baby’. Hunter’s recording topped the Billboard R&B chart for three weeks in 1956 and became his sole Billboard Hot 100 entry, peaking at #12.

More Than I Can Say

Written and originally recorded by The Crickets (UK #42 1960).
Other hit versions by Bobby Vee (US #61/UK #4 1961), Leo Sayer (US #2/UK #2 1980).

From the wiki: “‘More Than I Can Say’ is a song written by Sonny Curtis (‘I Fought the Law‘) and Jerry Allison, both former members of Buddy Holly’s band The Crickets. They recorded it in 1959 soon after Holly’s death and released it in 1960. Their original version hit #42 on British Record Retailer Chart on 5/12/60.

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