Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Cher

The Beat Goes On

Inspired by “The Trip” by Donovan (1966).
Hit version by Sonny & Cher (US #6/UK #29 1967).

“The Trip” was written by English folk-rock singer Donovan about his popular engagement in Los Angeles at the Sunset Strip nightclub of the same name, and the “happenings” on the scene at the time.

The evidence is purely circumstantial, but:

“[Charlie Greene] discovered and built acts like Sonny and Cher, Buffalo Springfield and Iron Butterfly, from obscurity to stardom. The same groups would eventually have seizures until Greene was booted out of the very contracts he landed them. Every time. Sonny Bono paid $250,000 to buy back Greene’s contract.

“‘I hocked my typewriters for that first record, ‘Baby Don’t Go.’ Got $168, you know, it was just a West Coast hit anyway. And then Sonny stole . . . ah, wrote, ‘I Got You Babe’. . . . heheheheh. . . .

“‘Why the big laugh?

“‘It was a very timely song, man. Hey, Donovan had just come off ‘Catch The Wind’ and Sonny is very good at picking out certain commercial aspects of other hit songs. As are other writers. Sure. Just listen to them side-by-side, it’s an influence. Sonny’s clever. He’s not a good songwriter, but he’s a clever thief. No, thief is the wrong word. Influence . . . he uses influence well.

“. . . ‘The Beat Goes On,’ you might listen to Donovan’s ‘The Trip.’ ‘Baby Don’t Go,’ you might listen to ‘We’ll Sing in the Sunshine.’ Some are direct; some are indirect. I got to hand it to the mother-fucker for continuing to have perseverance on . . . ah . . . on an overabundance of a lack of talent. No, no, no, I got no complaint with Sonny.'”

– ‘As Bare As You Dare With Sonny and Cher’, Rolling Stone RS135, May 24, 1973

Sonny & Cher, “The Beat Goes On” (1967):

Love Hurts

First recorded by The Everly Brothers (1960).
Also recorded by Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris (1969).
Hit versions by Roy Orbison (AUS #5 1961), Jim Capaldi (UK #4 1975), Nazareth (US #8/UK #15/CAN #1 1975), Cher (1975 |UK #43/NOR #2 1991).

From the wiki: “‘Love Hurts’ was written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant (‘All I Have to Do Is Dream’, ‘Bye Bye Love’), and was first recorded by The Everly Brothers in July 1960. The song was introduced in December 1960 as an album track on A Date with The Everly Brothers, but was never released as a single (A-side or B-side) by the Everlys. (The duo would re-record the song with a more up-tempo arrangement in 1964.)

“A 1969 recording by Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons was included on Parsons’ posthumously released Grievous Angel album. After Parsons’ 1973 death, Harris made the song a staple of her concert repertoire. The song became a well-known international hit in 1975 with versions released by Nazareth (Top-10 in the US) and Jim Capaldi (Top-5 in the UK).

The Way of Love

First recorded by Kathy Kirby (US #88 1965).
Hit version by Cher (US #7/MOR #2 1972).

From the wiki: “‘The Way of Love’ was originally written by Jack Diéval (as ‘J’ai le mal de toi’) in 1960 with French lyrics by Michel Rivgauche for singer Frédérica as an entry in the national elimination rounds of France for the 1960 Eurovision Song Contest. The song, however, was not selected and was evidently not recorded by Frédérica. In June 1965, the English rendering, titled ‘The Way of Love’, was recorded in the UK as a single by Kathy Kirby. ‘The Way of Love’ failed to reach the UK Top 50 but did become a regional hit in the United States reaching #88 nationally. Cher’s 1972 recording was produced by Snuff Garrett and was released in February 1972 as the second single from the album Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves, spending three weeks in the US Top 10.”

Alfie

First recorded by Cilla Black (US #95/UK #9 January 1966).
Also recorded by Jerry Butler (May 1966, released December 1967), Dee Dee Warwick (May 1966, released 1967).
Other hit versions by Cher (US #32/CAN #36 June 1966), Dionne Warwick (US #15/R&B #5 December 1966).

From the wiki: “‘Alfie’ was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David to promote the 1966 film Alfie. Although Bacharach and David suggested ‘Alfie’ be recorded by Dionne Warwick, their most prolific interpreter, Paramount felt the film’s setting demanded the song be recorded by a UK singer. Accordingly, the initial invitation to record ‘Alfie’ was made to Sandie Shaw who had had a UK #1 hit with the Bacharach/David composition ‘(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me’. When the invitation to Shaw was declined ‘Alfie’ was offered to Cilla Black, who had also had a previous UK #1 with a Bacharach/David song: ‘Anyone Who Had a Heart’.

It’s in His Kiss (The Shoop Shoop Song)

First recorded by Merry Clayton (1963).
Also recorded by Ramona King (1963).
Hit versions by Betty Everett (US #6/R&B #1 1963 |UK #38 1968), The Searchers (1964), Bootleg Family Band (AUS #5 1974), Linda Lewis (UK #6 1975), Kate Taylor (US #49 1977), Cher (US #33/UK #1/IRE #1/SPN #1/NOR #1 1990).
Also performed by Linda Ronstadt & Phoebe Snow (1979).

From the wiki: “‘It’s in His Kiss’ was first rejected by the premier girl-group of the early 1960s, the New York-based Shirelles, and was instead first recorded in Los Angeles by Merry Clayton as her first credited single. Clayton had previously provided an uncredited female vocal to the hit ‘You’re the Reason I’m Living’ recorded by Bobby Darin as his debut on Capitol Records, and Darin had subsequently arranged for Clayton herself to be signed to Capitol. Clayton recorded ‘It’s in His Kiss’ – whose composer Rudy Clark was a staff writer for TM Music which Bobby Darin headed – in a session produced by Jack Nitzsche with The Blossoms (‘Stoney End‘, ‘He’s a Rebel‘) as chorale: the single was released June 10 1963 with no evident chart success.

The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)

First recorded by Frankie Valli (1965).
Hit versions by The Walker Brothers (US #13/UK #1/GER #4 1966), Cher (UK #26 1996).
Also recorded by The Fuzzy Bunnies (US #115 1968), Keane (2004).

From the wiki: “‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’, written by Bob Crewe (‘Silence is Golden‘, ‘Silhouettes‘, ‘Lady Marmalade‘) and Bob Gaudio (‘Sherry’, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’), was originally recorded in 1965 by Frankie Valli for his 1966 solo album Frankie Valli: Solo. Although it was recorded at a Four Seasons recording session (with the other group members at that time), it was Valli’s first official ‘solo’ single in almost a decade. (He had previously recorded as ‘Frankie Valley’ and ‘Frankie Tyler’.) Valli’s version, however, failed to chart in the Billboard Hot 100.

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