Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Clyde McPhatter

A Lover’s Question

Co-written and first recorded by Brook Benton (1958).
Hit versions by Clyde McPhatter (US #6/R&B #1 1958), Del Reeves (C&W #14 1970), Jacky Ward (C&W #3 1978).
Also recorded by Loggins & Messina (1975).

From the wiki: “‘A Lover’s Question’ was written by Brook Benton (‘Rainy Night in Georgia‘) and Jimmy T. Williams, and first recorded by Benton in 1958. That same year, it was covered by Clyde McPhatter (formerly of The Dominoes and founder of The Drifters) and became his most successful solo Pop or R&B release. Only 39 at the time of his death in 1972, McPhatter struggled for years with alcoholism and depression and was, according to Jay Warner’s On This Day in Music History, ‘broke and despondent over a mismanaged career that made him a legend but hardly a success.’

“McPhatter was the first artist in music history to become a double inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame … first as a member of The Drifters and, later, as a solo artist and, as a result, all subsequent double and/or triple inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are said to be members of ‘The Clyde McPhatter Club’.

Without Love (There is Nothing)

First recorded by Clyde McPhatter (US #19/R&B #6 1957).
Hit version by Tom Jones (US #5/MOR #1/CAN #1 1969).

From the wiki: “‘Without Love (There is Nothing)’ is a song written by Danny Small and originally recorded by Clyde McPhatter (‘A Lover’s Question’) in 1957. Tom Jones recorded his popular version in 1969, reaching the Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1970.”

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