Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Dave Edmunds

Promised Land

Written and first recorded by Chuck Berry (US #41/R&B #16/UK #26 1965).
Other hit versions by Fred Weller (C&W #3 1971), Rockpile (AUS #5 1972), Elvis Presley (US #14/C&W #9/UK #9 1974).
Also recorded by The Grateful Dead (1976).

From the wiki: “‘Promised Land’ was written by Chuck Berry to the melody of ‘Wabash Cannonball’, an American Folk song. It was first recorded in this version by Chuck Berry in 1964 for his album St. Louis to Liverpool. Released in 1965, it was Berry’s first single issued following his prison term for a Mann Act conviction. In the lyrics, the singer (who refers to himself as ‘the poor boy’) tells of his journey from Norfolk, Virginia to the ‘Promised Land’, Los Angeles, California, mentioning various cities of the American Southeast that he encounters along his journey. Berry borrowed an atlas from the prison library to plot the song’s itinerary. Upon arriving in Los Angeles, ‘the poor boy’ calls Norfolk, Virginia (‘Tidewater four, ten-oh-nine’) to tell the folks back home he’s made it to the ‘promised land.’

Singing the Blues

First hit version recorded by Marty Robbins (C&W #1 1956).
Other hit versions by Guy Mitchell (US #1/R&B #4/UK #1 1956), Tommy Steele (UK #1 1957), Dave Edmunds (UK #28 1980), Gail Davies (C&W #17 1983), Daniel O’Donnell (UK #23 1994), The Kentucky Headhunters (C&W #70 1997).

From the wiki: “Composed and first recorded by Malcolm Endsley, ‘Singing the Blues’ holds a unique record in the UK: It was the first and, in half a century and more of its existence, the only song in the history of the UK Singles chart to knock itself off the top spot twice! Guy Mitchell’s version topped the UK Singles chart at the start of January 1957, and was replaced the following week by the Tommy Steele version. The following week, the Mitchell version again replaced the Steele version at #1.

Almost Saturday Night

Written and first recorded by John Fogerty (US #78 1975).
Also recorded by Karla DeVito (1981).
Other hit versions by Dave Edmunds (US #54/ROCK #18/UK #58 1981), Burrito Brothers (C&W #49 1984).

From the wiki: “‘Almost Saturday Night’ is a song written by John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival) and first released on his 1975 album John Fogerty. It was released as the second single from the album, as a follow up to ‘Rockin’ All Over the World‘. The song had more success when covered in a Rockabilly style by Dave Edmunds in 1981 from his album Twangin…, peaking at #18 on the US Mainstream Rock Chart. The Burrito Brothers (neé The Flying Burrito Brothers) covered the song in 1984. Their version peaked at #49 on the Hot Country Singles chart.

From Small Things (Big Things One Day Come)

Written and first recorded by Bruce Springsteen (1979, released 2003).
Hit version by Dave Edmunds (US #28 1982).

From Legends of Springsteen: “Clearly influenced by 1950’s rockabilly style guitar riffs, this song was criminally cut from The River, never put on another studio album, including Tracks. (Bruce did release it on the limited edition third disc of his compilation double album The Essential Bruce Springsteen.) That’s a shame, as this might be one of the best Bruce songs to dance to. Seriously, pump it up right now and just try not to tap your toes. It’s nearly impossible.

I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock ‘n Roll)

Inspired by “You Never Can Tell”, Chuck Berry (1964).
Hit version by Dave Edmunds (UK #26/AUS #32 1977).
Also recorded by Nick Lowe’s Last Chicken in the Shop (1978), Nick Lowe & His Cowboy Outfit (1985).

From the wiki: “Nick Lowe has indicated ‘You Never Can Tell’ was the source of inspiration for his own song ‘I Knew The Bride (When She Used To Rock’n’Roll)’, first recorded and made popular in 1977 by Dave Edmunds. Lowe, the song’s writer, also recorded it as part of the 1978 Live Stiffs Live concert compilation (as ‘Nick Lowe’s Last Chicken in the Shop’) and, again, in the studio in 1985. Status Quo recorded a version in 1999, releasing it as the B-side to ‘Little White Lies’.

I Hear You Knocking

Originally recorded by Smiley Lewis (R&B #2 1955).
Hit versions by Gale Storm (US #2 1955), Dave Edmunds (UK #1 1970 |US #4 1971).

From the wiki: “‘I Hear You Knocking’ (sometimes spelled ‘I Hear You Knockin”) is a popular rhythm and blues song with emphatic syncopation, written by Dave Bartholomew and Earl King (under the pen name Pearl King) and published in 1955. The original recording was made by Smiley Lewis, reaching #2 on the Billboard R&B singles chart in 1955.

Queen of Hearts

First recorded by Dave Edmunds (UK #11 1979).
Also recorded by Rodney Crowell (1980).
Hit version by Juice Newton (US #2/C&W #14/CAN #8 1981).

From the wiki: “‘Queen of Hearts’ is the title of a country-pop song written by Hank DeVito, the pedal steel guitarist in Emmylou Harris’ backing group The Hot Band, and introduced by Dave Edmunds on his 1979 album Repeat When Necessary: released as a single it reached #11 in the UK that year.

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