Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Dean Martin

Detroit City (I Wanna Go Home)

First recorded 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.)”

Memories Are Made of This

First recorded by Mindy Carson (US #53 1955).
Hit versions by Gale Storm (US #5 1955), Dean Martin (US #1/UK #1 1956).

From the wiki: “‘Memories Are Made of This’ was written by Terry Gilkyson (‘Marianne’, ‘Bare Necessities’), Richard Dehr, and Frank Miller in 1955. It was first recorded and released in September 1955 by Mindy Carson. Gale Storm’s 1955 cover was the first chart in the US Top 40. The most popular version of the song was recorded by Dean Martin – backed by co-writer Gilkyson & The Easy Riders – in October 1955, becoming a #1 hit on the Billboard chart for six weeks in 1956 and also topping the UK Singles chart.”

Baby It’s Cold Outside

First performed by Esther Williams & Ricardo Montalban and Red Skelton & Betty Garrett (Neptune’s Daughter, 1949).
Hit versions by Dinah Shore & Buddy Clark (US #4 1949), Margaret Whiting & Johnny Mercer (US #4 1949), Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Jordan (US #9 1949), Dean Martin (1959) and Blossom Dearie & Bob Dorough (1979), Dean Martin & Martina McBride (MOR #7/C&W 36 2006).

From the wiki: “Frank Loesser wrote the duet in 1944 and premiered the song with his wife, Lynn Garland, at their Navarro Hotel housewarming party, and performed it toward the end of the evening, signifying to guests that it was nearly time to end the party. Lynn considered it ‘their song’ and was furious when Loesser sold the song to MGM. The movie it appeared in, Neptune’s Daughter, featured two performances of the song: one by Ricardo Montalb├ín and Esther Williams, and the other by Red Skelton and Betty Garrett, the second of which has the roles of ‘wolf and mouse’ reversed. These performances earned Loesser an Academy Award for Best Original Song.”

I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die-Rag

Inspired by “Muskrat Ramble” by Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five (1926).
Also recorded (as “Muskrat Ramble”) by Dean Martin (1950).
Popular version by Country Joe & The Fish (1967).

From the wiki: “‘Muskrat Ramble’ was written by Kid Ory and first recorded by Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five (including Ory, on trombone) in 1926. The song served as the B-side to Armstrong’s first solo outing as a recording artist, ‘Heebie Jeebies’. In 2001, the heirs of Kid Ory launched a lawsuit against Country Joe McDonald, claiming that the music of ‘I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag’ constituted plagiarism of ‘Muskrat Ramble’. In 2005, courts ruled in McDonald’s favor primarily because the original 1926 recording had fallen into the public domain.

Everybody Loves Somebody (Sometime)

First recorded (as a B-side) by Peggy Lee (1947).
Also recorded by Eddie Heywood & Peggy Mann (1947).
Hit versions by Frank Sinatra (B-side US #25 1948), Dean Martin (US #1/UK #11 1964).

From the wiki: “‘Everybody Loves Somebody’ is a song written in 1947 by Sam Coslow, Irving Taylor and Ken Lane. By 1964, the song had already been recorded by several artists before finding chart success as something other than a B-side. The first recording was made by Peggy Lee in 1947 and released in March 1948 as the B-side to ‘Don’t Smoke in Bed’. Singer Peggy Mann also recorded a version in 1948, with bandleader Eddie Heywood (‘Begin the Beguine‘) before the onset of partial paralysis put an end to Heywood’s piano-playing career. Frank Sinatra recorded his version of ‘Everybody’ in 1948, originally as the B-side to ‘Just for Now’ (US #21) but a recording which charted on its own (US #25). However, the song has become so identified with Dean Martin that any other version is invariably compared to Martin’s #1 1964 hit and forgotten.

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