Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Dion

When You Wish Upon a Star

First performed by Cliff Edwards (1940).
Hit versions by Cliff Edwards (US #1 1940), Glenn Miller & His Orchestra (US #1 1940), Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians (US #4 1940), Dion & the Belmonts (US #30 1960), Linda Ronstadt (MOR #32 1986).
Also recorded by Mary J. Blige, Barbra Streisand & Chris Botti (2013).

From the wiki: “‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ was written by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington for Walt Disney’s 1940 animated adaptation of Pinocchio. The song won the 1940 Academy Award for Best Original Song, and was also the first Disney song to win an Oscar. It has since become the representative song of The Walt Disney Company (e.g., the ships of the Disney Cruise Line use the first seven notes of the song’s melody as their horn signals).

“The original version was sung by Cliff Edwards (‘Singin’ in the Rain‘) in the character of Jiminy Cricket, and is heard over the opening credits and in the final scene of Pinocchio. Edwards’ original recording for ‘Pinocchio’ won the 1940 Academy Award for Best Song. The American Film Institute ranked ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ seventh in their 100 Greatest Songs in Film History, the highest-ranked Disney animated film song.

Ruby Baby

First recorded by The Drifters (R&B #10 1956).
Other hit versions by Dion (US #2 1963), Billy “Crash” Craddock (C&W #1 1974).
Also recorded by The Beach Boys (1965, released 1993), Donald Fagen (1982).

From the wiki: “‘Ruby Baby’ was written by the hit songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (‘Hound Dog‘, ‘On Broadway‘). It was first recorded by the Drifters, who scored an R&B Top-10 hit with the song in 1956. Dion covered ‘Ruby Baby’ in 1963, scoring a Top-5 hit. In 1974, Billy ‘Crash’ Craddock topped the US Country chart with his cover version.

“The Beach Boys originally recorded ‘Ruby Baby’ for their 1965 album Beach Boys’ Party!, but the song remained unreleased until the band’s 1993 box set Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of The Beach Boys. Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen covered ‘Ruby Baby’ for his 1982 solo album, Nightfly.”

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).
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.”

Come Go With Me

First recorded by The Dell-Vikings (1956).
Hit versions by The Del-Vikings (re-recording US #4/R&B #2 1957), Dion (US #48 1962), The Beach Boys (US #18 1981).

From the wiki: “‘Come Go with Me’ was written by C. E. Quick (aka Clarence Quick), an original member of the Doo-wop vocal group The Del-Vikings (also spelled ‘Dell-Vikings’ on Dot records releases, with no dash). The song was originally recorded by The Del-Vikings in 1956 and was released by them on Fee Bee Records with Quick as the lead vocalist. The 1957 re-recording released on Dot Records featured Norman Wright as the lead vocalist.

Teenager in Love

Written and first recorded (as “It’s Great to Be Young and in Love”) by Mort Shuman and Doc Pomus (1958).
Hit version by Dion & The Belmonts (US #5 1958 |UK #28 1959), Marty Wilde & The Wildcats (UK #2 1959), Craig Douglas (UK #13 1959).
Also recorded by The Wailers (1965).

From the wiki: “‘Teenager In Love’ was the first big hit co-written by Mort Shuman and Doc Pomus (‘Save The Last Dance For Me’, ‘This Magic Moment‘, ‘(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame‘), and had as its genesis an earlier Pomus-Shuman collaboration titled ‘It’s Great to Be Young and in Love’. ‘Teenager in Love’ is considered one of the greatest songs in rock and roll history. It is on the list of Rolling Stone magazine’s Top 500 Most Influential Rock Songs. Pomus was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992; Shuman was inducted in 2010.

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