Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Everly Brothers

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 (UK #43/NOR #2 1991).

From the wiki: “‘Love Hurts’ was written by Boudleaux Bryant, and was first recorded by The Everly Brothers in July 1960. (The duo would re-record the song with a more up-tempo arrangement in 1964.) The song became a well-known international hit in 1975 with versions released by Nazareth (in the US) and Jim Capaldi (in the UK). 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.

Crying in the Rain

First recorded (as a demo) by Carole King (1962).
Hit versions by The Everly Brothers (US #6/UK #6 1962), The Sweet Inspirations (US #112/R&B #42 1969), Tammy Wynette (C&W #18 1981), a-ha (US #26/UK #13 1990).

From the wiki: “‘Crying in the Rain’ was written by Howard Greenfield and Carole King, the only collaboration between the successful songwriters. Both worked for Aldon Music at the time of the song’s composition. On a whim, two Aldon songwriting partnerships decided to switch partners for a day – Gerry Goffin (who normally worked with King) partnered with Greenfield’s frequent writing partner Jack Keller, leaving King and Greenfield to pair up for the day. Despite the commercial success of this collaboration, King and Greenfield never wrote another song together.

Claudette

Written and first recorded (as a demo) by Roy Orbison (1958).
Hit version by The Everly Brothers (US #30/C&W #15/UK #1 1958).

From the wiki: “‘Claudette’ was written by Roy Orbison and named for his wife. It was the first major songwriting success for the then-unknown Orbison, who at the time was under contract to Sun Records. Orbison’s demo found its way to The Everly Brothers who would record and release their version as the B-side to ‘All I Have to Do Is Dream’ but ‘Claudette’ would also chart in the US and the UK. As a result of the song’s success, Orbison would terminate his contract with Sun and affiliate himself with the Everly’s publisher, Acuff-Rose Music. Orbison would record his own version of ‘Claudette’ in 1965.”

When Will I Be Loved

Written and originally recorded by The Everly Brothers (US #7 1960).
Other hit versions by Johnny Young & Kompany (AUS #3 1967), Linda Ronstadt (US #2 1975).
Also recorded by Sandy Denny (1972).

From the wiki: “‘When Will I Be Loved’ was written by Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers and was a #8 hit single for the duo in the summer of 1960. The track had been recorded in 1959 while the Everly Brothers were contracted to Cadence Records; by 1960 they had moved to Warner Brothers and were recording in a more mainstream pop/rock style than previously. The belated release by Cadence of ‘When Will I Be Loved’ provided the Everly Brothers with a final rockabilly-style hit.

On the Wings of a Nightingale

First recorded (as a demo) by Paul McCartney (1983).
Hit version by The Everly Brothers (US #50/MOR #9/UK #41/CAN #10/SA #6 1984).

From The Beatles Rarity: “After a long break from recording together, the Everly Brothers got back together in 1983. They began with a reunion concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall in September of that year and then recorded another album together titled EB84 – their first album together in seven years. The lead single was a Paul McCartney composition that he not only contributed for the record, but also plays guitar on, called ‘On the Wings of a Nightingale’ and it went to #9 in the U.S. (Other contributors to the LP included Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Richard Tandy, and producer Dave Edmunds.) McCarthey presented his song to the Everlys in demo form prior to the album recording sessions.

Let It Be Me

First recorded (in English) by Jill Corey (1957).
Hit versions by The Everly Brothers (US #7 1960), Betty Everett & Jerry Butler (US #5/R&B #1 1964), The Sweet Inspirations (R&B #13 1967), Glen Campbell & Bobbie Gentry (US #36/C&W #14/MOR #7 1969) and Willie Nelson (US #40/C&W #2/MOR #11 1982).

From the wiki: “[O]riginally published in 1955 as ‘Je t’appartiens,’ the score was written and first recorded in French by Gilbert Bécaud (‘September Morn’). The English-language version used lyrics by Mann Curtis and was first performed in 1957 by Jill Corey in the television series Climax!. Corey’s version, with orchestration by Jimmy Carroll, was released as a single and was moderately successful.

Chains

First recorded by The Everly Brothers (1962, released 1984).
Hit versions by The Cookies (US #17/R&B #7 1962), The Beatles (1963).

From the wiki: “‘Chains’ is a song composed by the Brill Building husband-and-wife songwriting team Gerry Goffin and Carole King (‘Up on the Roof‘, ‘Crying in the Rain‘, ‘Oh No Not My Baby‘), and originally recorded by the Everly Brothers but which went unreleased until 1984. In 1962 it was a US Top 20 hit for Little Eva’s backing singers, The Cookies, and later covered by The Beatles.

Love of the Common People

First released by The Four Preps (1967).
Also recorded by The Everly Brothers (1967), Waylon Jennings (1967), The Gosdin Brothers (1968), The Winstons (1969), John Denver (1969), John Hurley, co-writer (1970).
Hit versions by Nicky Thomas (UK #9 1970), Paul Young (US #45/UK #2/IRE #1/NETH #1 1983).

From the wiki: “‘Love of the Common People’ is a Folk ballad composed by John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins, eventually released in 1970 on Hurley’s album John Hurley Sings about People, but first recorded in January 1967 by The Four Preps in a session arranged and conducted by Leon Russell.

“The song was covered by both the Everly Brothers and Country singer Waylon Jennings in 1967, The Gosdin Brothers (1968), Soul group The Winstons (1969), John Denver (on his 1969 Rhymes & Reason album), Reggae artist Nicky Thomas (1970), Stiff Little Fingers in 1982, and English pop singer Paul Young in 1982 (re-released in 1983).

Love is Strange

First recorded by Bo Diddley (May 1956, released 2007).
Hit versions by Mickey & Sylvia (US #11/R&B #1 October 1956), The Everly Brothers (UK #11, 1965), Peaches & Herb (US #13/R&B #16 1967).
Also recorded by Paul McCartney & Wings (1971).

From the wiki: “The song was based on a guitar riff by Jody Williams. The song was written by Bo Diddley under the name of his wife at the time, Ethel Smith. The first recorded version of ‘Love Is Strange’ was performed by Bo Diddley, who recorded his version on May 24, 1956 with Jody Williams on lead guitar. This version was not released until its appearance on I’m a Man: The Chess Masters, 1955-1958 in 2007.

The Girl Can’t Help It

originally recorded by Little Richard (R&B #7/UK #9 1956).
Also covered by The Animals (1964), The Everly Brothers (1965), The Flamin’ Groovies (1969), Led Zeppelin/The Nobs (1970), Mick Ronson (1975), Darts (as “Daddy Cool/The Girl Can’t Help It” UK #6 1977), Bonnie Raitt (as “The Boy Can’t Help It” (1979), Babes in Toyland (2001).

From the wiki: “‘The Girl Can’t Help It’ is the title song to the film The Girl Can’t Help It, composed by songwriter Bobby Troup. The recording was released in December 1956 and peaked at #49 on the Billboard Top 100 singles chart (also UK #9 and US R&B #7 ), and is included in the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Originally, Fats Domino was lined up to record the track, which was not written to be a Rock song. The movie, The Girl Can’t Help It, was originally intended as a vehicle for the American sex symbol Jayne Mansfield, with a satirical subplot involving teenagers and rock ‘n’ roll music. The unintended result has been called the ‘most potent’ celebration of Rock music ever captured on film. The original music score included the title song performed by Little Richard. Reportedly, the producers had wanted Elvis for ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’, but Elvis’s manager Tom Parker demanded too much money.

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