Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Evie Sands

Take Me For a Little While

First recorded by Evie Sands (1965).
Also recorded by Jackie Ross (1965).
Hit versions by Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles (US #89/R&B #36 1966), Vanilla Fudge (US #38 1968).

From the wiki: “In 1965, Evie Sands began her lasting collaboration with the producer/composers Chip Taylor (‘Wild Thing‘, ‘Angel of the Morning‘) and Al Gorgoni with the release of the single ‘Take Me For a Little While’ (written by Trade Martin). But, prior to its release, a test pressing of Sands’ recording was stolen by a Chicago-based producer, shopping it to established Chess Records recording artist Jackie Ross who was coming off the major Pop-Soul hit ‘Selfish One’. Ross – who was unaware of the duplicity involved, and who left Chess shortly afterwards – and her producers loved the song, and recorded, pressed and released the record within 48 hours, beating Sands’ version to the street by a week. The ensuing battle between the two versions killed whatever chance either had to chart nationwide, and the subsequent legal struggle set-back Sands’ career before it had had a chance to get started.

“Sands’ follow-up single, ‘I Can’t Let Go‘, was lost amidst the post ‘Take Me’ chaos, leaving Brit invaders The Hollies clear to score a hit cover in the spring of 1966.

Angel of the Morning

First recorded by Evie Sands (1967).
Also recorded by Danny Michaels (1967), Billie Davis (UK 1967), Joya Landis (1968).
Hit versions by Merilee Rush (US #7/UK #55/CAN #1/AUS #1 1968), P.P. Arnold (UK #29 1968), Mary Mason (UK #27 1977), Guys ‘n Dolls (NETH #11 1977), Juice Newton (US #4/C&W #22/CAN #1 1981).

From the wiki: “‘Angel of the Morning’ was written by Chip Taylor (‘Wild Thing‘, ‘I Can’t Let Go‘), and was first offered to singer-actress Connie Francis (‘Who’s Sorry Now’ [1957], ‘Where the Boys Are’ [1961]). Francis turned it down because she thought that it was too risqué(!) for her career.

“Taylor then produced a recording with Evie Sands (‘I Can’t Let Go‘) but the financial straits of Cameo-Parkway Records, who had Sands on their roster, reportedly prevented either that version’s release or its distribution. Other early recordings of the song were made in 1967 by Southern California country music fixture Danny Michaels (for Lee Hazlewood’s LHI label) and, in the UK, by vocalist Billie Davis.

“‘Angel of the Morning’ finally became a hit in the spring and summer of 1968 with the recording by Merrilee Rush produced that January at American Sound Studios in Memphis with Chips Moman and Tommy Cogbill producing. It charted into the Top 10 in the US, also becoming an international hit. Her recording would earn Rush a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary-Pop Vocal Performance (Female) in 1969.

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