Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Fats Domino

Jambalaya (On the Bayou)

Based on “Gran Prairie” by Happy Fats & His Rayne-Bo Ramblers (1940).
Hit versions by Hank Williams (US #20/C&W #1 1952), Jo Stafford (US #3 1952), Fats Domino (US #30 1961), Blue Ridge Rangers (#16 1973), The Carpenters (UK #12 1974).

From the wiki: “The melody of ‘Jambalaya’ is based on the Cajun song ‘Gran Prairie’, first recorded in 1940 by Happy Fats & His Rayne-Bo Ramblers. While ‘Gran Prairie’ is a song about a lost love, the lyrics written by Hank Williams for ‘Jambalaya’ are about life, parties and stereotypical Cajun foods. Released in July 1952, crediting Williams as the sole author (there is some dispute, whether the lyrics were co-written with Moon Mullican), it reached #1 on the US Country music charts and stayed there for 14 non-consecutive weeks. Jo Stafford’s cover peaked at #3 on the Pop music charts, further popularizing the song. Other popular recordings were later charted by Fats Domino, and Blue Ridge Rangers (John Fogerty). The Carpenters released their 1974 recording of ‘Jambalaya’ as an overseas single, with chart success in the UK, Japan, Mexico, Holland and Germany.”

Blue Monday

First recorded by Smiley Lewis (1954).
Hit version by Fats Domino (US #5/R&B #1 1957).

From the wiki: “‘Blue Monday’ was originally written by Dave Bartholomew (‘I Hear You Knocking‘, ‘My Ding-a-Ling‘), and first recorded by Smiley Lewis in 1954. ‘Blue Monday’ was later popularized in a recording by Fats Domino in 1956, and it became one of the earliest Rhythm & Blues songs to make the Billboard magazine Pop music charts. The song was also featured in the 1956 film The Girl Can’t Help It.”

Blueberry Hill

First performed by Gene Autry (1940 |recorded 1941).
First commercial release by The Sammy Kaye Orchestra (1940).
Hit versions by Glenn Miller & His Orchestra (US #1 1940), Louis Armstrong (US #29 1949), Fats Domino (US #2/R&B #1/UK #6 1956).

From the wiki: “‘Blueberry Hill’, written by Vincent Rose with lyrics by Larry Stock and Al Lewis, was first performed in 1940 but is best remembered for its 1950s Rock n’ Roll styling by Fats Domino. The song was recorded six times in 1940, after the original version was sung by Gene Autry in the 1940 movie The Singing Hill and was recorded to disc by Autry a year later, in 1941. The song is purportedly named after a ‘make-out’ spot in Taos, New Mexico.

Careless Love

First recorded (as “Loveless Love”) by Noble Sissle & His Sizzling Syncopaters (1921).
Also recorded (as “Loveless Love”) by W.C. Handy’s Memphis Blues Band (1921), James P. Johnson (1921), Alberta Hunter (1923).
Other popular versions (as “Careless Love”) by Bessie Smith (US #5 1925), T. Texas Tyler (1946), The Ravens (1949), Fats Domino (1951), Ray Charles (1962).

From the wiki: “‘Careless Love’ is a traditional song of obscure origins. The song lyrics change from version to version, but usually speak of the heartbreak brought on by ‘careless love’; most often a girl’s lament for having loved unwisely, worrying what her mother will say when she returns home, ‘wearing her apron high’ (i. e. pregnant) The song was one of the best-known pieces in the repertory of the Buddy Bolden band in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the very start of the 20th century, but it is thought that the first recording of ‘Loveless Love/Careless Love’ was made by Noble Sissle & His Sizzling Syncopaters at a New York City recording session in January, 1921.

“Bessie Smith recorded the first popular version of ‘Careless Love’ in 1925. The song has since gone on to become a jazz and blues standard. Hundreds more recordings Smith’s nationally-popular verson, in blues, jazz, folk, country, and pop styles. T. Texas Tyler recorded a Texas Swing version in 1946 for 4-Star records. Fats Domino made a recording of it in 1951, releasing it as the B-side of ‘Rockin’ Chair’. Ray Charles’ recorded ‘Careless Love’ for his landmark 1962 album, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music.

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