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’ is a popular song first published in 1940 but 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 “Careless Love Blues”) by Bessie Smith (US #5 1925).
Other popular versions by 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. Blues versions are popular; the lyrics change from version to version, but usually speak of the heartbreak brought on by ‘careless love.’ 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, and has remained a Jazz standard and Blues standard. Hundreds of recordings have been made 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’. Bessie Smith recorded the earliest-known version, in 1925.

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