Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Frank Sinatra

Someone to Watch Over Me

First recorded by Gertrude Lawrence (US #2 1926).
Other hit versions by George Gershwin (US #13 1926), George Olsen & His Orchestra (US #3 1927), Frank Sinatra (UK #13 1954), Linda Ronstadt (1980).
Also recorded by Margaret Whiting (1944).

From the wiki: “‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ was composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by Ira Gershwin for the musical Oh, Kay! (1926). George Gershwin originally approached the song as an uptempo jazz tune, but his brother Ira suggested that it might work much better as a ballad, and George ultimately agreed.

Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town)

First recorded by The Bay Harbor Society Orchestra (1922).
Hit version by Frank Sinatra (1958).

From the wiki: “‘Chicago’ is a popular song written by Fred Fisher, and first published in 1922 and recorded by The Bay Harbor Society Orchestra. Other early recordings of the song were made by Django Reinhardt (1937), and Earl Hines (1950). ‘Chicago’ was featured in H.C. Potter’s 1939 film, The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle, starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. It was later performed by Sinatra in the 1957 movie, The Joker Is Wild, and recorded for Sinatra’s 1958 album Come Fly with Me. Other popular versions of ‘Chicago’ were also recorded by Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, and The Dudley Moore Trio.”

Somethin’ Stupid

First recorded (as “Something Stupid”) by Carson and Gaile (1966).
Hit versions by Frank Sinatra & Nancy Sinatra (US #1/MOR #1/UK #1 1967), Robbie Williams & Nicole Kidman (UK #1 2001).

From the wiki: “‘Somethin’ Stupid’ is a song written by C. Carson Parks and originally recorded in 1966 by Parks and his wife Gaile Foote, as ‘Carson and Gaile’. In the early 1960s, Carson Parks was a folk singer in Los Angeles. He was an occasional member of The Easy Riders (‘Marianne‘. ‘Memories Are Made of This‘) and also performed with The Steeltown Three.

“In 1963 Parks formed the Greenwood County Singers, later known as The Greenwoods, who had two minor hits and included singer Gaile Foote. Before the Greenwoods disbanded, Parks and Foote married and, as ‘Carson and Gaile’, recorded an album for Kapp Records, San Antonio Rose, which included the track ‘Something Stupid’. The recording was then brought to the attention of Frank Sinatra by Carson’s younger brother, then-session pianist Van Dyke Parks, who had also performed with The Steeltown Three.

Everybody Loves Somebody (Sometime)

First recorded (as a B-side) by Peggy Lee (1947).
Also recorded by Peggy Mann & Eddie Heywood (1947).
Hit versions by Frank Sinatra (B-side US #25 1948), Dean Martin (US #1/MOR #1/UK #11/AUS #12 1964).

From the wiki: “‘Everybody Loves Somebody’ is a song written in 1947 by Sam Coslow, Irving Taylor and Ken Lane. By 1964, the song had already been recorded by several artists before finding chart success as something other than a B-side.

“The first recording was made by Peggy Lee in 1947 and released in March 1948 as the B-side to ‘Don’t Smoke in Bed’. Singer Peggy Mann also recorded a version in 1948, with bandleader Eddie Heywood (‘Begin the Beguine‘) before the onset of partial paralysis put an end to Heywood’s piano-playing career. Frank Sinatra recorded his version of ‘Everybody’ in 1948, originally as the B-side to ‘Just for Now’ (US #21) but it also charted on its own (US #25). However, the song has become so identified with Dean Martin that any other version is invariably compared to Martin’s #1 1964 hit and then forgotten.

The Hucklebuck

First recorded by Paul Williams & His Hucklebuckers (R&B #1 1949).
Other hit versions by Frank Sinatra (US #10 1949), Chubby Checker (US #14 1960), Coast to Coast (UK#3 1983).

From the wiki: “In his book, Honkers and Shouters, Arnold Shaw credits Paul Williams as one of the first to employ the honking tenor sax solo that became the hallmark of R&B and Rock ‘n Roll in the 1950s and early 1960s. Williams formed his own band in 1947 after first performing with Clarence Dorsey and King Porter. He became best known for his 1949 hit, ‘The Hucklebuck’, a twelve-bar blues that also spawned a dance craze. The single went to #1 on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart.

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