Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Gilbert Becaud

What Now My Love

First recorded by Jane Morgan (1961).
Hit versions by Shirley Bassey (UK #5 1962), Sonny & Cher (US #14/UK #12 1966), Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass (US #24/MOR #2 1966), Mitch Ryder (US #30 1967).
Also performed by Elvis Presley (1974).

From the wiki: “‘What Now, My Love?’ is the English title of a popular song whose original French version, ‘Et maintenant’ (English: ‘And Now’) was written in 1961 by composer Gilbert Bécaud (co-writer, ‘September Morn‘) and lyricist Pierre Delanoë. Bécaud’s original version of this song topped French chart in 1961. English lyrics and the title were written by Carl Sigman, and were first recorded in 1961 by Jane Morgan. The English-language covers use the melody of Bécaud but with a different lyrical imagery (e.g., ‘there’s the sky where the sea should be’), which are different from the more deeply dark French original.

“Elvis Presley performed the song before a live audience of 1 billion people, as part of his satellite show, Aloha from Hawaii, which was beamed to 43 countries via INTELSAT in 1974.”

September Morn

Co-written and first recorded (as “C’est en septembre”) by Gilbert Becaud (1978).
Hit version by Neil Diamond (US #17/MOR #2 1979).

From the wiki: “‘September Morn’ was adapted from ‘C’est en septembre’ (‘In September’) co-written by Gilbert Becaud (‘Let It Be Me‘) and Neil Diamond (‘Red Red Wine‘, ‘I’m a Believer‘), with original French lyrics by Maurice Vidalin. It was first recorded by Becaud in late 1978 for release in France in January, 1979.

“Becaud began collaborating with Neil Diamond in the 1970s, together writing ‘Love on the Rocks’, ‘Mama Don’t Know’, and Becaud was among Diamond’s collaborators for the soundtrack music to The Jazz Singer. He was a popular French singer-songwriter whose dynamic stage act and charismatic crooning earned him the soubriquet ‘Monsieur 100,000 volts’; he also wrote more than 400 songs, the best-known of which, ‘Et Maintenant’ (1962), (translated as ‘What Now My Love‘) was recorded by numerous singers, including Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand and Shirley Bassey.”

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.

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