Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Guy Lombardo

Harbor Lights

First recorded by Frances Langford (US #6 1937).
Other hit versions by Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye (US #1 1950), Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians (US #2 1950), Ray Anthony & His Orchestra (US #4 1950), Bing Crosby (US #8 1950), Dinah Washington (R&B #10 1951), The Platters (US #8/R&B #15/UK #11 1960).

From the wiki: “‘Harbor Lights’ was written by Hugh Williams (pseudonym for Will Grosz) with lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy, and first recorded by Frances Langford (with Sam Koki & His Islanders) in 1937. The most-popular version was recorded in 1950 by Swing & Sway with Sammy Kaye, lasting 25 weeks on the Billboard chart and peaking at #1. Other charting covers in 1950 were recorded by The Guy Lombardo Orchestra, Ray Anthony & His Orchestra, and Bing Crosby. Dinah Washington charted R&B Top 10 in 1951, while The Platters returned ‘Harbor Lights’ to the US Top 40 in 1960.”

Auld Lang Syne

First recorded by Emile Berliner (1898).
Popular version by Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians (1939).

From the wiki: “Robert Burns sent a copy of the original song to the Scots Musical Museum (in 1788) with the remark, ‘The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man.’ In 1855, different words were written for the Auld Lang Syne tune by Albert Laighton and titled, “Song of the Old Folks.” This song was included in the songbook, Father Kemp’s Old Folks Concert Tunes, published in Boston, Massachusetts in 1860. For many years it was the tradition of the Stoughton Musical Society to sing this version in memory of those who had died that year. Now, ‘Auld Lang Syne’ is traditionally sung at the conclusion of New Year gatherings in Scotland and around the world, especially in English-speaking countries.

Red Roses for a Blue Lady

First recorded by John Laurenz (1948).
Hit versions by Vaughn Monroe & The Moon Men (US #3 1949), Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians (US #8 1949), Bert Kaempert (US #11/MOR #2 1965), Wayne Newton (US #23/MOR #4 1965), Vic Dana (US #10/MOR #2 1965).

From the wiki: “‘Red Roses for a Blue Lady’ was written by Sid Tepper and Roy C. Bennett, and first recorded in 1948 by John Laurenz. The best-selling recording was produced in 1949 by Vaughn Monroe and His Orchestra Vocalists: Vaughn Monroe and The Moon Men. The song was revived three times in 1965: By vocalists Vic Dana and Wayne Newton, and by instrumentalist Bert Kaempfert. Dana’s version was the most successful of the three, peaking at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the Easy Listening chart.”

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