Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Hank Snow

Nobody’s Child

First recorded by Hank Snow (1949).
Hit versions by Lonnie Donegan (1956), Tony Sheridan & the Beat Brothers (1961 |B-side US #19/UK #29 1964), Karen Young (UK #6 1969), Hank Williams Jr. (C&W #46 1969), The Traveling Wilburys (UK #44 1990).

From the wiki: “‘Nobody’s Child’ was written by Cy Coben and Mel Foree and was first recorded by Hank Snow in 1949, becoming one of his standards although it did not chart for him. The song lyrics are about an orphan whom no one wants to adopt because he is blind, and has been covered a number of times in the UK. It was on Lonnie Donegan’s first album in 1956 (which went to #2 as an album in the UK). It was covered by Tony Sheridan & the Beat Brothers (The Beatles) in 1961 in Hamburg and was used as the B-side to both the ‘Ain’t She Sweet’ and ‘Sweet Georgia Brown‘ singles when released in 1964 as part of Beatlemania. (Beatle George Harrison was also one of the Wilburys twenty-five years later.) In 1969, Karen Young again charted the song in the UK.

“In the US, Hank Williams Jr. recorded a version of ‘Nobody’s Child’ that made it to #46 on the US Country charts in 1969. The Traveling Wilburys’ cover recording made it to #44 on the UK charts as the lead promotional single from the benefit album Nobody’s Child: Romanian Angel Appeal released in July 1990.”

Caribbean

Written and first released by Mitchell Torok with the Louisiana Hayride Band (US #26/C&W #1 1953).
Other hit version by Mitchell Torok (US #27 1957).

From the wiki: “‘Caribbean’ was written and first recorded in 1953 by Mitchell Torok. It became a Country #1 single, and also charted in the US Top 40. In 1957, Torok recorded an updated but very similarly-arranged version of ‘Caribbean’ and it again charted in the US Top 40.

I’ve Been Everywhere

First recorded by Lucky Starr (AUS #1 1962).
US hit version by Hank Snow (C&W #1 1962).
Also recorded by John Hore (NZ #1 1966), Me Dow Songur (2012).

From the wiki: “‘I’ve Been Everywhere’ is a song which was written by Australian country singer Geoff Mack in 1959, and made popular by Lucky Starr in 1962. The song (as originally written) listed Australian towns. Geoff Mack’s music publisher offered the song to Canadian-born country musician Hank Snow in 1962. Snow thought the song had potential for the Canadian and American markets, but only if the toponyms were adapted to North America. At his publisher’s urging, Geoff Mack consequently re-wrote the song using a North American atlas supplied to him by the publisher. The song was also adapted by John Hore (later known as John Grenell) with New Zealand toponyms (1966), and in 2012 by Me Dow Songur using Asian toponyms (‘I go to Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Philippines, Vietnam, Beijing, Ho Chi Minh City…’).”

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