Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Helen Shapiro

It’s My Party

First recorded by Helen Shapiro (February 1963).
Also recorded by The Crystals (unreleased 1963), The Paris Sisters (1966).
Hit version by Lesley Gore (US #1/R&B #1 March 1963).

From the wiki: “The first recording of the song was by Helen Shapiro for her Helen in Nashville album recorded in February 1963 with Shapiro’s regular producer Norrie Paramor, and Al Kasha. Shapiro would recall: ‘Right from the first time we heard the song on the rough demo back in London, we thought we were going to sock them between the eyes with that one’; however Shapiro’s version was not one of the cuts chosen as an advance single from the album … so, by the time of the album’s release in the UK that October (and the album’s first single, ‘Woe is Me’, in the US in May 1963), Shapiro’s ‘It’s My Party’ recording was perceived as a cover of Lesley Gore’s hit single even though Shapiro’s version was the first recorded.

Fever

Originally recorded by Little Willie John (US #24/R&B #1 1956).
Other hit versions by Peggy Lee (US #8/UK #5 1958), Helen Shapiro (UK #38 1964), The McCoys (US #7/UK #44 1965), Madonna (DANCE #1/UK #6 1993).

https://youtu.be/gx0VPoUFOTY

From the wiki: “The idea for the song was presented to Otis Blackwell (‘All Shook Up‘, ‘Don’t Be Cruel’, ‘Great Balls of Fire’) by an old friend, Eddie Cooley. Blackwell said: ‘Eddie Cooley was a friend of mine from New York and he called me up and said ‘Man, I got an idea for a song called Fever, but I canĀ“t finish it. I had to write it under another name [‘John Davenport’] because, at that time, I was still under contract to Joe Davis.’

“Little Willie John reportedly disliked the song, but was persuaded to record it on March 1, 1956. His version was released in April 1956 and became a double-sided hit along with the top-ten R&B song ‘Letter from My Darling’. ‘Fever’ reached #1 for three weeks on the R&B Best Sellers chart. It also made the pop charts, peaking at #24 on the Billboard chart.

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