Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Herb Alpert

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.”

Whipped Cream

First recorded by The Stokes (1964).
Hit version by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass (US #68/MOR #13 1965).

From the wiki: “‘Whipped Cream’ was written by Allen Toussaint. (Naomi Neville, the credited writer, was one of two pseudonyms used by Toussaint to honor his parents, Clarence and Naomi, who had always been supportive of his music.) In 1964, in the midst of a two-year stint in the military, Toussaint took his army band into the studio and, under the name of The Stokes, recorded ‘Whipped Cream’. Herb Alpert jumped on the melody a year later for the Tijuana Brass, recording it note-for-note, creating a memorable album cover, a hit single (and 1965’s #1 hit album), and the original theme song for the TV sensation The Dating Game.”

A Taste of Honey

Co-written and first recorded by Bobby Scott (1960).
First vocal version recorded by Billy Dee Williams (1961).
Also recorded by Lenny Welch (1962), The Beatles (1963).
Hit (instrumental) versions by Martin Denny (US #50 1962), Mr. Acker Bilk (UK #16 1963), Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass (US #7 1965).

From the wiki: “‘A Taste of Honey’ was written by Bobby Scott (‘He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother‘) and Ric Marlow. It was originally an instrumental track (or recurring theme) written for the 1960 Broadway version of the 1958 British play A Taste of Honey. The original recorded versions of the song first appeared on Bobby Scott’s 1960 album, also titled A Taste of Honey. His composition would go onto win Best Instrumental Theme at the Grammy Awards of 1963.

“A vocal version of the song, first recorded by Billy Dee Williams in 1961, became popular when it was covered, first, by Lenny Williams in 1962 and, then, by The Beatles in 1963 on their debut UK Parlaphone album Please Please Me, and debut US album Introducing … The Beatles on VeeJay. (The group had begun to incorporate the song into their live repertoire in Hamburg, Germany, in 1962.)

“Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass recorded the most popular instrumental version of the song with a cover on their 1965 album, Whipped Cream & Other Delights. This recording won four Grammy awards in 1966 including Record of the Year.”

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