Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Herman’s Hermits

Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat

First recorded by Goldie & the Gingerbreads (UK #25 1965).
Other hit version by Herman’s Hermits (US #2 1965).

From the wiki: “Goldie & the Gingerbreads was an all-female American Rock band, active from 1962 to 1967, and the first all-female Rock band signed to a major record label. In 1964, fashion photographer and director Jerry Schatzberg threw a party for the Warhol ‘Superstar Baby’ Jane Holzer that was later referred to by writer Tom Wolfe as ‘the Mods and Rockers ball, the party of the year.’ Goldie & the Gingerbreads were booked to provide the musical entertainment. Among the guests at the event were The Rolling Stones and Ahmet Ertegün, the chairman of Atlantic Records, who promptly signed Goldie to his label.

“Later in 1964, the band met Eric Burdon and The Animals, whose manager then contracted the Gingerbreads to a tour in England. These standard group tours were arranged by record companies to showcase their roster of talent and the Gingerbreads were one of up to six bands on the tour, performing on the same bill night after night in small towns. In Britain, they toured with The Rolling Stones, The Animals, The Beatles, The Yardbirds, The Hollies and The Kinks, among others.

Silhouettes

First recorded by The Rays (US #3/R&B #3 1957).
Other hit versions by The Diamonds (US #10/R&B #6 1957), Herman’s Hermits (US #5/UK #3 1965), Cliff Richard (UK #10 1990).
Also recorded by Frankie Lymon (1960), Bob Crewe (1961), Paul Anka (1961), The Four Seasons (1964), The Nylons (1982).

From the wiki: “In May 1957, songwriter-producer Bob Crewe (‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore)‘, ‘Lady Marmalade‘, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Silence is Golden‘) saw a couple embracing through a window shade as he passed-by on a train. He quickly set about turning the image into a song. Frank Slay, who owned the small Philadelphia record label XYZ with Crewe, added lyrics, and they soon had a complete song ready to record.

“The Rays’ original recording received a break when popular Philadelphia disc-jockey Hy Lit fell asleep at home listening to a stack of newly-released records on his record player. ‘Silhouettes’ happened to be the last record to play, and so it repeated until he woke up. Lit began to playing the song on his show and it became popular enough that Cameo-Parkway picked it up for national distribution. The Rays’ ‘Silhouettes’ eventually reached #3 on Billboard Hot 100, while also hitting the Top-5 on both the sales and airplay charts. It became the group’s only Top 40 hit.

Bus Stop

First recorded by Herman’s Hermits (1966).
Hit version by The Hollies (US #5/UK #5 1966).
Also recorded by Graham Gouldman, songwriter (1968).

From the wiki: “‘Bus Stop’ was written by UK songwriter and future 10cc member Graham Gouldman, who also penned major hits for The Yardbirds (‘For Your Love‘) and Herman’s Hermits (‘No Milk Today’). In a 1976 interview Gouldman said the idea for the song had come while he was riding home from work on a bus. The opening lines were written by his father, playwright Hyme Gouldman. Graham continued with the rest of the song in his bedroom, apart from the middle-eight, which he finished while riding to work – a men’s outfitters – on the bus the next day.

Heartbeat

First recorded by Buddy Holly (US #82/UK #30 1958).
Hit versions by The England Sisters (UK #33 1960), Showaddywaddy (UK #7 1975), Nick Berry (UK #2 1992).
Also recorded by Herman’s Hermits (1965), The Hollies (1980).

From the wiki: “‘Heartbeat’ is a rockabilly song credited to Bob Montgomery and Norman Petty, and recorded originally by Buddy Holly in 1958. It was the last Buddy Holly single to be released during his lifetime. ‘Heartbeat’ covers would subsequently reach the UK Top Ten twice: In 1975, for Showaddywaddy, and again in 1992 when the version Nick Berry recorded it as the theme to the Heartbeat TV series. Herman’s Hermits — who had originally been named The Heartbeats after the song — recorded the song in 1965. The Hollies, who had named themselves after Buddy Holly, made their only attempt at having a hit remake of a Buddy Holly song with a 1980 single release of ‘Heartbeat’ that failed to chart.”

I’m Into Something Good

First recorded by Earl-Jean (US #38 1964).
Hit version by Herman’s Hermits (US #13/UK #1 1964).

From the wiki: “‘I’m Into Something Good’ was originally recorded by The Cookies member Earl-Jean McCrea in 1964 and produced and arranged by the song’s composers, Gerry Goffin and Carole King (‘Oh No Not My Baby‘, ‘Up on the Roof‘, ‘(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman‘). The original recording reached #38 on the US pop singles chart. Soon thereafter, Herman’s Hermits recorded the song as their debut single, reaching #1 in the UK Singles Chart on 14 September 1964 and staying there for two weeks. The song peaked at #13 in the US later that year.

Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter

First recorded by Tom Courtenay (1963).
Hit version by Herman’s Hermits (US #1/SWE #4 1965).

From the wiki: “‘Mrs. Brown’ was originally sung by actor Sir Tom Courtenay in The Lads, a British TV play of 1963 and released that year as a single by Decca Records.

There’s a Kind of Hush

Originally recorded by The New Vaudeville Band (1966).
Also recorded by Gary & The Hornets (1966).
Hit versions by Herman’s Hermits (US #4/UK #7/CAN #2/AUS #5/SGP #2 1967), The Carpenters (US #12/MOR #1/UK #22/CAN #8 1976).

From the wiki: “The song was introduced on the 1966 album Winchester Cathedral by Geoff Stephens’ group, The New Vaudeville Band; like that group’s hit ‘Winchester Cathedral’, ‘There’s a Kind of Hush’ was conceived as a neo-British music hall number although it is a less overt proponent of that style.

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