Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Janis Ian

Society’s Child

Written and first recorded (as “Baby, I’ve Been Thinking (Society’s Child)”) by Janis Ian (1966).
Hit version by Janis Ian (US #14 1967).

From the wiki: “‘Society’s Child (Baby I’ve Been Thinking)’ was a song written in 1965 by Janis Ian centering around the then-taboo subject of interracial romance. Ian was 13 years old when she was motivated to write the song and she completed it when she was 14. Ian published it (credited to ‘Blind Girl Grunt’) in Broadside (Issue #67), the underground magazine that had brought attention to folk songs by artists like Bob Dylan (who had made some early recordings, in 1962 and 1963, as ‘Blind Boy Grunt’) and Pete Seeger before they hit the mainstream.

“The song was originally recorded for Atlantic, who declined to release it and returned the master to Ian. It was after meeting producer Shadow Morton that Ian re-entered the studio to record the retitled ‘Society’s Child’ with additional studio musicians. Still, there was resistance to it. Morton took the new recording to 22 record companies before Verve/Folkways, a spin-off of MGM Records, agreed to distribute the single.

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