Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Jerry Ross

Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie

First recorded (as “Ready or Not”) by Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs (1966).
Hit version by Jay & the Techniques (US #6 1967).

From the wiki: “Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs released a non-single version entitled ‘Ready or Not’ on their 1966 The Best of Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs (MGM SE-4422). ‘Ready or Not’ was then retitled ‘Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie’ when recorded by Jay & the Techniques in 1967. Released as a single in May of that year, it would chart Top-10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and go on to become the title track for the group’s 1968 album Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie.

“Bobby Hebb was originally offered ‘Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie’, but he rejected the song due to the song’s novelty sound. After Hebb declined, record producer Jerry Ross offered the song to Jay & the Techniques.”

Sunday Will Never Be the Same

Written (by Terry Cashman) and first recorded (as a demo) by Cashman, Pistilli & West (1967, released 1968).
Hit version by Spanky & Our Gang (US #9 1967).

From the wiki: “‘Sunday Will Never Be the Same’ was written by Terry Cashman and Gene Pistilli. Cashman sent his demo to Lou Adler at Dunhill Records, with the hope that The Mamas & The Papas would record the song, and recalls: ‘Adler saying ‘Hey, this is a great song.’ But John Philips is doing mostly his own songs right now. So, okay, fine. The Left Banke sounded to me also like a group that could do this song, but they passed on it. And then with nobody in mind I went to a producer named Jerry Ross, who was a very hot producer (‘Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie‘, ‘98.6’).

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me

First recorded by Dee Dee Warwick (US #88/R&B #13 1966).
Also recorded by Jerry Butler (1967), Jay & the Techniques (1968).
Hit versions by Madeline Bell (US #26/R&B #32 1968), Diana Ross & The Supremes with The Temptations (US #2/R&B #2/UK #3 1968).

From the wiki: “Written by Philly Soul songwriters Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff (‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now’, ‘Love Train’, ‘Now That We Found Love‘), and producer Jerry Ross (‘Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie‘, ‘Sunny‘), ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me’ was originally a Top-20 R&B hit for Dee Dee Warwick in 1966. It was released as the follow-up single to her Top-10 hit ‘I Want To Be With You’. Co-writer Ross produced the track while Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson provided background vocals. Warwick’s recording reached #13 R&B and crossed over to the Billboard Top 100 in December 1966.

Sunny

First released by Mieko Hirota (1965).
Also recorded by Dave Pike (1966), Chris Montez (1966), Marvin Gaye (1966), Stevie Wonder (1968).
Hit versions by Bobby Hebb (US #2/R&B #3/UK #12 1966), Boney M. (UK #3/NETH #1/GER #1 1976).


(Live performance, above, ca. 1968-1969)

From the wiki: “Bobby Hebb’s breakthrough as a songwriter would be born of tragedy. In November 1963, already upset over the JFK assassination, Bobby then learned that his older brother, Harold, had been stabbed to death the same night in a fight outside a Nashville nightclub. Out of his depression, Hebb began to write. Using past hurts (‘Yesterday my life was filled with rain’) and inspired by the anonymous smile of a complete stranger (‘You smiled and it really, really eased the pain’), ‘Sunny’ came into being. The upbeat number was included in Hebb’s nightclub act at his gig at the New York club ‘Brandy’s.’ The audiences responded positively as did record producer Jerry Ross (‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me‘), who included the song on a demo record that found its way to Japan.

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