Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Jimmy Dorsey

Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)

First recorded by Irving Aaronson & His Commanders (1928).
Hit versions by The Paul Whiteman Orchestra (US #5 1929), Dorsey Brothers & their Orchestra (US #9 1929).

From the wiki: “‘Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love’ (also known as ‘Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall in Love)’ or simply ‘Let’s Do It’) was written in 1928 by Cole Porter. It was introduced in Porter’s first Broadway success, the musical Paris (1928) by French chanteuse Irène Bordoni for whom Porter had written the musical as a starring vehicle. The song was later used in the English production of Wake Up and Dream (1929) and was also used as the title theme music in the 1933 Hollywood movie, Grand Slam.

“‘Let’s Do It’ was the first of Porter’s famous ‘list songs’, featuring a string of suggestive and droll comparisons and examples, preposterous pairings and double entendres, dropping famous names and events, drawing unexpectedly from highbrow and popular culture.

Lovesick Blues

First recorded (as “I’ve Got The Love-sick Blues”) by Elsie Clark (1922).
Also recorded by Jack Shea (1922), Emmett Miller & His Georgia Crackers (1928), Rex Griffin (1939).
Hit versions by Hank Williams (US #24/C&W #1 1949), Frank Ifield (US #44/UK #1 1962).

From the wiki: “First published as ‘I’ve Got The Love-sick Blues’ and introduced by Vaudeville singer Anna Chandler in the musical Oh, Ernest, ‘Lovesick Blues’ was first recorded by Elsie Clark in a March 1922 for OKeh Records and covered by Jack Shea for Vocalion Records later the same year. In 1928It was covered by Emmet Miller in 1928 (accompanied by his ‘Georgia Crackers’, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Eddie Lang, and Leo McConville) and, in 1939, by Country singer Rex Griffin.

“The recordings by Miller and Griffin would inspire Hank Williams to perform the song during his first appearances on The Louisiana Hayride in 1948. Receiving an enthusiastic reception by the audience, Williams decided to record his own version despite an initial push-back from his producer Fred Rose and his band. Williams’ recording would go on to become one of the biggest Country hits ever – spending 16 weeks at #1 in 1949. Co-writer Irving Mills also wrote ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing’, ‘Mood Indigo’ and ‘Caravan‘ in partnership with Duke Ellington. The other co-author, Cliff Friend, sold his share for $500 during the Depression.”

What a Difference a Day Makes

First recorded in English (as “What a Diff’rence a Day Made”) by Jimmie Ague (1934).
Also recorded by Freddy Martin & His Orchestra (1934).
Hit versions by The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra (US #5 1934), Andy Russell (US #15 1944), Dinah Washington (US #8/R&B #4 1959), Esther Phillips (US #20/R&B #10/UK #6 1975), Bobby Lewis (C&W #81 1977).

From the wiki: “‘What a Diff’rence a Day Made’ is a popular song originally written in Spanish by María Grever, a Mexican songwriter, in 1934 and originallly titled “Cuando vuelva a tu lado” (‘When I Return to Your Side’). The English lyrics were written by Stanley Adams. The earliest English-language renditions of the song were recorded in 1934 by Jimmie Ague, and also by Freddy Martin & His Orchestra. The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra charted first with the song, in 1934, featuring vocals by Bob Crosby. Dinah Washington’s 1959 recording earned her the Grammy Award for Best Rhythm & Blues Performance. Esther Phillips reached into the UK Top 10 with her disco-fied recording.”

Besame Mucho

First recorded by Emilio Tuero (1941).
Hit versions by Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra (US #1 1944), Lucho Gatica (1953), The Coasters (US #70 1960), The Beatles (1962|1969).

From the wiki: “‘Besame Mucho’ (‘Kiss Me Much’) was written in 1940 by Mexican songwriter Consuelo Velázquez. According to Velázquez herself, she wrote this song even though she had not yet ever been kissed at the time; she’d heard kissing was considered a sin. ‘Besame Mucho’ has since become of the most famous boleros, and was recognized in 1999 as the most sung and recorded Mexican song in the world. Emilio Tuero was the first to record the song, but the Lucho Gatica recording in 1953 made the song world-famous.

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