Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Kay Starr

Side by Side

First recorded by Lee Morse (1927).
Hit versions by Ukulele Ike (US #27 1927), Nick Lucas (US #3 1927), Kay Starr (US #3/UK #7 1953), Hayley Mills (US #8 1961).
Also recorded by Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra with the Rhythm Boys (incl. Bing Crosby) (1927).

From the wiki: “‘Side by Side’ was written by Harry Woods (‘When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along)’, ‘I’m Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover’, ‘Try a Little Tenderness‘), a one-handed piano play born without fingers on his left hand.

“Among a slew of ‘Side by Side’ releases in 1927, singer, guitarist and actress Lee Morse was the first to release a recording of the song. Her recording, released on March 16, 1927, preceded other recordings released the same month by Nick Lucas (‘Tip-Toe Thru the Tulips‘), and Ukulele Ike (‘Singin’ in the Rain‘)whose recordings were the first to chart on the Hit Parade.

Wheel of Fortune

First recorded by Johnny Hartman (1951).
Hit versions by The Bell Sisters (US #10 1952), Eddie Wilcox Orchestra feat. Sunny Gale (US #13/R&B #2 1952), Dinah Washington (R&B #3 1952), Bobby Wayne (US #6 1952), Kay Starr (US #1 1952), Susan Raye (C&W #10 1972).

From the wiki: “‘Wheel of Fortune’ was written by Bennie Benjamin and George David Weiss, and was originally recorded in 1951 by Johnny Hartman. The song was also used as the theme to the television series Wheel of Fortune.

“Several different covers of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ were released and charted in 1952. Although recorded in Dec. 1951, the Bell Sisters’ cover did not chart until 1952. The Eddie Wilcox/Sunny Gale recording first charted in Feb. 1952. Dinah Washington, and Bobby Wayne, also released charting covers in 1952. But it was Kay Starr who topped Billboard Best Seller chart with her recording of ‘Wheel of Fortune’, which spent a total of 22-weeks on the Hit Parade.

“Country singer Susan Raye (‘L.A. International Airport’) returned the song to the charts with her 1972 cover.”

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