Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Little Richard

Good Golly Miss Molly

First released by The Valiants (1957).
Hit versions by Little Richard (US #10/R&B #4/UK #8 1958), The Swinging Blue Jeans (US #43/UK #11 1964).
Also recorded by Los Teen Tops (1959).

From the wiki: “‘Good Golly Miss Molly’ was written by John Marascalco and producer Robert ‘Bumps’ Blackwell. Although it was first recorded in 1956 by Little Richard, Blackwell – after leaving Specialty Records (Little Richard’s label) to manage Sam Cooke – produced another version, by The Valiants, that was rush-released to radio and stores only to be quickly eclipsed when Richard’s recording was finally, belatedly released.

Baby Face

First recorded by The Jan Garber Orchestra (US #1 1926).
Other popular versions by Ipana Troubadours (US #10 1926), Art Mooney (US #3 1948), Little Richard (US #41/R&B #12/UK #2/NOR #1 1958), Bobby Darin (US #42/UK #40 1962), Wing and a Prayer Fife & Drum Corps (US #14/Soul #32 1976).

From the wiki: “‘Baby Face’ was written by Harry Akst, the lyrics by Benny Davis. The song was published in 1926, and first became popular that same year when recorded by the Jan Garber Orchestra. It has since been covered by many recording artists, including Al Jolson, The Revelers, Bobby Darin, and Wing and a Prayer Fife & Drum Corps. Swan Districts, an Australian Rules club in the WAFL since 1934, bases its club song on this tune.

The Girl Can’t Help It

originally recorded by Little Richard (R&B #7/UK #9 1956).
Also covered by The Animals (1964), The Everly Brothers (1965), The Flamin’ Groovies (1969), Led Zeppelin/The Nobs (1970), Mick Ronson (1975), Darts (as “Daddy Cool/The Girl Can’t Help It” UK #6 1977), Bonnie Raitt (as “The Boy Can’t Help It” (1979), Babes in Toyland (2001).

From the wiki: “‘The Girl Can’t Help It’ is the title song to the film The Girl Can’t Help It, composed by songwriter Bobby Troup. The recording was released in December 1956 and peaked at #49 on the Billboard Top 100 singles chart (also UK #9 and US R&B #7 ), and is included in the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Originally, Fats Domino was lined up to record the track, which was not written to be a Rock song. The movie, The Girl Can’t Help It, was originally intended as a vehicle for the American sex symbol Jayne Mansfield, with a satirical subplot involving teenagers and rock ‘n’ roll music. The unintended result has been called the ‘most potent’ celebration of Rock music ever captured on film. The original music score included the title song performed by Little Richard. Reportedly, the producers had wanted Elvis for ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’, but Elvis’s manager Tom Parker demanded too much money.

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