Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Lloyd Price

Misty

First recorded by The Erroll Garner Trio (1954).
Hit versions by Sarah Vaughn (US #106 1959), Johnny Mathis (US #12/R&B #10/UK #12 1959), Lloyd Price (US #21/R&B #11 1963), The Vibrations (US #63/R&B #26 1965), “Groove” Holmes (U S#44/MOR #7/R&B #12 1966), Ray Stevens (US #14/MOR #8/C&W #3/UK #2 1975).

From the wiki: “‘Misty’ was written by Errol Garner in 1954 and first recorded for his 1955 album Contrasts. The song was later paired with lyrics by Johnny Burke and became the signature song of Johnny Mathis. Garner’s recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1991; Mathis’s version of the song was inducted in 2002. The 1975 Country-fied version by Ray Stevens won a Grammy in the category of Music Arrangement of the Year.

Lawdy Miss Clawdy

First recorded by Lloyd Price (R&B #1 1952).
Other hit versions by Elvis Presley (UK #15 1957), Gary Stites (US #47 1960), The Buckinghams (US #41 1967), Mickey Gilley (C&W #3 1976).

From the wiki: “‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’ was an R&B song written by New Orleans singer/songwriter Lloyd Price (‘Personality’) that ‘grandly introduced The New Orleans Sound’. It was first recorded by Price in 1952, along with Dave Bartholomew and Fats Domino during Price’s first session for Specialty Records. In 1952, Art Rupe, founder of Specialty Records in Los Angeles, came to New Orleans in search of new talent. Local recording studio owner Cosimo Matassa introduced him to Dave Bartholomew, who had co-written and produced many of Fats Domino’s early hit records. Bartholomew invited nineteen year-old Lloyd Price to audition for Rupe at Matassa’s J&M Studio. The accounts differ on what happened next.

“According to Rupe, Price spent too much time rehearsing and Rupe threatened to leave if he did not get it together; Rupe then relented and Price turned out an emotional performance of ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’, prompting Rupe to cancel his return flight and to arrange for a full recording session.

Just Because

Written and first recorded (as “A Little Word”) by Shirley & Lee (1956).
Hit version by Lloyd Price (US #29/R&B #3 1956).
Also recorded by John Lennon (1973/1974).

From the wiki: “‘A Little Word’ was written by Leonard Lee, and released as the B-side to Shirley & Lee’s ‘That’s What I’ll Do’ non-charting single released in February 1956 (ahead of their chart-topping ‘Let the Good Times Roll’). Lloyd Price would adapt ‘A Little Word’ into “Just Because’. Price had already recorded one of the biggest-selling songs of the early Rock ‘n roll era, ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’, in 1952, but his career momentum was cut short when he was drafted into the Army in 1954. Upon his discharge, Price found he had been replaced at Specialty Records by Little Richard. Price then decided to start his own label – The Kent Recording Company (KRC). Kent Records began in late 1956 with Price as its only artist. The label’s first release was ‘Just Because’, on which Price played piano and produced the session.

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