Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: “Mama” Cass Elliot

Easy Come, Easy Go

First recorded by “Mama” Cass Elliot (1969).
Hit version by Bobby Sherman (US #9/MOR #2/CAN #9 1970).

From the wiki: “‘Easy Come, Easy Go’ was first recorded in 1969 by ‘Mama’ Cass Elliot for her second solo album, Bubble Gum, Lemonade & … Something For Mama. A year later, teen idol Bobby Sherman recorded a cover version that charted Top 10 in the US and Canada. The Cass Elliot album was recorded in the wake of her breakdown following a disastrous Las Vegas show in 1968. Studio executives at Dunhill Records took creative control the fastest and easiest solution would be to have Elliot record an album full of music similar to what she had done with The Mamas & the Papas. The album was originally released on July 5, 1969 with 11 tracks and was a moderate success when first released, reaching #91 on the Billboard Hot Album chart. But, the album was re-released in December 1969 under a new title and with a different album cover as Make Your Own Kind of Music/It’s Getting Better. ‘Make Your Own Kind of Music‘, which had been recorded separately from the album sessions, had become a hit and was belatedly added to the album.”

Make Your Own Kind of Music

First recorded by The Will-O-Bees (1968).
Hit version by “Mama” Cass Elliot (US #36/MOR #6 1969).
Also performed by The Carpenters (1971).

From the wiki: “‘Make Your Own Kind of Music’ was written by Barry Mann (‘Never Gonna Let You Go‘, ‘We Gotta Get Out of This Place‘, ‘Venus in Blue Jeans‘) and Cynthia Weil (‘Don’t Know Much‘, ‘I Just Can’t Help Believing‘, ‘We Gotta Get Out of This Place‘) first recorded in 1968 by New York City-based trio the Will-O-Bees (Janet Blossom, Steven Porter, and Robert Merchanthouse) who regularly performed Mann/Weil compositions. After ‘Mama’ Cass Elliot had a solo hit in the summer of 1969 with Mann/Weil’s ‘It’s Getting Better’ she recorded ‘Make Your Own Kind of Music’ as the follow-up single. Her album Bubblegum, Lemonade, and… Something for Mama was then re-released as Make Your Own Kind of Music, the title cut having been added to the original track listing.”

Venus (Shocking Blue)

Inspired by “The Banjo Song” by The Big Three (1963).
Hit versions by Shocking Blue (US #1/UK #8/CAN #1/AUS #1/FRE #1/SPN #1 1969), Bananarana (US #1/UK #8/CAN #1/AUS #1/SUI #1/NZ #1 1986).

From the wiki: “‘Venus’ composer Robbie van Leeuwen admitted in a 2007 interview he took his inspiration for the song from ‘The Banjo Song’, written by Tim Rose Ross as a lyrical parody of Stephen Foster’s ‘Oh, Susannah’ and first recorded by The Big Three (Jim Hendricks, Tim Rose and Cass Elliot) in 1963.”

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