Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Max Bygraves

The Ballad of Davy Crockett

First performed by The Wellingtons (1954).
First released by Bill Hayes (US #1/UK #2 1955).
Other hit versions by Fess Parker (US #6 1955), Tennessee Ernie Ford (US #5/C&W #4/UK #3 1955), Mac Wiseman (US #10 1955), Max Bygraves (UK #20 1955).

From the wiki: “‘The Ballad of Davy Crockett’ was introduced on ABC’s television series Disneyland, in the premiere episode of October 27, 1954, sung by The Wellingtons but performed on-screen by Fess Parker, playing the role of Davy Crockett, accompanied by similarly attired musicians. The song would later be heard throughout the follow-up Disneyland television miniseries, Davy Crockett, first telecast on December 15, 1954. The Wellingtons were originally called The Lincolns, and recorded for Kapp Records. As The Wellingtons, they were signed by Walt Disney to record the theme song for Disney’s The Wonderful World of Color and, subsequently, ‘The Ballad of Davy Crockett’.

“Trivia: Gilligan’s Island producer Sherwood Schwartz, working with composer George Wyle, came up with a Folk song theme song that told the back story of the castaways, and hired The Wellingtons to sing it. The song was a hit. The Wellingtons appear in a second season (1965–66) episode of Gilligan’s Island as a Rock group called ‘The Mosquitoes’.

Any Dream Will Do

First recorded by The Joseph Consortium (1968).
Hit versions by Max Bygraves (AUS #1 1970), Jason Donovan (UK #1 1991).

From the wiki: “In 1967, the Head of the music department of Colet Court School, London, asked a then-unknown Andrew Lloyd Webber (and Tim Rice) to compose a song for the boys choir to sing for their end-of-semester concert. First performed as a 15-minute Pop cantata at Colet, Decca Records recorded it in 1969 as part of a concept album after which ‘Any Dream Will Do’ would eventually become a fully-realized stage production, Joseph And The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Following in the wake of the next Lloyd Webber and Rice success, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph received stage productions beginning in 1970; produced first for the stage in the West End in 1973, and opening on Broadway in 1982.”

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