Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels

What Now My Love

First recorded by Jane Morgan (1961).
Hit versions by Shirley Bassey (UK #5 1962), Sonny & Cher (US #14/UK #12 1966), Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass (US #24/MOR #2 1966), Mitch Ryder (US #30 1967).
Also performed by Elvis Presley (1974).

From the wiki: “‘What Now, My Love?’ is the English title of a popular song whose original French version, ‘Et maintenant’ (English: ‘And Now’) was written in 1961 by composer Gilbert Bécaud (co-writer, ‘September Morn‘) and lyricist Pierre Delanoë. Bécaud’s original version of this song topped French chart in 1961. English lyrics and the title were written by Carl Sigman, and were first recorded in 1961 by Jane Morgan. The English-language covers use the melody of Bécaud but with a different lyrical imagery (e.g., ‘there’s the sky where the sea should be’), which are different from the more deeply dark French original.

“Elvis Presley performed the song before a live audience of 1 billion people, as part of his satellite show, Aloha from Hawaii, which was beamed to 43 countries via INTELSAT in 1974.”

Any Day Now

First recorded (as “Lover”) by Tommy Hunt (1961).
Hit versions by (as “Any Day Now (My Wild Beautiful Bird)”) by Chuck Johnson (US #23/R&B #2 1962), Elvis Presley (B-side US #4 1969), Ronnie Milsap (US #14/C&W #1/CAN #1 1982), Luther Vandross (2001).
Also recorded by Alan Price (1965), Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels (1966).

From the wiki: “‘Any Day Now’ was written by Burt Bacharach and Bob Hilliard in 1961. Co-writer Bacharach (‘Alfie‘,’Make It Easy On Yourself‘,’Message to Michael‘) had orchestrated and recorded the song’s backing track a year before presenting it to Chuck Jackson, formerly of the Del Vikings (‘Come Go With Me‘). In the interim, producer Luther Dixon made use of the same backing track to record the first released version of the song with Tommy Hunt (‘I Only Have Eyes For You’, The Flamingos), titled ‘Lover’, using completely different lyrics. Hunt’s recording was a commercial flop. But, parts of Hunt’s original singing are still audible at the end of Chuck Jackson’s hit version. (Hunt is the only person to have his photograph framed twice in the Apollo foyer, both with the Flamingos and as a solo artist.)

Devil with the Blue Dress

Co-written and originally recorded by Shorty Long (1964).
Hit version by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels (US #4 1966).

From the wiki: “‘Devil with the Blue Dress On’ (also known as ‘Devil with a Blue Dress On’) is a song written by Shorty Long and William ‘Mickey’ Stevenson, first performed by Long and released as as Shorty Long’s debut single on Motown in 1964 but the single failed to chart. Two years later, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels covered the song as a medley with a cover of Little Richard’s ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’. Their version was notably more up-tempo than Long’s more blues-influenced rendition. Reaching #4 on the Hot 100, the Wheels’ track would end up becoming the Wheels’ most well-known and highest-charting hit in the United States.

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