Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Pat Boone

Moody River

Written and first recorded by Chase Webster (1961).
Hit version by Pat Boone (US #1/UK #18 1961).
Also recorded as “Dancing in the Dark” by Big Daddy (UK #27 1985), John Fogerty (2009).

From the wiki: “‘Moody River’ was written by and originally performed by country Rockabilly singer Chase Webster, a a labelmate of Pat Boone’s at Dot Records. It was covered later in 1961 by Boone, and became a #1 hit for him on the Billboard Hot 100. John Fogerty covered the song in the album entitled The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again. In 1985, the US group Big Daddy recorded a parody of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’ using the melody and chord changes of ‘Moody River’.”

Speedy Gonzales

First recorded by Dave Dante (1962).
Hit version by Pat Boone (US #6/UK #2 1962).

From the wiki: “‘Speedy Gonzales’, ‘the fastest mouse in all Mexico,’ was written by Buddy Kaye, Ethel Lee, and David Hess (aka David Hill, ‘All Shook Up’) who first recorded the song under the alias ‘Dave Dante’ in 1962. The song was popularized in the United States as a 1962 single by Pat Boone, doing better in many national charts in Europe where Boone’s recording sold a million copies. The female voice (‘La-la-la…’) on this song was of Robin Ward (‘Wonderful Summer’), and Boone’s cover also incorporated Mel Blanc voicing ‘Speedy Gonzales’ as he did in the Warner Brothers cartoons. (Elton John has stated that the ‘hook’ in his best-selling single ‘Crocodile Rock’ was inspired by his listening to Ward’s vocal on ‘Speedy Gonzales’.)”

Love Letters in the Sand

First recorded by The Ted Black Orchestra (US #6 1931).
Other hit versions by Pat Boone (US #1/R&B #12/UK #2 1957), Vince Hill (UK #23 1967).

From the wiki: “‘Love Letters in the Sand’ is a popular song first published in 1931, written by J. Fred Coots with lyrics by Nick Kenny and Charles Kenny. The song was ‘inspired’ by an oft-recorded 1881 composition, ‘The Spanish Cavalier’, by William D. Hendrickson. The Ted Black Orchestra had the first major hit with the song, in 1931. Pat Boone’s cover became a major hit during the summer of 1957, spending 5 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. UK singer, Vince Hill, reached #23 in the UK Singles Chart in 1967 with his cover version ‘Love Letters’.”

Two Hearts

First recorded by The Charms (1954).
Hit version (recorded as “Two Hearts, Two Kisses”) by Pat Boone (1955).

“Two Hearts” was Pat Boone’s first single release and the first of several “covers” he recorded of R&B songs. Boone’s recording peaked at #16, and was followed by his first #1 hit: “Ain’t That a Shame” (another R&B cover).

I Almost Lost My Mind

Written and originally recorded by Ivory Joe Hunter (R&B #1 1949).
Hit version by Pat Boone (US #1 1956).

From the wiki: “‘I Almost Lost My Mind’ written by Ivory Joe Hunter and was first recorded by him in 1949. Hunter’s 12-bar blues recording of the song was a #1 hit on the US Billboard R&B chart in that year. The best selling version of the song was a cover version by Pat Boone, hitting #1 on the Billboard charts in 1956.”

“Ivory Joe Hunter was a prolific songwriter, and some estimate he wrote more than 7,000 songs during his career.

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