Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Peter LaFarge

The Ballad of Ira Hayes

Written and first recorded by Peter LaFarge (1962).
Hit version by Johnny Cash (C&W #3 1964).
Also recorded by Bob Dylan (1973).

From the wiki: “‘The Ballad of Ira Hayes’ was written by folk singer Peter La Farge (himself a Nargaset Indian, poet, and novelist, and Native American rights advocate), and first recorded by him in 1962. It tells the story of Ira Hayes, one of the five Marines and one Navy Corpsman who became famous for having raised the US flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima of World War II. Hayes was a Pima Native American and a United States Marine corporal who was one of the six flag raisers immortalized in the iconic Iwo Jima photograph.

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