Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Petula Clark

Happy Heart

Co-written and first recorded (as an instrumental) by The James Last Orchestra (1969).
Hit versions by Nick DeCaro (MOR #22 1969), Petula Clark (US #62/MOR #12 1969/AUS #22), Andy Williams (US #22/MOR #1/UK #19/AUS #22 1969).

https://youtu.be/eQdBssV02a0

From the wiki: “‘Happy Heart’ was written by James Last and Jackie Rae, and was first recorded as an instrumental by The James Last Orchestra in 1969. It was first covered by Nick DeCaro, a version which enjoyed modest success in the US on the Billboard Easy Listening chart. ‘Happy Heart’ would go on to be recorded by both Petula Clark and Andy Williams, and released as a single by each almost simultaneously in 1969. Clark’s ‘Happy Heart’ reached #12 on the Easy Listening chart and #62 on the Billboard Hot 100; Williams’ version peaked at #22 on the Billboard Hot 100, #19 in the UK, and spent two weeks at #1 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart. Clark was reportedly dismayed when Williams was a guest star on her second TV special, with the plan to perform ‘Happy Heart’ at the time each were planning to launch ‘Happy Heart’ as their next respective single.

I Will Follow Him

First recorded (as “Chariot”) by Franck Pourcel (1961).
First recorded (in French) as “Chariot” by Petula Clark (UK #39/FRA #1/BEL #8 1962).
Also recorded (in English) as “I Will Follow Him” by Petula Clark (DEN #4 1963).
Other hit version by Little Peggy March (US #1/R&B #1/AUS #1/NZ #1/JPN #1 1963).

From the wiki: “‘I Will Follow Him’ was first recorded as an instrumental titled ‘Chariot’ in 1961 by Franck Pourcel, who co-wrote the song with Paul Mauriat (‘Love is Blue‘). It was released on Pourcel’s European LP Amour, Danse, Et Violons. No.17.

“In 1962, Petula Clark recorded a French-language version (with lyrics by Jacques Plante), an arrangement that hit #1 in France and #8 in Belgium and earned Clark a gold record. Her English-language version, with lyrics by Norman Gimbel and Franck Pourcel, was released in early 1963 by Pye in the UK and by Laurie in the USA with no chart impact – but Clark’s English-language version did peak at #4 on the Danish music chart. Clark also recorded Italian and German versions of the song, with her Italian version, ‘Sul mio carro’, reaching #4 in Italy, and her German version, ‘Cheerio’, reaching #6 in Germany.

Let Me Be the One

First recorded by Cathy Carlson (released January 1971).
Hit album version by The Carpenters (released May 1971)
Hit single version by Jack Jones (MOR #18 1971).
Also recorded by Matthew Sweet (1994).

From the wiki: “A native of Ontario, Oregon, Cathy Carlson appeared regularly as a performer on ‘The Tonight Show’ in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, and on the annual Jerry Lewis Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. Carlson and Lewis were such good friends, he became her daughter’s godfather. ‘Let Me Be the One’ (co-written by Paul Williams) was recorded in December 1970 and released in 1971 as the B-side to Carlson’s single, ‘God Bless the Child’.”

Call Me

First recorded by Petula Clark (1965).
Hit version by Chris Montez (US #22/MOR #2 1966).

From the wiki: “‘Call Me’ was composed by Tony Hatch for Petula Clark (although some suggest he had written the song with Keely Smith in mind), and first appeared as the title cut on Clark’s EP, Call Me, released in 1965 by Pye in the UK and in the US on the album I Know a Place (1965) but was not released as a promotional single.

“Chris Montez, who had scored the hit ‘Let’s Dance’ in 1962 and subsequently dropped out of the music business, was invited to resume recording by A&M Records’ founder Herb Alpert. Alpert was unhappy when Montez began recording for A&M in his previous Chicano rock style and personally suggested Montez shift to easy listening, choosing ‘Call Me’ as the song to be Montez’s debut single in 1966 on A&M.

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