First recorded by Richard Himber & His Ritz-Carlton Orchestra (1934).
Popular versions by Guy Lomabardo’s Royal Canadians (US #2 1934), Ted Weems & His Orchestra (US #13 1934), Johnny Mercer & The Pied Pipers (US #4 1946), Perry Como & the Satisfiers (US #10 1946), Johnny Mathis (UK #17 1958), Darlene Love (1963), Ramsey Lewis Trio (US #27 1966).
From the wiki: “‘Winter Wonderland’, a winter song, is popularly regarded as a Christmas song even though the holiday itself is never mentioned in the lyrics. It was written in 1934 by Felix Bernard (music) and Richard B. Smith (lyricist). Smith, a native of Honesdale, Pennsylvania, was reportedly inspired to write the song after seeing Honesdale’s Central Park covered in snow. Smith had written the lyrics while in the West Mountain Sanitarium, being treated for tuberculosis.
“The original recording was by Richard Himber and his Hotel Ritz-Carlton Orchestra on RCA Bluebird in 1934. At the end of a recording session with time to spare, it was suggested that this new tune be tried with an arrangement provided by the publisher. This ‘studio’ orchestra included many great New York studio musicians including the legendary Artie Shaw. The biggest chart hit at the time of introduction was Guy Lombardo’s orchestra, a Top-10 hit. Singer-songwriter Johnny Mercer took the song to #4 in Billboard’s airplay chart in 1946. The same season, Perry Como hit the retail top ten. (Como would also record a new version for his 1959 Christmas album, Season’s Greetings.)
“Through the decades it has been recorded by over 200 different artists, among them Johnny Mathis (1958), Darlene Love (1963), and The Ramsey Lewis Trio (1966).”
Co-written and first recorded (as a demo) by Barry Mann (1961).
Hit versions by The Paris Sisters (US #5 1961), Jimmy Crawford (UK #18 1961), Paul & Barry Ryan (UK #21 1966), Bobby Vinton (US #9/MOR #2 1968), Lynn Anderson (C&W #18 1979), Glen Campbell (C&W #17 1983).
From Songfacts.com: “‘I Love How You Love Me’ was written by Barry Mann (‘Who Put the Bomp’, ‘Venus in Blue Jeans‘, ‘We Gotta Get Out of This Place‘, ‘Never Gonna Let You Go‘) and Larry Kolber, and first recorded as a demo by Mann in 1961. According to Rich Podolsky’s book Don Kirshner: The Man with the Golden Ear, Kolber’s post-military career (he had been a journalist for Stars & Stripes) found him, first, a whiskey salesman and, then, after a casual encounter, a budding lyricist – an unpredictable twist. It was while having lunch at a cafe on Manhattan across the street from Aldon Music that Kolber literally jotted down on a napkin the lyrics, in minutes, to ‘I Love How You Love Me’! Kolber went across to Aldon to look for someone to set his lyrics to music. Barry Mann happened to be in the Aldon offices just at that moment, and it was he who set Kolber’s lyrics to music.
“Tony Orlando was originally slated to sing it, but Phil Spector happened to drop by and asked for the song for one of his girl groups. Kolber was disappointed, thinking that he’d lost a shot at fame without Orlando’s voice.
First recorded by Ronnie Spector (US #77 1971).
Hit album version by George Harrison (1973).
From the wiki: “George Harrison wrote ‘Try Some, Buy Some’ during sessions for All Things Must Pass, his successful 1970 triple album, also co-produced by Phil Spector. The song’s austere melody was influenced by Harrison composing on a keyboard instrument rather than guitar. Ronnie Spector recorded this and other Harrison compositions, such as ‘You’ and ‘When Every Song Is Sung’, in London for a planned comeback album on the Beatles’ Apple Records. The project was co-produced by her husband at the time (Phil Spector) whose temporary withdrawal from music-making in 1966 had forced Ronnie to reluctantly abandon her own career.
“Sessions for the proposed Spector album took place at London’s Abbey Road Studios, beginning on 2 February 1971. In addition to his own contribution as guitarist, Harrison enlisted some of the musicians with whom he had recorded All Things Must Pass: Gary Wright, on keyboards; Derek and the Dominos drummer Jim Gordon; Voormann and Carl Radle (the latter another member of the Dominos), alternating on bass; and Badfinger’s Pete Ham on second guitar and percussion. Another participant was Leon Russell, familiar to Phil Spector as a regular member of the Wrecking Crew during the mid 1960s. Recording continued at Abbey Road on 3 February, during which Lennon joined the proceedings, allegedly on piano.
First recorded by Vikki Carr (US #115/AUS #5 1962).
Hit version by The Crystals née The Blossoms (US #1/UK #19 1962).
From the wiki: “‘He’s a Rebel’ was written by Gene Pitney (‘Town Without Pity’, ‘Only Love Can Break a Heart’), and was originally intended for The Shirelles to record but they declined. Instead, Snuff Garrett produced the recording of ‘He’s a Rebel’ by Vikki Carr that would be released as her debut single. Phil Spector, then employed as Liberty Records’ West Coast A&R head (the same labeled where Garrett was employed), also heard the same Pitney demo being played for Carr. Instinctively knowing the song could be a big hit, Spector promptly resigned from his position at Liberty to avoid any conflict-of-interest, intending to release the song on his own Philles recorded label.
First recorded by The Ronettes (1966).
Hit version by The Beach Boys (US #24/UK #10/SWE #5 1969).
Also recorded by Larry Lurex (Freddie Mercury) (1973).
From the wiki: “‘I Can Hear Music’ is a song written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector, originally performed by The Ronettes in 1966.
“The Beach Boys recorded ‘I Can Hear Music’ in 1969 for the album 20/20. This version peaked at #24 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart (and #20 on the Cash Box and Record World charts) in the US. Internationally, it reached #5 in Sweden, #6 in Holland and Malaysia, #7 in Poland, #10 in the UK, #13 in Germany and in Australia’s Go Set chart, and #15 in Ireland.
“In 1973, Larry Lurex (a pseudonym for Freddie Mercury) also recorded a cover version of ‘I Can Hear Music’. The recording is considered the Holy Grail among Queen collectors.”
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