Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Ronnie Milsap

Let’s Go Get Stoned

First recorded by The Coasters (1965).
Hit versions by Manfred Mann (UK #1 EP 1965), Ray Charles (US #31/R&B #1 1966).
Also recorded by Ronnie Milsap (1965), Joe Cocker (1969).

From the wiki: “‘Let’s Go Get Stoned’ was written by Nickolas Ashford, Valerie Simpson, and Josephine Armstead, and was first recorded by The Coasters in May 1965. It is notable for being one of the first successful compositions by Ashford & Simpson (‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, ‘California Soul‘, ‘Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing’). Although a non-charter for The Coasters, ‘Let’s Go Get Stoned’ was most memorable because it became a 1966 #1 R&B and Pop #31 hit for Ray Charles, recorded shortly after Charles was released from rehab after a sixteen-year heroin addiction.

“The year prior, in 1965, the UK group Manfred Mann recorded the song for their #1 British extended-play No Living Without Loving, which topped the UK EP charts in December 1965. Joe Cocker covered the song several times live, most notably at the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and on the Mad Dogs & Englishmen live album released 1970.”

Any Day Now

First recorded (as “Lover”) by Tommy Hunt (1961).
Hit versions by (as “Any Day Now (My Wild Beautiful Bird)”) by Chuck Jackson (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.)

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