Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Rosemary Clooney

One Less Bell to Answer

First recorded by Keely Smith (1967).
Hit versions by Rosemary Clooney (MOR #28 1968), The 5th Dimension (US #2/MOR #1/R&B #4 1970).

From the wiki: “‘One Less Bell to Answer’ is a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David (“The Look of Love“, “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again“, “Alfie“), originally written for and recorded in 1967 by Keely Smith (‘I’m a Gigolo’, with Louis Prima). The song was rediscovered in late 1969 by Bones Howe, the producer for The 5th Dimension, and the song was included on the group’s 1970 debut album for Bell Records, Portrait. Rosemary Clooney had, a year earlier, in 1968, charted the song on Bilboard’s Easy Listening chart – one of the two last recordings she made before her nervous breakdown (after witnessing Robert Kennedy’s assassination).”

This Ole House

Written and first recorded by Stuart Hamblen (1954).
Hit versions by Rosemary Clooney (US #1/UK #1 1954), Billie Anthony (UK #4 1954). Shakin’ Stevens (UK #1 1981).

From the wiki: “Stuart Hamblen was supposedly out on a hunting expedition when he and fellow hunter, actor John Wayne, came across a tumbledown hut in the mountains, many miles from civilization. They went into the hut and there, lying amongst the rubbish and rubble of a crumbling building, was the body of a dead man. The man’s dog was still alive and, although starving, guarding his dead master’s home.

Blues in the Night

First recorded Artie Shaw (US #10 1941).
Also recorded by Judy Garland (1941), Chicago (1995).
Other hit versions by Woody Herman & His Orchestra (US #1 1941), Dinah Shore (US #4 1942), Cab Calloway (US #8 1942), Rosemary Clooney (US #29 1952).

From the wiki: “The song was first performed by William Gillespie, in the movie Blues In The Night, and nominated for an Academy Award. Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer wrote the entire score for Blues in the Night. When they finished writing ‘Blues in the Night’, Mercer called a friend, singer Margaret Whiting, and asked if they could come over and play it for her. She suggested they come later because she had dinner guests — Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Mel Tormé, and Martha Raye. Instead, Arlen and Mercer went right over. Margaret Whiting remembered what happened then:

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