Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Santa Esmeralda

Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

First recorded by Nina Simone (1964).
Hit versions by The Animals (US #15/UK #3 1965), Santa Esmeralda (US #15/UK #41 1978).

From the wiki: “‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ is a song written by Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell, and Sol Marcus for Nina Simone, who first recorded it in 1964.

“The beginnings of ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ originated with composer and arranger Horace Ott, who came up with the melody and chorus lyric line after a temporary falling out with his girlfriend (and wife-to-be), Gloria Caldwell. He then brought it to writing partners Bennie Benjamin and Sol Marcus to complete. However, when it came time for songwriting credits, rules of the time prevented BMI writers (Ott) from officially collaborating with ASCAP members (the other two), so Ott instead listed Caldwell’s name on the credits. Horace Ott’s involvement did not end with his initial songwriting; he was the arranger and orchestral conductor for Simone’s entire album, Broadway-Blues-Ballads, released in 1964.

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