Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Solomon Burke

He’ll Have to Go

First recorded by Billy Brown (1959).
Hit versions by Jim Reeves (US #2/C&W #1/R&B #13/UK #12/CAN #1/AUS #1/NOR #1 1959), Solomon Burke (US #51/R&B #17 1964).
Also recorded by Elvis Presley (1976).

From the wiki: “‘He’ll Have to Go’ was written by Joe Allison and Audrey Allison.

“Joe first worked in the early 1940s as a commercial artist before embarking on a career in the entertainment industry, first as a disc jockey on a Paris, Texas radio station. In 1945, after a few years on radio, Allison took a job as the emcee for the North American tour of country music singing star Tex Ritter. While working on tour, he offered Ritter a song he had written called ‘When You Leave, Don’t Slam the Door’, which the singer turned into a #1 hit on the Country music charts. This success ultimately led to Allison moving to a radio station in Nashville, Tennessee where he remained until accepting an offer from a radio station in Pasadena, California.

“In 1959, Joe and Audrey co-wrote their most famous song, ‘He’ll Have to Go’, which was initially recorded by Billy Brown. A subsequent version by Jim Reeves become a platinum record, and the song would be recorded successfully by more than one hundred other artists including Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby, Tom Jones, Eddy Arnold, and even big band leader Guy Lombardo. That same year, Allison was hired by Liberty Records to create their Country music department. It was at Liberty that Joe signed Willie Nelson to his first recording contract.

Everybody Needs Somebody to Love

Co-written and first recorded by Solomon Burke (US #58/R&B #4 1964).
Also recorded by The Rolling Stones (1965).
Other hit versions by Wilson Pickett (US #29/R&B #19 1967), The Blues Brothers (1980 |UK #12 1990).

From the wiki: “‘Everybody Needs Somebody to Love’ was written by Bert Berns, Solomon Burke and Jerry Wexler, and was originally recorded by Burke at Atlantic Records in 1964. His original charted in 1964, peaking at #4 on the R&B chart but missing the US Top 40. Wilson Pickett covered the song in 1966, and his recording did make it to #29 on the Top 40 and #19 R&B in early 1967. A re-release of The Blues Brothers’ 1978 recording nudged the UK Top 10 in 1990. ‘Everybody Needs Somebody to Love’ is ranked #429 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

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