Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Spanky & Our Gang

Sunday Will Never Be the Same

Written (by Terry Cashman) and first recorded (as a demo) by Cashman, Pistilli & West (1967, released 1968).
Hit version by Spanky and Our Gang (US #9/CAN #7 1967).

From the wiki: “‘Sunday Will Never Be the Same’ was written by Terry Cashman and Gene Pistilli. Cashman sent his demo to Lou Adler at Dunhill Records, with the hope that The Mamas & The Papas would record the song, and recalls: ‘Adler saying ‘Hey, this is a great song.’ But John Philips is doing mostly his own songs right now. So, okay, fine. The Left Banke sounded to me also like a group that could do this song, but they passed on it. And then with nobody in mind I went to a producer named Jerry Ross, who was a very hot producer (‘Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie‘, ‘98.6’).

Leaving On a Jet Plane

First recorded (as “Babe, I Hate to Go”) by John Denver (1966).
First broadcast (as “Babe, I Hate to Go”) by John Denver on WAVA-FM’s Hootenanny at The Cellar Door (1966).
Hit version by Peter, Paul & Mary (recorded 1967/US #1 1969 single release).
Also recorded by The Mitchell Trio (1967), Spanky & Our Gang (1967), John Denver (1969 |1973).

From the wiki: “Chad Mitchell left his trio in 1965 to embark on a solo singing career. An audition process that followed, and which saw 300 musicians try-out, replaced Mitchell with the young (and unknown) singer-songwriter John Denver. The group retained the well-known ‘Mitchell Trio’ name – with Denver writing some of the group’s songs, including ‘Leaving On A Jet Plane’ (found on The Mitchell Trio’s 1967 album Alive!). The song was first recorded in 1966 by John Denver with the title ‘Babe, I Hate to Go’. He remembers composing the song in 1966 during a layover at Washington airport, ‘Not so much from feeling that way for someone, but from the longing of having someone to love.’

“A year earlier, in 1966, ‘Babe, I Hate to Go’ was among fifteen songs Denver recorded himself and, with his own money, had 250 copies pressed onto vinyl and distributed to friends and family. Later that year, while engaged to perform at The Cellar Door in Washington, D.C., Denver performed the song on a live radio broadcast on WAVA-FM, hosted by disc-jockey Dick Cerri for his program Hootenanny, where Denver was backed by fellow Trio guitarist, Bob Hefferan (and handled a heckler in the audience). It was John’s second time singing the song in public and the first radio broadcast of it. (In 1969, Denver would again record the song for his debut solo album, Rhymes & Reasons, and re-recorded it again in 1973 for John Denver’s Greatest Hits.)

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