Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Steely Dan

Ruby Baby

First recorded by The Drifters (R&B #10 1956).
Other hit versions by Dion (US #2 1963), Billy “Crash” Craddock (C&W #1 1974).
Also recorded by The Beach Boys (1965, released 1993), Donald Fagen (1982).

From the wiki: “‘Ruby Baby’ was written by the hit songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (‘Hound Dog‘, ‘On Broadway‘). It was first recorded by the Drifters, who scored an R&B Top-10 hit with the song in 1956. Dion covered ‘Ruby Baby’ in 1963, scoring a Top-5 hit. In 1974, Billy ‘Crash’ Craddock topped the US Country chart with his cover version.

“The Beach Boys originally recorded ‘Ruby Baby’ for their 1965 album Beach Boys’ Party!, but the song remained unreleased until the band’s 1993 box set Good Vibrations: Thirty Years of The Beach Boys. Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen covered ‘Ruby Baby’ for his 1982 solo album, Nightfly.”

Gaucho

Based on “Long As You Know You’re Living Yours” by Keith Jarrett (1974).
Hit album version by Steely Dan (1980).

From the wiki: “During the two-year span during which the album Gaucho was recorded, Steely Dan was plagued by a number of creative, personal and professional problems: MCA, Warner Bros. and Steely Dan had a three-way legal battle over the rights to release the album; during the course of the Gaucho sessions, Becker was hit by a car while walking home late one Saturday night, sustaining multiple fractures in one leg, a sprain in the other leg, as well as other injuries.

“On top of all that, after the album was released, Jazz musician Keith Jarrett threatened the band with legal action for the writing credit to the title song ‘Gaucho’. Jarret won, with his name added to the songwriting credits with the release of the Citizen Steely Dan 1972-1980 box set in 1993.”

East St. Louis Toodle-Oo

Written and first recorded by Duke Ellington & His Kentucky Club Orchestra (1926).
Hit version by Duke Ellington & The Washingtonians (US #10 1927).
Covered by Steely Dan (1974).

From the wiki: “‘East St Louis Toodle-Oo’ is a composition written by Duke Ellington and Bubber Miley and recorded several times by Ellington for various labels from 1926-1930 under various titles. The original recording features a growling plunger-muted trumpet part played by co-composer Miley, one of the first jazz trumpeters to utilize the style. This style was carried on by later Ellington trumpeters Cootie Williams, and Ray Nance.

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