Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: The Nylons

Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye

First recorded by Steam (US #1/R&B #20 1969).
Also recorded by The Supremes (1970).
Other hit versions by Bananarama (US #101/UK #5 1983), The Nylons (US #12 1987).

From the wiki: “‘Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye’ was written and recorded by Paul Leka, Gary DeCarlo and Dale Frashuer, attributed to a then-fictitious band they named ‘Steam’ as a throw-away B-side. When the song began to get airplay on the radio and became a hit, the writers hired stand-in musicians to tour as Steam. (So, ‘Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye’ may be the biggest selling (over 6.5 million copies) B-side recorded by a non existent band in music history.) Leka, et al. wrote a primitive version of the song in the early 1960s when they were members of a band from Bridgeport, Connecticut, The Chateaus, who disbanded after several failed recordings.

Uncle John’s Fifth Bathroom Reader states that DeCarlo was recording a throwaway ‘flip side – something so bad, no disc jockey would accidentally play it as the ‘A’ side.’ ‘Na Na Hey Hey’ was described by DeCarlo as ‘an embarrassing record … an insult.’ But, Mercury Records decided it was great and released it as an A-side single. Nobody wanted to be identified with the record, however, so it was credited to ‘Steam’.

Stranded in the Jungle

Originally recorded by The Jayhawks (US #18 released May 1956).
Other hit versions by The Cadets (US #15/R&B #4 released June 1956), The Gadabouts (US #39 released July 1956), The Vibrations (US #117 1961), The New York Dolls (1974).
Also recorded by The Nylons (1996).

From the wiki: “‘Stranded in the Jungle’ is a song originally recorded by American Doo-wop group The Jayhawks. It peaked at #18 on the U.S. pop chart. A cover version of the song recorded by American Doo-wop group, The Cadets, in 1956 peaked at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at #3 on the R&B chart the same week, with another cover version, by the Gadabouts, peaking at #34 on the Hot 100 one week later. All three groups would prove to be one-hit wonders, with ‘Stranded in the Jungle’ being the only Top 40 hit for any of them.

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