Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: The Righteous Brothers

Dream On (Oak Ridge Boys)

Co-written and first recorded by Dennis Lambert (1972).
Hit versions by The Righteous Brothers (US #32 1974), The Oak Ridge Boys (C&W #1 1980).

From the wiki: “‘Dream On’ was written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, and is best-known for the cover recorded by The Oak Ridge Boys in 1980. Lambert first recorded the song in 1972; The Righteous Brothers covered the song two years later for their final Top 40 appearance in the Billboard Hot 100 (except for the 1990 re-issues of ‘Unchained Melody’ and ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling’). ‘Dream On’ is the only Oak Ridge Boys single to feature bass singer Richard Sterban on lead vocals.”

Ebb Tide

First recorded (as “The Sea”) by Robert Maxwell (1953).
Hit versions by Frank Chacksfield & His Orchestra (US #2/UK #9 1953), Vic Damone (US #10 1953), Roy Hamilton (R&B #5 1954), The Platters (US #56 1960), Righteous Brothers (US #5/UK #48 1965).

From the wiki: “‘Ebb Tide’ was written in 1953 by the lyricist Carl Sigman and composer Robert Maxwell. Maxwell, also a harpist, first recorded the song as an instrumental titled ‘The Sea’. (The song’s build up is to illustrate the ocean waves coming in and out, to and from the shores; thus, ‘ebb tide’.) The best-known versions are by Frank Chacksfield & His Orchestra (1953), Vic Damone (1953), Roy Hamilton (1954), The Platters (1960), and the Righteous Brothers (1965). For the Righteous Brothers, ‘Ebb Tide’ would be the last recording of theirs produced by Phil Spector.”

Unchained Melody

First commercial release by The Lex Baxter Orchestra (US #1 1955).
Other hit versions by Al Hibbler (US #3 1955), Jimmy Young (UK #1 1955), Roy Hamilton (US #6/R&B #1 1955), Liberace (UK #20 1955), The Righteous Brothers (US #1/UK #14 1965 |US #19/UK #1 1990), LeeAnn Rimes (C&W #3 1996).

From the wiki: “‘Unchained Melody’ is a 1955 song with music by Alex North and lyrics by Hy Zaret, used as a theme for the little-known prison film Unchained (hence the name). Todd Duncan sang the vocals for the film soundtrack. ‘Unchained Melody’ has since become one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century, by some estimates having spawned over 500 versions in hundreds of different languages.

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