Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: The Shadows

Please Mr. Please

Co-written and first recorded by Bruce Welch (1974).
Hit version by Olivia Newton-John (US #3/C&W #5/CAN #1 1975).

From the wiki: “‘Please Mr. Please’ was written by Bruce Welch and John Rostill, both members of British pop singer Cliff Richard’s backing band, The Shadows (‘Apache’). Welch originally recorded the song himself in 1974 with no chart success in either the UK or US.

“In 1975, the song appeared on Newton-John’s album, Have You Never Been Mellow, and was released as the album’s second single. Newton-John’s cover of ‘Please Mr. Please’ reached the Top 10 on three major Billboard charts that year, peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 in August 1975, her fifth consecutive Top Ten hit.”

Apache

First recorded by Bert Weedon (UK #24 1960).
Other hit versions by The Shadows (UK #1 1960), Jørgen Ingmann (US #2/R&B #9 1961), Sonny James (US #86 1961), The Sugarhill Gang (R&B #13 1982).
Also recorded by Incredible Bongo Band (1973), Fat Boy Slim (1998).

From the wiki: “‘Apache’ was written by Jerry Lordan. Bill Weedon was the first to record ‘Apache’ (in May 1960) but it went unreleased for several months. According to Weedon,

‘Francis, Day & Hunter sent me the music early in 1960. I immediately liked the tune and so arranged and recorded it for release later on in the year. In February I was contacted by Jerry Lordan who asked me when I was going to release it, and I explained that I would put it out in September because this was when most people bought records. I told him not to worry, that it was done, and it would be out. A few months later I heard that The Shadows had covered it. Nothing wrong with that of course, they were fully entitled to.’

“As happened, The Shadows were on tour in mid-1960 with Lordan as a supporting act. The band discovered ‘Apache’ when Lordan played it for them on a ukulele. Lordan figured the tune would be a better fit for The Shadows; the band agreed, and so did the buying public. By the time the Weedon recording was hurriedly but belatedly released, The Shadows’ version was quickly vaulting to #1 on the UK Singles chart. However, neither the Shadows nor Weedon had any impact on North America.

“In North America, the tune is identified most with Jørgen Ingmann, a Jazz guitarist from Denmark. His 1961 cover version, credited to ‘Jørgen Ingmann and His Guitar’, made it to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #9 on the US R&B chart. A vocal version was later recorded that year by Sonny James. It peaked at #86 on the Hot 100.

Do You Want to Dance

Written and originally recorded by Bobby Freeman (US #5/R&B #2 1958).
Other hit versions by The Shadows (UK #2/NETH #1 1962), Del Shannon (US #43 1964), The Beach Boys (US #12 1965), Bette Midler (US #17 1972).

From the wiki: “‘Do You Want to Dance’ is a song written by Bobby Freeman and recorded by him in 1958. Cliff Richard and The Shadows’ version of the song reached #2 in the United Kingdom in 1962, despite being a B-side. It reached #8 in the United States when released by the Beach Boys in 1965 as ‘Do You Wanna Dance?’, and a 1972 cover by Bette Midler (‘Do You Want to Dance?’) reached #17.

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