Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: The Shirelles

Oh No Not My Baby

First recorded by The Shirelles (1964, released 2006).
Hit versions by Maxine Brown (US #24 1964), Manfred Mann (UK# 11 1964), Merry Clayton (US #71/R&B #30 1972), Rod Stewart (UK #6 1973).

From the wiki: “‘Oh No Not My Baby’ was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. The first recorded version of the song was by The Shirelles, with the group’s members alternating leads – an approach that rendered the song unreleasable. Maxine Brown says that Stan Greenberg, Scepter Records executive, then, gave her the song with the advisement that she had to ‘find the original melody’ from the recording by The Shirelles: ‘They [had gone] so far off by each [group member] taking their own lead, no one knew any more where the real melody stood.’

“Brown recalled sitting on the porch of her one level house in Queens listening to The Shirelles’ track play on a boom box propped in a window. A group of children skipping rope on the sidewalk picked up the song’s main hook before Brown herself; hearing the children singing ‘Oh no not my baby’ as they skipped gave Brown the wherewithal to determine the song’s melody. Brown recorded her vocal over The Shirelles’ original backing track with the group’s vocals erased; Dee Dee Warwick provided the harmony vocal on the chorus.

Baby It’s You

First recorded by The Shirelles (US #8/R&B #3 1961).
Other hit versions by Smith (US #5 1969), The Beatles (album 1963 |US #67/UK #7 1995).
Also recorded by The Carpenters (1970), Elvis Costello & Nick Lowe (1987).

From the wiki: “‘Baby It’s You’ was written by Burt Bacharach, Luther Dixon (credited as Barney Williams) and Mack David (elder brother of lyricist Hal David), and first recorded by The Shirelles in a 1961 recording session produced by Dixon. The vocal arrangements on this version proved influential in subsequent versions, including that of The Beatles who performed ‘Baby It’s You’ as part of their stage act from 1961 until 1963 before recording it on February 11, 1963 for their first album, Please Please Me. It was re-released as a CD single and a vinyl single in 1995 in both the UK and the US.

Dedicated to the One I Love

Originally recorded by The “5” Royales (US #81 1957).
Inspired by “I Don’t Want You to Go” by The Casanovas (1955).
Hit versions by The Shirelles (US #3 1961 reissue) and The Mamas and The Papas (US #2/UK #2 1967).

From the wiki: “‘Dedicated to the One I Love’ is a song written by Lowman Pauling and Ralph Bass which was a hit for The ‘5’ Royales, The Shirelles, and The Mamas & The Papas. Pauling was the guitarist of The ‘5’ Royales; Bass produced the 1957 recording session. The 1957 release peaked at #81 on the Billboard Hot 100. Songwriters Pauling and Bass owed a lot of their inspiration to Chester Mayfield’s song ‘I Don’t Want You To Go’ recorded by The Casanovas in 1955 on Apollo, the former label of The ‘5’ Royales.

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