Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Supremes

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’.

Come See About Me

First single release by Nella Dodds (US #74 1964).
Hit versions by The Supremes (US #1/R&B #2/UK #27 1964), Jr. Walker & The All Stars (US #24/R&B #8 1967), Shakin’ Stevens (UK #24 1987).

From the wiki: “The Supremes’ recording of ‘Come See About Me’ was recorded on July 13, 1964 during the sessions that produced the album Where Did Our Love Go, released in August 1964. The release of ‘Come See About Me’ as a single was held back while the album’s first two singles, ‘Where Did Our Love Go’ and ‘Baby Love’, charted. However, when 14-year old Nella Dodds’ Wand Records cover recording – precursor of what would eventually evolve into Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff’s classic 1970s ‘Philly Sound’ – was released as a single in October 1964 and entered the Billboard Hot 100 in early November, the Supremes’ version was rushed into release that November. ‘Come See About Me’ would be Dodds’ highest-charting single. She was scheduled to have a vinyl album released in the mid-60s, but it was never materialized.

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me

First recorded by Dee Dee Warwick (US #88/R&B #13 1966).
Also recorded by Jerry Butler (1967), Jay & the Techniques (1968).
Hit versions by Madeline Bell (US #26/R&B #32 1968), Diana Ross & The Supremes with The Temptations (US #2/R&B #2/UK #3 1968).

From the wiki: “Written by Philly Soul songwriters Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff (‘If You Don’t Know Me By Now’, ‘Love Train’, ‘Now That We Found Love‘), and producer Jerry Ross (‘Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie‘, ‘Sunny‘), ‘I’m Gonna Make You Love Me’ was originally a Top-20 R&B hit for Dee Dee Warwick in 1966. It was released as the follow-up single to her Top-10 hit ‘I Want To Be With You’. Co-writer Ross produced the track while Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson provided background vocals. Warwick’s recording reached #13 R&B and crossed over to the Billboard Top 100 in December 1966.

Someday We’ll Be Together

First recorded by Johnny & Jackey (1961).
Hit versions by Diana Ross & The Supremes (US #1/R&B #1/UK #11 1969), Bert Kaempfert (MOR #27 1970), Bill Anderson & Jan Howard (C&W #4 1970).

From the wiki: “The song was written by Johnny Bristol, Jackey Beavers, and Harvey Fuqua in 1961. Bristol and Beavers recorded the song together as ‘Johnny & Jackey’ for the Tri-Phi label that same year. ‘Someday ..’ was a moderate success in the Midwestern United States, but gained little notice in other venues.

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