Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Vikki Carr

He’s a Rebel

First recorded by Vikki Carr (US #115/AUS #5 1962).
Hit version by The Crystals née The Blossoms (US #1/UK #19 1962).

From the wiki: “‘He’s a Rebel’ was written by Gene Pitney (‘Town Without Pity’, ‘Only Love Can Break a Heart’), and was originally intended for The Shirelles to record but they declined. Instead, Snuff Garrett produced the first recording of ‘He’s a Rebel’ for Vikki Carr that would be released as her debut single. It did not go well, ‘bubbling under’ the Hot 100 but peaking Top-5 in Australia.

“Phil Spector, then employed as Liberty Records’ West Coast A&R head (the same labeled where Garrett was employed), also heard the same Pitney demo being played for Carr. Instinctively knowing the song could be a big hit, Spector promptly resigned from his position at Liberty to avoid any conflict-of-interest, intending to release the song on his own Philles recorded label.

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