Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Take Me For a Little While

First recorded by Evie Sands (US #114 1965).
First released by Jackie Ross (1965).
Hit versions by Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles (US #89/R&B #36 1966), Vanilla Fudge (US #38 1968).

From the wiki: “In 1965, Evie Sands began her lasting collaboration with the producer/composers Chip Taylor (‘Wild Thing‘, ‘Angel of the Morning‘) and Al Gorgoni with the release of the single ‘Take Me For a Little While’ (written by Trade Martin).

“But, prior to its release, a test pressing of Sands’ recording was stolen by a Chicago-based producer, shopping it to established Chess Records recording artist Jackie Ross who was coming off the major Pop-Soul hit ‘Selfish One’. Ross was unaware of the duplicity involved, and left Chess shortly afterwards. Regardless, her producers loved the song, and recorded, pressed and released Ross’ version within 48 hours, beating Sands’ version to the street by a week.

“The ensuing battle between the two versions killed whatever chance either single had to chart nationwide. Even though part of the ensuing legal settlement dictated that the Ross recording be withdrawn from distribution, the public legal struggle set Sands’ career back even before it even had a chance to get started.

“Sands’ follow-up single, ‘I Can’t Let Go‘, was lost amidst the post ‘Take Me For a Little While’ chaos, leaving Brit invaders the Hollies clear to score a hit cover in the spring of 1966.

“‘Take Me For a Little While’ was written by songwriter and record producer Trade Martin. He got his start working with Johnny Power in the late 1950s, recording as Johnny & the Jokers and later launching the Rome Records label with Power. All told, Martin spent nearly thirty years in production and arrangement, doing work from the 1960s Girl Group era through to 1980s Pop including productions for Ellie Greenwich, Lesley Gore, The Tokens, Ricky Nelson, B.T. Express, and Solomon Burke.

“Two other ’60s cover versions of ‘Take Me For a Little While’ did later chart nationally in the Billboard Hot 100: by Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles, in 1966; and Vanilla Fudge, in 1968.”

Jackie Ross, “Take Me For a Little While” (1965):

Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles, “Take Me For a Little While” (1966):

Vanilla Fudge, “Take Me For a Little While” (1968):

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