Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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When the Saints Go Marching In

First recorded by The Paramount Jubilee Singers (1923).
Hit versions by Louis Armstrong (US #10 1939), The Weavers (US #27 1951), Percy Faith & His Singers (US #29 1951), Fats Domino (US #50 1959).
Also recorded (as “The Saints Rock ‘n Roll”) by Bill Haley & His Comets (US #18/UK #5 1956), The Million Dollar Quartet (1956), Tony Sheridan & The Beat Brothers (1961).

From the wiki: “‘When the Saints Go Marching In’, often referred to as ‘The Saints’, is an American gospel hymn. According to jazz critic Al Rose this tune was first published as a Baptist hymn in 1916 and credited to Edward Boatner, the man behind religious-classic ‘He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands’. Though it originated as a Christian hymn, it is often played by jazz bands. This song was famously recorded on May 13, 1938 by Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra.

“The first known recorded version was in 1923 by the Paramount Jubilee Singers on Paramount 12073. Although the title given on the label is ‘When All the Saints Come Marching In’, the group sings the modern lyrics beginning with “When the saints go marching in”. No author is shown on the label. The earliest versions were slow and stately, but as time passed the recordings became more rhythmic. Louis Armstrong was one of the first to make the tune into a nationally known Pop tune in the 1930s. (Armstrong wrote that his sister told him she thought the secular performance style of the traditional church tune was inappropriate and irreligious.)

“Elvis Presley performed the song during the Million Dollar Quartet jam session at Sun Records in 1956, and also recorded a version for his film, Frankie and Johnny. The tune was brought into the early Rock and roll repertory by Bill Haley & His Comets, in 1956, charting in both the US and the UK.

“Fats Domino recorded the song as one of several traditional New Orleans numbers he often played to Rock audiences. Domino would usually use ‘The Saints’ as his grand finale number, sometimes with his horn players leaving the stage to parade through the theater aisles or around the dance floor. Tony Sheridan made a successful Rock ‘n roll arrangement of the song, in 1961, which he recorded with The Beatles (recording as The Beat Brothers), although significantly deviating some verses from the original lyrics.”

Louis Armstrong, “When the Saints Go Marching In” (1939):

The Weavers, “When the Saints Go Marching In” (1951):

Percy Faith & His Singers, “When the Saints Go Marching In” (1951):

Bill Haley & His Comets, “The Saints Rock ‘n Roll” (1956):

The Million Dollar Quartet, “When the Saints Go Marching In” (1956):

Fats Domino, “When the Saints Go Marching In” (1959):

Tony Sheridan & The Beat Brothers (The Beatles), “When the Saints Go Marching In” (1961):

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