Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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You’re Gonna Miss Me

First recorded by The Spades (1965).
Hit version by The 13th Floor Elevators (US #55 1966).

From the wiki: “‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’, written by Roky Erickson, was released as The 13th Floor Elevator’s debut single on Contact Records, in January 1966. Previous to that, Erickson had recorded the song with his earlier group The Spades.

“After entertaining the idea of embarking on a music career as a country singer, Erickson shifted to emulating the vocalization of rock and roll musical artists he held in high-regard, including James Brown, Little Richard, and Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. However, perfecting his wails, and screams took a level of considerable difficulty, and required a degree of privacy for Erickson, who wanted to project an impression that he was naturally talented.

“On occasions when he rehearsed, Erickson worked in seclusion with only a few close friends. During these practice sessions Erickson, at age 15, composed both ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’ and ‘We Sell Soul’. Both of the songs originally appeared in 1965 on a single released by Erickson and his group the Spades, gathering regional success and intrigue from contemporary musical acts. Among those impressed with Erickson were jug player Tommy Hall and lead guitarist Stacy Sutherland of another local band, the Lingsmen, who persuaded Erickson to join their ensemble, which soon became the 13th Floor Elevators.

“The master recording by The 13th Floor Elevators of ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’ was recorded on January 2, 1966 at Walt Andrus’s studio in Houston, with record producer Gordon Bynum arranging the sessions. The single was released on January 17, 1966 on Bynum’s newly established Contact Records (the name alluding to the “contact high” the music created), reaching #2 in Austin, Texas. Following the single’s release, the 13th Floor Elevators were drawing sold-out audiences as advertised psychedelic music artists on a weekly basis, but also attracted the attention of the authorities. This resulted in the band being busted for possession of marijuana, according to a report circulating across Texas’s music underground. The group was barred from traveling outside the state or from performing at their regular venues the Jade Room and the Wig. The 13th Floor Elevators countered by having their debut at a new venue, the New Orleans, which was broadcast live on KAZZ-FM radio, and perversely their outlaw status won them a larger audience.

“‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’ did go on to become a national #55 hit in 1966 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was later featured on the 1972 compilation Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968.

“At the height of their popularity, the 13th Floor Elevators performed the tune on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand on October 29, 1966. Infamously, prior to their act, Clark asked who the head of the group was to which Hall replied, ‘We’re all heads!'”

The 13th Floor Elevators, “You’re Gonna Miss Me” (1965):

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