Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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A House is Not a Home

First performed and released by Brook Benton (US #75/MOR #13/R&B #6 1964).
Other hit versions by Dionne Warwick (B-side US #71/R&B #10/CAN #37 1964), Luther Vandross (1981).
Also recorded by Burt Bacharach (1965), Aretha Franklin (2005).

From the wiki: “‘A House Is Not a Home’ was a 1964 ballad written by the team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David for the 1964 film of the same name, starring Shelley Winters and Robert Taylor (and Raquel Welch’s film debut in a small role as a call girl), and was sung in the film by Brook Benton (‘A Rainy Night in Georgia‘, 1970).

“A promotional single by Benton was released, debuting two weeks before the release of Dionne Warwick’s cover (as the B-side of ‘You’ll Never Get to Heaven (If You Break My Heart)’). But, with two recordings of the same song charting concurrently, radio airplay and sales was split airplay. Benton’s version peaked at #75 on the Billboard Hot 100; Warwick’s B-side recording peaked at #71 (the A-side peaked at #34 on the Hot 100; #10 R&B).

“Warwick’s single of ‘A House is Not a Home’ fared a bit better in Canada, where it peaked at #37.

“Songwriter Burt Bacharach himself recorded the song for his 1965 debut Hit Maker!: Burt Bacharach plays the Burt Bacharach Hits.

“In 1981, ‘A House Is Not a Home’ was recorded by Luther Vandross for his debut album, Never Too Much. The track, which was recorded at seven minutes long, became one of one of Vandross’s signature songs and helped him to earn two Grammy Award nominations in 1982: ‘Best New Artist’ and ‘Best R&B Vocal Performance, Male’. Later that decade, Vandross’ performance of the song at the 1988 NAACP Awards telecast would bring Warwick to tears.

“In 2005, Aretha Franklin recorded it for the tribute album So Amazing: An All-Star Tribute to Luther Vandross. The song won her the Grammy Award for Best Traditional R&B Performance at the 46th Grammy Awards, her second in the category.

“Various jazz musicians have performed and recorded the song, and it has since acquired the status of a jazz standard.”

Dionne Warwick, “A House Is Not a Home” (1964):

Burt Bacharach, “A House Is Not a Home” (1965):

Luther Vandross, “A House Is Not a Home” (1981):

Luther Vandross, “A House Is Not a Home” live TV performance from NAACP Awards (1988):

Aretha Franklin, “A House Is Not a Home” live TV performance (2005):

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