Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Co-written and first recorded by Bob Gibson (1957).
Hit version by George Hamilton IV (US #15/C&W #1 1963).

From the wiki: “‘Abilene’ was written by Bob Gibson, Lester Brown and John D. Loudermilk (‘Indian Reservation‘, ‘Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye‘), and first recorded by Gibson in 1957. When covered by George Hamilton IV (and produced by Chet Atkins), in 1963, the song reached # on the US Country Singles chart for four weeks, also peaking at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100. Hamilton also performed ‘Abilene’ in the 1963 movie Hootenanny Hoot.

“Proclaimed the International Ambassador of Country Music thanks to his performances around the world during the 1970s, Hamilton began his career in the late ’50s not as a Country artist but as a teen-oriented Pop music star. After his first hit, ‘A Rose and a Baby Ruth’, hit #6 on the pop charts in 1956, Hamilton toured with Buddy Holly and the Everly Brothers but cracked the pop Top Ten only one more time. Instead, Hamilton moved to the Country charts by 1959, where nine of his hits spent time in the Top Ten, including his only #1, “Abilene’.”

George Hamilton IV, “Abilene” (1963):

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