Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Ain’t She Sweet

First recorded by Lou Gold & His Orchestra (1926).
Hit versions by Ben Bernie & His Hotel Roosevelt Orchestra (US #1 1927), Johnny Marvin (US #14 1927), Gene Austin (US #4 1927), Mr. Ford & Mr. Goon-Bones (US #14 1947), The Beatles (recording as “The Beat Brothers”, 1961 |US #19/UK #29 1964).
Also recorded by Gene Vincent (1956), Duffy Power (1959), The Beatles (1969).

From the wiki: “‘Ain’t She Sweet’ was composed by Milton Ager (music) and Jack Yellen (lyrics). Ager wrote the song for his daughter Shana Ager, who in her adult life was known as the political commentator Shana Alexander. ‘Ain’t She Sweet’ became popular in the first half of the 20th century as one of the hit songs that typified the Roaring Twenties. Like ‘Happy Days Are Here Again’ (1929), it became a Tin Pan Alley standard. Both Ager and Yellen were later elected to membership in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

“‘Ain’t She Sweet’ resides large within the Beatles historic lexicon, illustrating the group’s earliest attempt at becoming recording artists. According to eminent author Mark Lewisohn, in The Complete Beatles Chronicles, the Beatles performed ‘Ain’t She Sweet’ live from 1957 until 1962. In the studio, their rock and roll arrangement was recorded by the group with John Lennon on lead vocals, his first professionally recorded lead vocal, while recording as Tony Sheridan’s backup band (as The Beat Brothers) on June 24, 1961 (see ‘Bring Back My Bonnie to Me‘), at the Friedrich-Ebert-Halle, Hamburg, Germany with Pete Best on drums, in a session produced by Bert Kaempfert. The recording would later be released as a novelty single at the height of Beatlemania, on May 29, 1964, peaking at #19 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“In Lewisohn’s words, ‘the version most likely to have prompted the Beatles performance of this song would be Gene Vincent’s 1956 recording.’ However, in the same book Lewisohn added ‘but since John Lennon’s vocal rendition was different from Vincent’s, it would seem that he arranged his own unique version … [but] may have also been influenced by Duffy Power’s 1959 version.’

“An impromptu version of ‘Ain’t She Sweet’, similar in tempo and style to Gene Vincent’s version, was recorded on 24 July 1969. The Beatles became sidetracked while recording ‘Sun King’/‘Mean Mr Mustard’, and performed three Gene Vincent songs: ‘Ain’t She Sweet’, ‘Who Slapped John?’, and ‘’Be-Bop-A-Lula’’. Of these, only ‘Ain’t She Sweet’ is available officially, and can be heard on Anthology 3.”

Ben Bernie & His Hotel Roosevelt Orchestra, “Ain’t She Sweet” (1927):

Johnny Marvin, “Ain’t She Sweet” (1927):

Gene Austin, “Ain’t She Sweet” (1927):

Mr. Ford & Mr. Goon-Bones, “Ain’t She Sweet” (1947):

Gene Vincent, “Ain’t She Sweet” (1956):

Duffy Power, “Ain’t She Sweet” (1959):

The Beat Brothers (The Beatles), “Ain’t She Sweet” (1961):

The Beatles, “Ain’t She Sweet” (1969):

Paul McCartney, George Harrison & Ringo Starr, “Ain’t She Sweet” (1995):

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