Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Baby Take Me In Your Arms

First recorded by Paper Dolls (1968).
Hit version by Jefferson (US #23/MOR #19/CAN #15 1969).

From the wiki: “Paper Dolls was founded in 1967 as a British female vocal trio from Northampton, UK, who appeared a couple of decades before similar all-girl recording acts, such as Bananarama, Atomic Kitten and Spice Girls, became commonplace. Pre-dating the Spice Girls, each member of the girl group had a nickname (Susanne Mathis, ‘Tiger’; Susan Marshall, ‘Copper’; Pauline Bennett, ‘Spyder’).

“Signed to Pye Records, Paper Dolls had one solitary chart success: The song, ‘Something Here in My Heart (Keeps A Tellin’ Me No)’, written by Tony Macaulay and John Macleod, was their debut single. It reached #11 on the UK Singles Chart in 1968. The group’s greatest professional disappointment came when their producers first arranged for them to record another Macaulay co-composition, ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’, in 1967. But, due to a misunderstanding, Paper Dolls never turned up for the session; instead, the song was given to The Foundations, whose version became a transatlantic hit.

“Geoffrey Turton, who recorded under the name Jefferson, was a British singer whose career began as the falsettist lead singer and rhythm guitarist of The Rockin’ Berries, a covers band, in 1961. The group covered the work of the Beach Boys, the Four Seasons, and the Tokens, among others. Success there led them into the orbit of producer/composer Kim Fowley, and the recording and release of their first hit, ‘He’s in Town’.

“When the Rockin’ Berries broke up in 1968, Turton started a solo career, releasing a single, ‘Don’t You Believe It’. It flopped. Piccadilly Records head John Schroeder suggested that Turton change his name to Jefferson. A third solo single, ‘Baby Take Me in Your Arms’, did not hit in the UK but it cracked the US Top 40, peaking at #23. However, around the time of this success, Turton was hurt in a car crash, and was unable to make any live appearances. After a six-month hospital stay, he began touring the US, where he was still able to get gigs based on the success of ‘Baby Take Me in Your Arms’.

Jefferson, “Baby Take Me In Your Arms” (1969):

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