Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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C.C. Rider (See See Rider)

First recorded (as ‘See See Rider Blues’) by Ma Rainey (US #12 1925).
Other popular versions by “Wee” Bea Booze (R&B #1 1943), Chuck Willis (US #12/R&B #1 1957), LaVern Baker (US #34/R&B #9 1963), Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels (US #10 1965), The Animals (US #10/CAN #1/AUS #8 1966).
Also recorded by The Orioles (1952), Elvis Presley (1970 |1973).

From the wiki: “Although the song is generally regarded as being traditional in origin, ‘See See Rider Blues’ is attributed to Ma Rainey & Lena Arant. Rainey’s version became popular during 1925, telling the story of an unfaithful lover, commonly called ‘easy riders’ (‘See See rider, see what you have done’), making a play on the word ‘see’ and the sound of ‘easy’. The song has since become one of the most famous of all Blues songs, with well over 100 versions.

“‘C.C. Rider’ has been recorded by Big Bill Broonzy, Mississippi John Hurt, Lead Belly, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Peggy Lee and many others. In 1943, a version by ‘Wee’ Bea Booze became a #1 hit on the Billboard ‘Harlem Hit Parade,’ precursor of the Rhythm & Blues chart. Some Blues critics consider Booze’s recording to be the definitive version of the song. A doo-wop version was recorded by the Orioles in 1952.

“Later rocked-up hit versions were recorded by Chuck Willis (as “C.C. Rider,” also a #1 R&B hit as well as a #12 pop hit, in 1957) and LaVern Baker (#9 R&B and #34 pop hit in 1963). Willis’ version gave birth to the dance craze ‘The Stroll’. Other popular performances were recorded by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, in 1965, and The Animals (a #10 US pop hit in 1966). In his later years, Elvis Presley regularly led off his live shows with ‘C.C. Rider’, such as was captured on his 1970 On Stage album and again in 1973 as his opening performance for the worldwide Aloha from Hawaii television special.

“According to Blues-ologists, the term ‘easy rider’ at one time referred to the guitar hung across the back of a traveling Blues singer. Some sources also indicated that ‘C.C. Rider’ referred to early ‘Country Circuit’ riding preachers who traveled on horseback into many towns that were without formal churches at the time but this usage has since been debunked.”

“Wee” Bea Booze, “See See Rider Blues” (1943):

The Orioles, “See See Rider” (1952):

Chuck Willis, “C.C. Rider” (1957):

LaVern Baker, “See See Rider” (1963):

Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, “C.C. Rider” live TV performance (1966):

The Animals, “See See Rider” (1966):

Elvis Presley, “C.C. Rider” from Aloha from Hawaii (1973):

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