Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Chain of Fools

Inspired by “Pains of Life” by Rev. Elijah Fair & The Sensational Gladys Davis Trio (1967).
Hit version by Aretha Franklin (US #2/R&B #1 1967).

From the wiki: “‘Chain of Fools’ was inspired by the gospel song ‘Pains of Life’, released earlier in 1967 by the obscure Houston, TX, Gospel group Elijah Fair & The Sensational Gladys Davis Trio. ‘Pains of Life’ has the same melody as the later song; the chorus, ‘Pain, Pain, Pain’, is echoed as ‘Chain, Chain, Chain’ in the Franklin recording.

“‘Pains of Life’ first appeared on the Feron record label almost a full year before Franklin belted out her big 1967 hit. ‘Chain Of Fools’ is credited to Don Covay and was produced by Jerry Wexler for Atlantic Records. (Covay’s father was a Baptist minister, so, he might have been familiar with the Gospel music scene in Houston.)”

Aretha Franklin, “Chain of Fools” (1967):

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