Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Chapel of Love

First recorded by The Blossoms (1963).
Also recorded by The Ronettes (1964).
Hit versions by The Dixie Cups (US #1/CAN #1/UK #22 1964), Bette Midler (US #40 1973).

From the wiki: “‘Chapel of Love’ is a song written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector. It was first recorded by the Blossoms (Darlene Love, Fanita James, and Jean King) in April 1963 but would not be released as a single. ‘Chapel of Love’ would also be recorded by The Ronettes (for whom the song was originally intended) and included on the 1964 album Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes featuring Veronica but was also not released as a single. Both sessions were produced by Phil Spector.

“The Dixie Cups were two sisters and a cousin, from New Orleans, when they began singing locally as the Meltones. Within a year Joe Jones, a successful singer in his own right with the Top Five 1960 single ‘You Talk Too Much,’ became their manager. After working with them for five months, Jones took them to New York, where record producers/songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller signed them – now named The Dixie Cups – to their new label, Red Bird Records.

“Their first release, ‘Chapel of Love’, proved to be the group’s biggest hit although The Dixie Cups would have other Top 20 successes, including the hit version of ‘Iko Iko‘ in 1965.

“Bette Midler featured ‘Chapel of Love’ on her 1972 debut album, The Divine Miss M. The following year Midler released a version as a double A-side of her #40 Pop single, ‘Friends’. The single had added horns and strings to the arrangement and production, and has never been released on any album, or in any other format since the initial 45 was shipped in 1973.”

The Ronettes, “Chapel of Love” (1963):

The Dixie Cups, “Chapel of Love” (1964):

Bette Midler, “Chapel of Love” album mix (1972):

Bette Midler, “Chapel of Love” single mix (1973):