Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Come Back When You Grow Up

First recorded by Shadden and the King Lears (released February 1967).
Hit version by Bobby Vee (released June 1967 US #3).

From the wiki: “‘Come Back When You Grow Up’ was written by Martha Sharp, who would later become an executive at Warner Records and is credited with discovering Randy Travis in early 1980s.

Shadden and the King Lears’ original distribution notice for ‘Come Back When You Grow Up’, published in Billboard, Feb. 11, 1967, four months ahead of the Bobby Vee release date.

“Shadden and the King Lears, formed by Shad Williams, hailed from Memphis, TN, and performed together from the early 1960’s until 1968 when Shad quit the band to go to Seminary. The group was best known for several regional hit records, including ‘Come Back When You Grow Up’, which topped local radio charts up and down the Mississippi River ahead of the Bobby Vee cover version. Shad had happened across the song in a publisher’s music demo catalog. He liked the words but did not like the musical arrangement, so Shad and a couple of band members reworked the arrangement and the end result was the song you know today.

“According the, ‘One night [in 1967], while on the road to a gig in Louisiana, the band heard the opening notes of the song come on the radio. As Shad turned it up to listen he was stunned – it was NOT HIM SINGING. It was Bobby Vee, who had been famous in earlier years but had suffered low record sales for a while at that point. After contacting their manager and many of the local radio stations/ dj’s it was discovered that they had been the victims of payola.

“‘Vee’s manager had gotten a copy of the King Lears’ 45 and told Vee that he had found his next number #1 hit. They went into the recording studio and, using the King Lears arrangement, made an exact copy of their song only using Bobby Vee to sing instead of Shad. Once they finished recording and cut the record they took it to radio stations all over. Any that were already playing the King Lears version (it had already hit #1 on some local charts at that point) were paid to pull it and put the Bobby Vee version in it’s slot. By the time the song became a national and international hit it was only the name Bobby Vee that was known and would be forever associated with the tune.’

“Released in June 1967 by Bobby Vee and The Strangers (‘Devil or Angel‘,’Take Good Care of My Baby‘), ‘Come Back When You Grow Up’ was a comeback for the 24 year-old Vee, who hadn’t had a Top-40 hit snce 1963. Vee’s single peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and wound up the year ranked #15 on Billboard’s Top Hot 100 Songs of 1967.”

Bobby Vee, “Come Back When You Grow Up” (1967):

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