Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)

Early recording by Edward M. Favor (1894).
Other popular recordings by Dinah Shore (1942), Charlie & His Orchestra (1942), Nat “King” Cole (1963).
Also recorded by IBM 1094 (1961), “HAL 9000” (1968), Katy Perry (2014).

From the wiki: “‘Daisy Bell (Bicycle Built for Two)’ was written in 1892 by Harry Dacre. The song is said to have been inspired by Daisy Greville, Countess of Warwick, one of the many mistresses of King Edward VII (1841-1910). The song was first recorded and released by Dan W. Quinn in 1893. Edward M. Favor recorded a version in 1894 that still exists.

“In 1942, when Dinah Shore appeared on Eddie Cantor’s popular radio show, she performed a clever arrangement of the song. The Nazi-sponsored German propaganda swing band, Charlie & His Orchestra, also released a cover of the song in 1942, aimed at listeners in the UK and the US. Nat King Cole recorded a cover for his popular 1963 album Those Lazy-Crazy-Hazy Days of Summer.

“Among the song’s other most notable renderings:

  • In 1961, the IBM 7094 became the first computer to sing, performing the song ‘Daisy Bell’;
  • Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke witnessed the IBM 704 demonstration and referenced it in the 1968 novel and film 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which the HAL 9000 computer sings ‘Daisy Bell’ during its gradual deactivation;
  • In 1974, auditory researchers used the melody of “Daisy Bell” for the first demonstration of “pure dichotic” (two-ear only) perception: they encoded the melody in a stereophonic signal in such a way that it could be perceived when listening with both ears but not with either ear alone;
  • In the Doctor Who episode ‘Dinosaurs on a Spaceship’ (2012), Solomon’s robots sing the first line of the song when deactivated by the Doctor;
  • In 2014, an album composed entirely of covers of ‘Daisy Bell’ entitled The Gay Nineties Old Tyme Music: Daisy Bell was released in conjunction with pop artist Mark Ryden’s exhibit ‘The Gay 90s’. The album features covers of ‘Daisy Bell’ by Katy Perry, Tyler, the Creator, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, Nick Cave, Kirk Hammett of Metallica, Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo, Wall of Voodoo’s Stan Ridgway, Danny Elfman and others. Profits from the album went to the nonprofit Little Kids Rock.”

Dinah Shore, “Daisy Bell (On a Bicycle Built for Two)” (1942):

Charlie & His Orchestra, “Daisy Bell (On a Bicycle Built for Two)” (1942):

IBM 1094, “Daisy Bell” (1961):

Nat “King” Cole, “On a Bicycle Built for Two” (1963):

“HAL 9000”, “Daisy Bell” from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968):

Katy Perry, “Daisy Bell” (2014):

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