Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Dancing in the Moonlight

First recorded by Boffalongo (1969).
Also recorded by High Broom (1970).
Hit versions by King Harvest (first released 1970 |US #13 1972), Toploader (UK #7 2000).

From the wiki: “‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ was written in 1968 by Sherman Kelly, whose brother, Wells Kelly – King Harvest’s drummer in the early 1970s – introduced the song to the band. It was first recorded in 1969 by the American band, Boffalongo, which included Sherman Kelly (who sang lead on this original recording of his own composition) and future King Harvest frontman, Doc Robinson. The song was also recorded in 1970 in the UK by High Broom and released as a single by Island Records without any apparent chart impact.

“King Harvest was formed by a group of four American expatriates in Paris in 1970. Although the band had a constantly fluctuating membership, it always included its four core co-founders: Dave “Doc” Robinson (lead vocals/bass/keyboards), Ron Altbach (keyboards), Ed Tuleja (guitar), and Rod Novak (saxophone), all of whom had previously attended Cornell University. Robinson had also been in Boffalongo and appeared on the original 1969 recording. Steve Cutler, a jazz drummer and fellow expatriate from New York, joined King Harvest for their last six months in Paris, recording ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ with the group’s core four.

“A 45 rpm record of ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ was released in Paris in 1970. But, the single languished and the group disbanded, only to be re-formed in the US in 1972 upon the re-release of ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’, leased for US distribution by Perception Records from the original French label distributor Musidisc.

“UK group Toploader covered ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ in 1999 and released their recording as the third single from their debut studio album Onka’s Big Moka, scoring a UK Top-10 hit in 2000 with their remake.”

High Broom, “Dancing in the Moonlight” (1970):

King Harvest, “Dancing in the Moonlight” (1972):

Toploader, “Dancing in the Moonlight” (2000):

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