Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Do Wah Diddy Diddy

First recorded (as “Do-Wah-Diddy”) by The Exciters (US #78/R&B #47 1963).
Other hit versions by Manfred Mann (US#1/UK #1 1964), 2 Live Crew (R&B #62 1987), The Blue Melons (UK #70 1996), DJ Otzi (UK #9 2001).

From the wiki: “‘Do Wah Diddy Diddy’ was written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, and first recorded by The Exciters, in 1963. The Exciters were formed from an all-girl group, The Masterettes, before adding a male singer and renaming themselves The Exciters after auditioning for producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Their first hit record, arranged by George ‘Teacho’ Wiltshire and produced by Leiber and Stoller for United Artists Records, was ‘Tell Him’, which reached #4 on the U.S. Top-40 chart in early 1963. (The song had previously been recorded unsuccessfully, as ‘Tell Her’, by Gil Hamilton later known as Johnny Thunder.) According to Jason Ankeny at AllMusic, the Exciters ‘signified a sea change in the presentation and perception of femininity in popular music, paving the way for such tough, sexy acts as the Shangri-Las and the Ronettes.’

“Trivia: Dusty Springfield was on a stop-over in New York City en route to Nashville to make a country music album with the Springfields in 1962, when she heard the Exciters’ ‘Tell Him’ playing while taking a late-night walk by the Colony Record Store on Broadway. The song helped Springfield decide to embark on a solo career with a Pop/Soul direction.

“Manfred Mann (‘Pretty Flamingo‘, ‘Blinded by the Light‘) were a British Beat, R&B and Pop band (with a strong jazz foundation) of the 1960s, named after their South African keyboardist, Manfred Mann. The group signed with His Master’s Voice in March 1963 and began their recorded output that July with the slow, bluesy instrumental single ‘Why Should We Not?’. It failed to chart, as did its follow-up (with vocal), ‘Cock-a-Hoop’.

“In 1964 the group was asked to provide a new theme tune for the ITV pop music television programme Ready Steady Go!. They responded with ‘5-4-3-2-1’ which rose to #5 in the UK. After a further self-penned hit, ‘Hubble Bubble (Toil And Trouble)’ almost made it to the UK Top-10, the band then, finally, struck gold with ‘Do Wah Diddy Diddy’.

“2 Live Crew sampled Manfred Mann’s ‘Do Wah Diddy Diddy’ for a (NSFW) version released in 1987. The Blue Melons covered the song in 1994. DJ Otzi returned the song to the UK Top-10 in 2001.

“‘Do Wah Diddy Diddy’ was also immortalized in the 1981 movie Stripes.”

Manfred Mann, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (1964):

“Do Wah Diddy Diddy” from Stripes (1981):

2 Live Crew, “Do Wah Diddy” (1987) NSFW:

The Blue Melons, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” (1994):

DJ Otzi, “Do Wah Diddy” (2001):

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