Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Every Beat of My Heart

First recorded by The Royals (1952).
Hit version by The Pips (US #6/R&B #1 1961).

From the wiki: “‘Every Beat of My Heart’ is a rhythm and blues song by legendary band leader and disc-jockey Johnny Otis (‘Willie and the Hand Jive‘). It was first recorded in 1952 by a group Otis had discovered and groomed, the Royals (later to be known as Hank Ballard & the Midnighters).

“The Royals were first formed as the Four Falcons by guitarist and songwriter Alonzo Tucker in Detroit in 1952. In the group’s early years, various Four Falcons’ members included Jackie Wilson, Little Willie John, Freddie Pride, and Levi Stubbs, who all went on to become stars in their rights solo or with other groups after leaving the Royals.

“Hank Ballard and Sonny Woods met when they worked on the same Ford auto assembly line in Detroit. When Smith, the Falcon’s lead singer at the time, was drafted, Ballard joined the group. This was the lineup (Ballard, Woods, Alonzo Tucker, Henry Booth, Charles Sutton, and Lawson Smith) when the group was discovered by the legendary bandleader, songwriter, disc jockey and record producer Johnny Otis in 1953. For their recording debut, their name was changed to The Royals (because there was already another Detroit-based group with a similar ‘Falcons’ name). Early Royals’ and Midnighters’ recordings featuring Henry Booth as lead singer were doo-wop ballads, including the original version of ‘Every Beat of My Heart’, written by Otis. After a switch to Federal Records in 1953, the group name was changed again (to avoid confusion with label mates, the 5 Royales) to the Midnighters.

“In 1961 Gladys Knight & the Pips recorded the song (credited to ‘The Pips’) for their debut single on the Vee-Jay label. It would be the first of eleven #1 R&B hits, and The Pips’ first Top 40 hit (#6), for the group.”

The Pips, “Every Beat of My Heart” (1961):

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