Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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First recorded by the Original Off-Broadway Cast of Hair (1967).
Also recorded by the Original Broadway Cast of Hair (1968).
Hit versions by Zen (NETH #1 1968), Doug Parkinson in Focus (AUS #5 1969), The Cowsills (US #2 1969).

From the wiki: “Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical was a Rock musical with a book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni, and music by Galt MacDermot. The musical broke new ground in musical theater by defining the genre of ‘rock musical’, using a racially integrated cast, and inviting the audience onstage for a ‘Be-In’ finale.

“After an off-Broadway debut in October 1967 at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater and a subsequent run in a midtown discothèque space, the show opened on Broadway at the Biltmore Theatre on April 29, 1968 and ran for 1,750 performances. A cast album recorded by the original off-Broadway cast was released in 1967; the original Broadway cast recording, released in 1968, received a Grammy Award for Best Score from an Original Cast Show Album.

“The musical’s title song, ‘Hair’, begins as character Woof slowly croons his reason for his long hair, as tribe-mate Berger joins in singing they deem they ‘don’t know.’ They lead the tribe, singing ‘Give me a head with hair,’ ‘as long as God can grow it,’ listing what they want in a head of hair and their uses for it.

“Two cover versions of ‘Hair” charted overseas. The hippie-oriented rock band Zen, from the Netherlands, topped the Dutch record sales chart in 1968; their only hit. Australian rock singer Doug Parkinson’s group In Focus scored a Top-5 hit in the land down-under in 1969.

“A cover of ‘Hair’ became a major hit single in the U.S. for The Cowsills in 1969, becoming their most successful charted single.”

Zen, “Hair” (1968):

Original Broadway Cast of Hair, “Hair” (1968):

Doug Parkinson in Focus, “Hair” (1969):

The Cowsills, “Hair” (1969):

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