Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Hearts of Stone

First recorded by The Jewels (1954).
Hit versions by The Charms (US #15/R&B #1 1954), The Fontane Sisters (US #1 1954).

From the wiki: “‘Hearts of Stone’ was written by Eddie Ray and Rudy Jackson, a member of the San Bernardino, California-based R&B vocal group the Jewels, a group who began as a gospel group, then became the Marbles, recording for the Lucky label out of Los Angeles.

“According to Johnny Torrence, leader of the Marbles/Jewels, ‘Hearts of Stone’ was taken from a song they had recorded during their Gospel days. ‘Hearts of Stone’ was subsequently covered and taken up the charts by East Coast R&B vocal group the Charms, causing the story of the Jewels’ involvement to be ignored by various writers and disk-jockeys who assumed the Charms’ cover was the original. The Charms’ version of the song went to #1 on the R&B Best Sellers and #15 on the pop charts.

“The Fontane Sisters were three sisters (Bea, Geri and Marge Rosse) from New Milford, New Jersey, who first recorded together as The Three Sisters. The trio would later change their name to ‘Fontaine’, from a great-grandmother, but deciding to drop the ‘i’, making themselves The Fontane Sisters. The sisters worked on sustaining (non-sponsored) programs for NBC, meeting and working with Perry Como soon after he came to the network.

“Beginning in the summer of 1948, the Fontane Sisters were featured on his radio show and television show known as The Chesterfield Supper Club and later (1950–1954) as The Perry Como Show. In 1949 they were signed by RCA Victor, and appeared on several recordings as backup to Como. In 1951 they had a minor hit with ‘The Tennessee Waltz’, switching to Dot Records in 1954 where they had 18 songs reach the Billboard Hot 100, including ten song in the Top-40 including their #1 cover of ‘Hearts of Stone’.”

The Charms, “Hearts of Stone” (1954):

The Fontane Sisters, “Hearts of Stone” (1954):

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