Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Hey, Look Me Over

First performed by Lucille Ball & Paula Stewart (1960).
Popular versions by Peggy Lee (1963), Rosemary Clooney (1963), Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney (1963), Judy Garland (1963), Louis Armstrong (1964).

From the wiki: “‘Hey, Look Me Over’ was from the 1960 Broadway musical Wildcat, and was first performed by comedy actress Lucille Ball in what was the only Broadway appearance of her career.

“Co-producer and writer N. Richard Nash had envisioned the main character of Wildy as a woman in her late twenties, and was forced to rewrite the role when Lucille Ball expressed interest not only in playing it but financing the project as well. Desilu, the company co-owned with Ball by her (soon-to-be ex-) husband Desi Arnaz, ultimately invested $360,000 in the show in exchange for 36% of the net profits, the rights to the original cast recording (ultimately released by RCA Victor), and television rights for musical numbers to be included in a special entitled Lucy Goes to Broadway, a project that eventually was scrapped. Ball also was permitted to choose her leading man. Kirk Douglas’s salary demands and heavy film schedule eliminated him from the running. Gordon MacRae, Jock Mahoney, and Gene Barry were also considered before Ball selected Keith Andes.

“The Philadelphia tryout opened on October 29, 1960 to a glowing review from Variety, although local critics were less enthusiastic. The scheduled Broadway opening had to be postponed when trucks hauling the sets and costumes to New York City were stranded on the New Jersey Turnpike for several days by a major blizzard. After two previews, the show opened on December 16 at the Alvin Theatre. The cast also included Paula Stewart and Swen Swenson, with Valerie Harper among the chorus members. Hampered by lukewarm reviews and Ball’s lingering illness, Wildcat ran for only 171 performances, closing permanently on June 3, 1961.

“During the brief Broadway run, Ball and co-star Paula Stewart performed ‘Hey, Look Me Over’ live on The Ed Sullivan Show, and the song was subsequently recorded and/or performed by, among others, Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis, Bobby Short, Gene Krupa, Mel Tormé, Jerry Vale, Julie Wilson, Lucie Arnaz, and British singer Ronnie Hilton. The soundtrack of the 2017 film Going in Style (starring Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin) included a Dixieland-esque big band arrangement by Jamie Cullum.

“In the 1960s, the melody of ‘Hey, Look Me Over’ was used as the basis for an advertising jingle in the US for the candy ‘Turkish Taffy’.”

Lucille Ball & Paula Stewart, live TV performance on The Ed Sullivan Show (1960):

Peggy Lee, “Hey, Look Me Over” (1963):

Rosemary Clooney, “Hey, Look Me Over” (1963):

Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney, “Hey, Look Me Over” (1963):

Judy Garland, “Hey, Look Me Over” live TV performance (1964):

Louis Armstrong, “Hey, Look Me Over” (1964):

Turkish Taffy TV commercial (ca. 1965):

Jamie Cullum, “Hey, Look Me Over” from the soundtrack to Going in Style (2017):

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