Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons

First recorded (as “Sentimental Reasons”) by Deek Watson & His Brown Dots (1945).
Hit versions by The King Cole Trio (US #1 1946), Eddy Howard & His Orchestra (US #6 1947), Dinah Shore (US #6 1947), Ella Fitzgerald & Delta Rhythm Boys (US #8 1947), Sam Cooke (US #17/R&B #5 1957), James Brown (R&B #70 1976).
Also recorded by James Brown (1969), Linda Ronstadt (1986), Rod Stewart (2004).

From the wiki: “‘(I Love You) for Sentimental Reasons’ was written in 1945 by Ivory ‘Deek’ Watson, founding member of the Ink Spots, and William ‘Pat’ Best, founding member of the Four Tunes. The song was first recorded by The Brown Dots, a group Watson had first formed as the ‘New Ink Spots’ after he left the original group in a dispute. The original Ink Spots then filed a lawsuit to force Watson from using its name, resulting in Watson changing his ‘Ink Spots’ name, just barely, to ‘The Brown Dots’.

“The Brown Dots’ original recording of ‘Sentimental Reasons’ was first recorded and released in 1945 as the B-side of their second single, ‘Let’s Give Love Another Chance’. In 1946, it was released again – as an A-side – but it did not chart nationally.

“The song, though, would go on to be recorded many other times by other performers – with chart success. The biggest-selling version, by the King Cole Trio, was released in late 1946, reaching the Billboard Best Seller chart in November. Cole’s recording lasted a total of 12-weeks on the chart, peaking at #1.

“Other popular covers included a string of recordings released in 1947 by Eddy Howard, Dinah Shore, and Ella Fitzgerald. A decade later, Sam Cooke scored a Top-20 pop and Top-5 R&B hit with ‘For Sentimental Reasons’ in 1957. Nearly two decades later, in the midst of the ’70s disco boom, the song returned – barely – to the charts when James Brown fashioned a dance floor production that made a brief appearance on the R&B chart. Brown had earlier recorded, in 1969, a non-charting – and a very uncharacteristic ‘torch song’ – arrangement of ‘…For Sentimental Reasons’ that was included on the album Gettin’ Down to It.

“Other non-charting versions of ‘(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons’ were recorded by Linda Ronstadt (as the title track of her 1986 album, For Sentimental Reasons) and Rod Stewart (2004).”

The King Cole Trio, “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons” (1946):

Eddy Howard & His Orchestra, “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons” (1947):

Dinah Shore, “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons” (1947):

Ella Fitzgerald & Delta Rhythm Boys, “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons” (1947):

Sam Cooke, “For Sentimental Reasons” (1957):

James Brown, “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons” “torch song” arrangement (1969):

James Brown, “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons” “disco” arrangement (1976):

Linda Ronstadt, “I Love You for Sentimental Reasons” (1986):

Rod Stewart, “For Sentimental Reasons” (2004):

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