Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

Help support this site! Consider clicking an ad from time to time. Thanks!


Just a Little Bit

First released by Tiny Topsy (1959).
Hit versions by Roscoe Gordon (US #64/R&B #2 1959), Roy Head (US #39 1965).

From the wiki: “‘Just a Little Bit’ was developed when Rosco Gordon was touring with West Coast blues artist Jimmy McCracklin. According to Gordon, McCracklin started to write the song and agreed that Gordon could finish it with both of them sharing the credit. Gordon later presented a demo version to Ralph Bass at King Records, who was reportedly uninterested in the song. Gordon then approached Calvin Carter at Vee-Jay Records, who agreed to record it.

“Meanwhile, Federal Records, a King Records subsidiary released a version of ‘Just a Little Bit’ by R&B singer Tiny Topsy, with songwriting credit given to Ralph Bass and several others unknown to Gordon. The Tiny Topsy song, featuring a pop-style arrangement with background singers and flute, did not reach the record charts.

“Gordon used a style of piano playing known as ‘The Rosco Rhythm’ and made a number of his early recordings for Sam Phillips at Sun Records. This rhythm placed the accent on the off beats, and although other influential R&B pianists such as Professor Longhair had recorded in the style before him, Gordon’s influence on the Jamaican pianist, Theophilus Beckford, is often cited as the foundation of Jamaican bluebeat and reggae music.

“In 1962, Gordon gave up the music industry and moved to Queens, New York, with his new wife where he purchased a partnership in a laundry business.”

Roscoe Gordon, “Just a Little Bit” (1959):

Roy Head, “Just a Little Bit” (1965):

Comments are closed.