Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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La la la la

First recorded by Little Stevie Wonder (1962).
Hit version by The Blendells (US #62 1964).

From the wiki: “The Blendells were a 1960s Mexican American brown-eyed soul group from East Los Angeles, California. They garnered success in 1964 with their Latin-tinged cover of Little Stevie Wonder’s ‘La La La La La’, written by Clarence Paul and first released on Wonder’s 1962 chart-topping album Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius. The Blendell’s 1964 recording peaked at #62 on the national charts, but it was #1 in Phoenix, AZ (where they performed as headliners before 11,000 people), Hawaii, and Los Angeles, at a time when the #2 song was by The Beatles.

“The song was brought to the attention of the band by drummer Ronnie Chipres. The Blendells were playing it at one of their gigs when Eddie Davis heard it and urged them to record it. Lead singer Sal Murillo says the song was recorded in one take. Many in the ‘West Coast East Side’ music community believe The Blendells would have achieved far more success had most of its members not been drafted into the Vietnam War.

“Rampart Records President (and Vietnam veteran) Steven Chavez stated, ‘Almost 50% of the artists from the East Side Sound era served in combat roles in Vietnam, losing their innocence to a war in the prime of their youth, and returned to a changed American music scene that pretty much turned their back on them with the advent of new genres like hard rock, heavy metal, punk, disco and the like.'”

The Blendells, “La la la la” (1964):

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