Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Last Dance

Written and first recorded by Paul Jabara (1978).
Hit version by Donna Summer (US #3/R&B #5/UK #51 NETH #8 1978).

From the wiki: “‘Last Dance’ was written by Paul Jabara and was first recorded by him in 1978. According to the song’s co-producer Bob Esty, Paul Jabara locked Donna Summer in a Puerto Rico hotel bathroom and forced her to listen to a cassette of him singing a rough version of ‘Last Dance’. Summer liked the song and Jabara asked Esty and her producer Giorgio Moroder to work with him on an arrangement for Summer to use for her recording.

“The song would be used in the movie Thank God It’s Friday. Summer, in her role as an aspiring singer, brings an instrumental track of ‘Last Dance’ to a disco in hopes the disc jockey will play the track and allow her to sing the song for her fellow patrons: after refusing through most of the film the disc jockey eventually obliges Summer’s character and her performance causes a sensation. ‘Last Dance’ would win, in 1978, both the Academy Award for ‘Best Original Song’, the Golden Globe for ‘Best Original Song’, and the Grammy Award for ‘Best Female R&B Vocal Performance’.”

Donna Summer, “Last Dance” (1979):

“Last Dance” winning the 1978 Academy Award for Best Original Song:

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