Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Learnin’ the Blues

First recorded by Joe Valino (1955).
Hit version by Frank Sinatra (US #1/UK #2 1955).
Also recorded by Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong (1957).

From the wiki: “‘Learnin’ the Blues’ was written by Dolores Vicki Silvers, and first recorded in 1955 by Joe Valino. It’s not clear whether Silvers was the sole composer or possibly had help from Valino, a pop-jazz vocalist in the vein of Frank Sinatra and a breed of lounge singer singer who would be swept away in the late ’50s with the advent of rock ‘n’ roll.

“After a rep from Barton Music – Frank Sinatra’s publishing company – heard the song, they acquired its rights, effectively thwarting Valino from gaining his first hit. (Valino would, in 1956, find chart success with ‘Garden of Eden’.) Frank subsequently listened to Joe’s record and decided to cut it himself, giving Sinatra his best-charting single of the ’50s, peaking at #1.

“Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong covered the song on their 1957 collaboration Ella and Louis Again.”

Frank Sinatra, “Learnin’ the Blues” (1955):

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong, “Learnin’ the Blues” (1957):

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