Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Little Bitty Pretty One

Written and first recorded by Bobby Day & the Satellites (1957).
Hit versions by Thurston Harris (US #6/R&B #2 1957), Frankie Lymon (US #58 1960), Clyde McPhatter (US #25 1962), The Jackson 5 (US #13 1972).

From the wiki: “‘Little Bitty Pretty One’ was written and first recorded by Bobby Day. His single did not chart in the US but peaked at #11 on the Canadian CHUM-AM radio chart.

“Day’s first recording was ‘Young Girl’ in 1949 in the R&B group The Hollywood Flames. Day then spent several years with minor musical success limited to the West Coast, recording under numerous other names: The Jets, The Voices, The Sounds, The Crescendos, and as the original ‘Bob’ in the duo Bob & Earl with singer Earl Nelson. In 1957, Day formed his own band called the Satellites, following which he recorded three songs that are seen today as rock ‘n roll classics: ‘Little Bitty Pretty One’, ‘Over and Over’), and ‘Rockin’ Robin’.

“‘Little Bitty Pretty One’ received much wider popularity when covered in 1957 by Thurston Harris. Produced by the Los Angeles label Aladdin Records, and featuring the Sharps on backing vocals, Harris’ version reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart.

“Other charting covers were later recorded by Frankie Lymon (recorded in 1958 but released in 1960), Clyde McPhatter (1962), and the Jackson 5 (1972).”

Thurston Harris, “Little Bitty Pretty One” (1957):

Frankie Lymon, “Little Bitty Pretty One” (1960):

Clyde McPhatter, “Little Bitty Pretty One” (1962):

The Jackson 5, “Little Bitty Pretty One” (1972):