Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Love Me Tonight

First performed (as “Alla Fine Della Strada”) by Junior Magli (1969) & The Casuals (1969) @ the Sanremo Music Festival 1969.
Recorded (as “Love Me Tonight”) by The Casuals (1969).
Hit version by Tom Jones (US #13/MOR #2/UK #9/CAN #4/IRE #7/BEL #2 1969).

[Above: Junior Magli’s performance at the 1969 Sanremo Music Festival]

[Above: The Casuals’ performance at the 1969 Sanremo Music Festival]

From the wiki: “Junior Magli made ​​his debut in the early 1960s, performing in various Italian clubs and competitions and publishing some 45 songs under his real name, Luigi Pazzaglini, before adopting the stage name ‘Junior Magli’. In 1968, Magli recorded a cover of ‘Delilah’ (the 1968 Tom Jones hit), with which he participated in the 1968 International Music Fair in Venice.

“In 1969, Magli entered the Festival of Sanremo and, in conjunction with the expatriate UK band the Casuals, premiered ‘Alla Fine Della Strada’. (According to the competition rules, every song entry was performed in a double performance by a couple of singers or groups.) But, neither Magli or The Casuals made the competition short-list.

“Originally formed in 1961 in Lincoln, England, the Casuals won the TV talent show Opportunity Knocks three times in 1965 leading to a recording contract with Fontana Records. The Casuals then moved to Italy ca. 1966 where the group recorded a number of covers of well-known UK material. The band later signed with CBS Records in Milan to record Italian language covers of British hit singles, including a #1 Italian hit single covering the Bee Gees’ ‘Massachusetts’. In 1968, whilst still in Italy, The Casuals switched to Decca Records, who released the single ‘Jesamine’ which reached #2 on the UK Singles Chart late in 1968 – their hightest-charting UK single. In 1969, after performing ‘Alla Fine Della Strada’ at the Sanremo Music Festival, the group released an English-language arrangement of the song, with lyrics by English songwriter Barry Mason (‘Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes’, ‘The Last Waltz’, ‘Delilah’), as ‘Love Me Tonight’ with no chart impact.

“In a twist of reciprocity, after Magli covered ‘Delilah’ the year before, Tom Jones covered ‘Love Me Tonight’ in 1969 which became an international hit, peaking at #13 in the US, #9 in the UK, #4 in Canada, and #2 in Belgium. Jone’s version ranked #94 on Billboard magazine’s Top 100 singles of 1969.”

The Casuals, “Love Me Tonight” (1969):

Tom Jones, “Love Me Tonight” (1969):

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