Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Lovesick Blues

First recorded (as “I’ve Got The Love-sick Blues”) by Elsie Clark (1922).
Also recorded by Jack Shea (1922), Emmett Miller & His Georgia Crackers (1928), Rex Griffin (1939).
Hit versions by Hank Williams (US #24/C&W #1 1949), Frank Ifield (US #44/UK #1 1962).

From the wiki: “First published as ‘I’ve Got The Love-sick Blues’ and introduced by Vaudeville singer Anna Chandler in the musical Oh, Ernest, ‘Lovesick Blues’ was first recorded by Elsie Clark in a March 1922 for OKeh Records, then was covered by Jack Shea for Vocalion Records later the same year. In 1928, ‘Lovesick Blues’ was covered by Emmet Miller (accompanied by his ‘Georgia Crackers’, including Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Eddie Lang, and Leo McConville) and, in 1939, by country singer Rex Griffin.

“The recordings by Miller and Griffin would inspire Hank Williams to perform the song during his first appearances on The Louisiana Hayride in 1948. Receiving an enthusiastic reception by the audience, Williams decided to record his own version despite an initial push-back from his band and his producer, Fred Rose.

“Williams’ recording would go on to become one of the biggest country hits ever – spending 16 weeks at #1 in 1949. Co-writer Irving Mills also wrote ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing’, ‘Mood Indigo’ and ‘Caravan‘ in partnership with Duke Ellington. The other co-author, Cliff Friend, sold his share for $500 during the Depression.”

Emmett Miller & His Georgia Crackers, “Lovesick Blues” (1928):

Rex Griffin, “Lovesick Blues” (1939):

Hank Williams, “Lovesick Blues” (1949):

Frank Ifield with Norrie Paramor & His Orchestra, “Lovesick Blues” (1962):

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