Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Midnight Rider

Written and first recorded by The Allman Brothers (1970).
Also recorded by Buddy Miles (1971).
Hit versions by Joe Cocker (US #23 1972), Gregg Allman (US #19 1973), Paul Davidson (UK #10 1976), Willie Nelson (C&W #6 1980).

From the wiki: “‘Midnight Rider’ is a popular and widely covered song by The Allman Brothers Band from their 1970 album Idlewild South, written by Gregg Allman and Robert Kim Payne. Drummer Buddy Miles (Electric Flag, Jimi Hendrix) recorded the first cover of ‘Midnight Rider’, in 1971, for the album A Message to the People. Recordings by Joe Cocker, Gregg Allman himself (on his solo album Laid Back), Paul Davidson, and Willie Nelson have all reached the US and UK charts as singles but the song, as recorded by The Allman Brothers Band, was never released as a single.”

Buddy Miles, “Midnight Rider” (1971):

Joe Cocker, “Midnight Rider” (1972):

Gregg Allman, “Midnight Rider” (1973):

Paul Davidson, “Midnight Rider” (1976):

Willie Nelson, “Midnight Rider” (1980):

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