Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Ne-Ne Na-Na Na-Na Nu-Nu

First recorded by Dickey Doo & the Dont’s (1958).
Hit version by Bad Manners (UK #28 1980).

From the “Dickey Doo & the Dont’s started out as a joke with a purpose. Gerry Granahan, a producer, songwriter, and performer needed an alias under which he could release his newest record without getting into legal trouble with another record label to which he was already under contract and the alias turned into a successful recording act. Signed to Sunbeam Records in 1957, he had a hit in mid-1958 with ‘No Chemise Please’, a novelty song charted in the Top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100.

“Granahan’s next four singles stiffed, but then he found himself with a song that seemed like a certain hit, ‘Click Clack’, and a label – Swan Records of Philadelphia – that wanted to release it; moreover, with Swan behind it, the label’s silent partner, Dick Clark, would give it a boost on the local version of his daily music showcase, American Bandstand, thus ensuring it had every chance to become a hit. Thus were born Dickey Doo & the Dont’s, a mythical act whose name, it was suggested, was an ‘in’ joke that obliquely referred to Clark’s secret involvement with Swan Records.

“The quintet proved extremely popular in concert and charted more singles, including ‘Nee Nee Na Na Na Na Nu Nu’, ‘Leave Me Alone’, and ‘Teardrops Will Fall’, over the next year and a half. After the group broke up in 1965, Granahan continued his extensive activities as a producer during this period, working with the music of the Angels (‘Till’, ‘My Boyfriend’s Back’) and Patty Duke, among others.”

“Bad Manners were a 1980s English ska band led by frontman Buster Bloodvessel, first formed in 1976. The group were signed to Magnet Records in 1980, releasing a cover of ‘Ne-Ne Na-Na Na-Na Nu-Nu’ as its first single which charted in the UK Top 30 in February 1980.”

Bad Manners, “Ne-Ne Na-Na Na-Na Nu-Nu” (1980):

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