Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Never on Sunday

First performed by Melina Mercouri (1960).
Hit versions by Don Costa (US #19/UK #27 1960), Lynn Cornell (UK #30 1960), The Chordettes (US #13/MOR #4 1961).

From the wiki: “‘Never on Sunday’, also known as ‘Ta Pediá tou Pireá’ (Greek: ‘Τα Παιδιά του Πειραιά’; English: ‘The Children of Piraeus’), was written by Manos Hadjidakis originally in Greek and was performed in the 1960 film Never on Sunday by Melina Mercouri. The song was nominated and won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, a first for a foreign-language picture since the Academy began recognizing achievements in that category in 1934. An orchestral version recorded by Don Costa reached #19 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960, then returned to the Billboard Top 40 when reissued in 1961. Costas’ version also peaked at #27 in the UK Singles chart.

“Following the success of the orchestral version, as well as the Oscar win, an English-language version of ‘Never on Sunday’ was commissioned to match the title of the film. A vocal of the song by The Chordettes (‘Mr. Sandman’, 1954) reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1961.”

Don Costa, ‘Never on Sunday” (1960):

Lynn Cornell, “Never on Sunday” (1960):

The Chordettes, “Never on Sunday” (1961):

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