Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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No One to Depend On

Co-written and first recorded (as “Spanish Grease”) by Willie Bobo (1965).
Hit version by Santana (US #36 1971).

From the wiki: “The main melody and theme of Santana’s ‘No One to Depend One’ is taken from Willie Bobo’s 1965 recording ‘Spanish Grease’.

“Bobo (born William Correa) grew up in Spanish Harlem, New York City. He made his name in Latin Jazz, specifically Afro-Cuban jazz, in the 1960s and ’70s, with the timbales becoming his favoured instrument. He met Mongo SantamarĂ­a shortly after his arrival in New York and studied with him while acting as his translator, and later at the age of 19 joined Tito Puente for four years. The nickname ‘Bobo’ is said to have been bestowed on him by the jazz pianist Mary Lou Williams in the early 1950s.

“His first major exposure was when he joined George Shearing’s band on the album The Shearing Spell. After leaving Shearing, Cal Tjader asked Bobo and Santamaria to become part of the Cal Tjader Modern Mambo Quintet, who released several albums as the mambo craze reached fever pitch in the late ’50s. After the runaway success of Tjader’s Soul Sauce, in which he was heavily involved, Bobo formed a new band with the backing of Verve Records. (It was also during his time with Verve that Bobo also first recorded ‘Evil Ways‘, in 1967. for the album Bobo Motion.)

“In the early 1970s, he moved out to Los Angeles. He again met up with his long-time friend Richard Sanchez Sr. and his son Richard Jr. and began recording in the studio. Bobo worked as a session musician for Carlos Santana, among others, as well as being a regular in the band for Bill Cosby’s variety show Cos. It was during this that Santana covered ‘Spanish Grease’, retitled ‘No One to Depend On’, for the album Santana III, recorded in 1971 and released as the album’s second promotional single in 1972.”

Santana, “No One to Depend On” (1971):

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