Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Ooby Dooby

First recorded (as a demo) by The Wink Westerners (1955).
First released by The Teen Kings (1955).
Hit version by Roy Orbison & The Teen Kings (US #59 1956).

From the wiki: “‘Ooby Dooby’ was written by Dick Penner and Wade Moore. The song was first recorded in early 1955 by The Wink Westerners, a group that Roy Orbison had formed in high school, as a demo for Columbia Records which failed to ignite any interest. Later, after forming The Teen Kings during his first semester of junior college, Orbison would re-record ‘Ooby Dooby’ in late 1955. The song was released as the B-side to ‘Trying To Get To You’ by Norman Petty’s Odessa, Texas, Je-Wel records label with no apparent chart impact.

“In 1955, while Johnny Cash toured the Odessa area and played on the same local radio show bill as the Teen Kings, Cash suggested to Orbison that he approach Sam Phillips at Sun Records, home of rockabilly stars including Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Phillips was persuaded to listen to the Teen Kings’ recording. Impressed, Phillips and offered the group a contract in 1956.

“The Teen Kings went to Memphis and although Orbison had grown weary of ‘Ooby Dooby’, Phillips wanted to cut the record again in a better studio. Orbison rankled quietly at Phillips’ dictating what the band would play and how Orbison was to sing it. However, with Phillips’ production, the record broke into the Billboard Hot 100, selling 200,000 copies. The Teen Kings toured with Sonny James, Johnny Horton, and Cash. Much influenced by Elvis Presley, Orbison performed frenetically, doing ‘everything we could to get applause because we had only one hit record.’

“The Teen Kings ultimately split over disputed writing credits and royalties, but Orbison stayed in Memphis and asked his 16-year-old girlfriend, Claudette Frady, to join him. Orbison found a modicum of success at Sun Records. Orbison sold one of his original songs, ‘Claudette‘, to The Everly Brothers and it appeared on the B-side of their smash hit ‘All I Have to Do Is Dream’. The first and perhaps only royalties Orbison earned from Sun Records enabled him to make a down-payment on his own Cadillac.”

Roy Orbison & The Teen Kings, “Ooby Dooby” on Sun Records (1956):

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