Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Pied Piper

First recorded by The Changin’ Times (US #87 1965).
Also recorded by The Jets (1966).
Other hit versions by Crispian St. Peters (US #4/UK #5/CAN #1/AUS #5 1966), Bob & Marcia (UK #11 1971).

From the wiki: “‘The Pied Piper’ was written by the duo of Steve Duboff and Artie Kornfeld, who first recorded the song in 1965 as a Dylan-esque group they called The Changin’ Times.

“However, it was British pop singer Crispian St. Peters who scored the major hit with the song during the summer of 1966, when his single went to #4 in the United States, #5 in the United Kingdom and #1 in Canada. (In the Netherlands, the beatgroup The Jets from Utrecht recorded their version a few months before St. Peters did. Rumors had it that this version inspired the Crispian St. Peters version.)

“Peters’ career went into a nosedive shortly thereafter, following an interview he gave the NME magazine in which he stated he not only was going to be ‘bigger than Presley, was more talented than Sammy Davis Jr … and more exciting than Tom Jones’, but that he was also a better songwriter than the Beatles – an interesting claim to make given that Peters never had a hit with any self-penned songs. By 1970, he’d been dropped by his record label and was admitted into the hospital suffering from a nervous breakdown.

“Jamaican reggae duo Bob & Marcia had a Top 20 UK hit with their version, peaking at #11 on the UK Singles chart in July 1971, the followup to their previous #5 hit ‘Young, Gifted and Black’.”

The Jets, “Pied Piper” (1966):

Crispian St. Peters, “Pied Piper” (1966):

Bob & Marcia, “Pied Piper” (1970):

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