Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Quarter to Three

Based on “A Night with Daddy G – Part 1” by The Church Street Five (1961).
Hit version by Gary “U.S.” Bonds (US #1/R&B #3/UK #7 1962).
Also performed by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (1975).

From the wiki: “‘Quarter to Three’ was adapted and expanded from ‘A Night with Daddy ‘G’ – Part 1′, a 1961 instrumental recording by the Church Street Five and written by written by Gene Barge, Frank Guida (‘If You Wanna Be Happy‘), and Joseph Royster. ‘Daddy G’ was saxophone player Gene Barge, who would go on to be featured on all Gary ‘U.S.’ Bonds’ hits. Barge’s group, The Church Street Five, scored a bubbling-under hit with ‘A Night With Daddy ‘G” before Bonds would compose a vocal arrangement for the song (listed under his birth name, Gary Anderson). It was co-writer Guida who discovered and named Bonds, and the recording of ‘Quarter to Three’ took place during a party celebrating Bond’s first hit ‘New Orleans’.

“The entire Church Street Five, including Legrand label boss Guida, provided the live atmosphere. The lyrics mention the Church Street Five and Daddy G by name, and contain the exhortation ‘Blow, Daddy!’ Guida has been quoted that the raucous production, sometimes describes as sounding as if it had been recorded in a school gymnasium, was exactly what he wanted the song to sound like. It was a ‘live’ gimmick avidly copied by other producers, including Chubby Checker’s ‘Dancin’ Party’, Dion’s ‘Runaround Sue’, The Beach Boys’ version of ‘Barbara Ann’, and Trini Lopez’s ‘If I Had A Hammer’.

“‘Daddy G,’ Gene Barge, would go on to work with Chess Records during the 1960s, playing on recording sessions and providing arrangements along with production work. In the 1970s, he produced as well as arranged records, including Natalie Cole’s early hits, and toured and played with such notables as Fats Domino, Bo Diddley, Big Joe Turner, LaVern Baker, Ray Charles, Chuck Willis, and The Rolling Stones. Barge also branched out into acting, with roles in major movies starring Gene Hackman, Chuck Norris, Harrison Ford and Steven Seagal.

“Bruce Springsteen proved to be a big fan of Bonds. Along with performing a rollicking version of ‘Quarter to Three’ with the E Street wherever they performed in the 1970s and 1980s, Springsteen would go on to collaborate with and produce Bonds’ two comeback albums, Dedication (1981) and On the Line (1982), writing each of the albums’ two hit singles, ‘This Little Girl’ and ‘Out of Work’.”

Gary “U.S.” Bonds, “Quarter to Three” (1962):

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, “Quarter to Three” live performance (1975):

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