Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Release Me (And Let Me Love Again)

Co-written and first recorded by Eddie Miller & His Oklahomans (1950).
Also recorded by Jimmy Heap & the Melody Masters (1953).
Hit versions by Ray Price (C&W #6 1954), Kitty Wells (C&W #8 1954), Little Esther Phillips (US #8/R&B #1 1962), Engelbert Humperdinck (US #4/UK #1/IRE #1 1967).

From the wiki: “‘Release Me’ (sometimes rendered as ‘Release Me (And Let Me Love Again)’), is a popular song written by Eddie Miller, Robert Yount, and James Pebworth (under the pseudonym ‘Dub Williams’). Miller worked as a locomotive engineer before becoming a songwriter. Although he never went beyond high school, he taught songwriting at the University of Tennessee.

“Although Miller later claimed to have written the song in 1946 — only being able to record it himself in December 1949 and releasing it in January 1950 — he actually co-wrote it with Robert Yount in 1949. As they were working at that time with Dub Williams, a pseudonym of James Pebworth, they gave him one-third of the song.

“A couple of years later, it was first covered by Jimmy Heap & the Melody Masters and, with even better success by Ray Price and Kitty Wells. In 1962, a big seller was recorded by Little Esther Phillips, who reached #1 on the R&B chart and #8 on the pop chart.

“Engelbert Humperdinck’s arrangement reached #1 on the UK Singles Chart and Top-5 in the US. It has the distinction in the UK of holding the #1 slot on the chart for six weeks during March and April 1967, preventing The Beatles’ single, ‘Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever’, from reaching the top.”

Jimmy Heap & the Melody Masters, “Release Me” (1953):

Ray Price, “Release Me” (1954):

Kitty Wells, “Release Me” (1954):

Little Esther Phillips, “Release Me” (1962):

Engelbert Humperdinck, “Release Me” (1972):

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