Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Rockin’ Pneumonia & the Boogie Woogie Flu

Written and first recorded (as “Tu-Ber-Cu-Lucas and the Sinus Blues”) by Huey “Piano” Smith (1957).
Hit versions by Huey “Piano” Smith & The Clowns (US #52/R&B #5 1957), Johnny Rivers (US #6/AUS #27/NZ #11 1972).
Also recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis (1965), Chris Farlowe (1966), David Lindley (1981).

From the wiki: “In 1955, Huey ‘Piano’ Smith turned 21, and became the piano player with Little Richard’s first band for Specialty Records. The same year Smith also played piano on several studio sessions for other artists such as Lloyd Price; one of the sessions resulted in the Smiley Lewis hit, ‘I Hear You Knocking‘.

“In 1957, Smith formed ‘Huey ‘Piano’ Smith and His Clowns’ and signed a long-term contract with Ace Records. The group hit the Billboard charts with several singles in succession, including ‘Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu’, first recorded as ‘Tu-Ber-Cu-Lucas and the Sinus Blues’ in 1957 and released as the B-side to ‘Dearest Darling’.

“Smith wrote his first song, ‘Roberson Street Boogie’ (named after the street where he lived), on the piano when he was only eight years old; performed the tune with a friend, billing themselves as ‘Slick and Dark’. When Smith was fifteen he began working in clubs and recording records with his flamboyant partner, Eddie Jones, who would rise to fame as ‘Guitar Slim’.

“Jerry Lee Lewis covered ‘Rockin’ Pneumonia’ in 1965; UK singer Chris Farlowe did so in 1966. The song became an international hit, including a US Top-10, for Johnny Rivers in 1972 with the instrumental backing from L.A. sessions musicians, the Wrecking Crew. David Lindley included his 1981 cover of Smith’s original song on the album El Rayo-X.”

Huey “Piano” Smith & The Clowns, “Rockin’ Pneumonia & the Boogie Woogie Flu” (1957):

Jerry Lee Lewis, “Rockin’ Pneumonia & the Boogie Woogie Flu” (1965):

Chris Farlowe, “Rockin’ Pneumonia & the Boogie Woogie Flu” (1966):

Johnny Rivers, “Rockin’ Pneumonia & the Boogie Woogie Flu” (1972):

David Lindley, “Tu Ber Cu Lucas and the Sinus Blues” (1981):

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