Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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See You in September

Originally recorded by The Tempos (US #23 1959).
Also recorded by The Quotations (1962), The Chiffons (1963), Teddy Robin & the Playboys (1967).
Other hit versions by The Symbols (UK #19 1966), The Happenings (US #3 1966), The Mike Curb Congregation (MOR #15 1972).

From the wiki: “‘See You in September’ was first recorded by the Pittsburgh vocal trio The Tempos (whose members included a pre-‘Rose Are Red’ Bobby Vinton). This first version peaked at #23 in the summer of 1959. The most popular version of ‘See You in September’ was the version by The Happenings in 1966, when it reached #3.

“Brill Building song writers Sid Wayne and Sherman Edwards wrote the song on a Friday in June 1959. They pitched the song to Jack Gold that afternoon. He bought the rights to the work for $500, and then called The Tempos that evening to fly to New York to record the song the next day. The Tempos recorded the song on a Monday, the testing pressing was done on Thursday, and by Friday ‘See You in September’ was getting airplay on WNEW Radio.

“The single first broke big in San Francisco, hit the national charts in July, and eventually climbed to #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 at the end of August. The Tempos performed on American Bandstand on October 12, 1959. (Although overshadowed by The Happenings’ #3 remake in 1966, the Tempos’ version of ‘See You in September’ did gain considerable currency in 1973 by virtue of its inclusion on the American Graffiti soundtrack.)

“The song was covered next in classic Doo-wop style by The Quotations in April 1962. The Chiffons recorded a version of ‘See You in September’ for their He’s So Fine album (1963).

“Bob Miranda of The Happenings recalls that he and the other members of the group considered the original version of ‘See You in September’ ‘a great song and kind of a shitty record. We always looked for that. If you want to revise something and put your own sound to it, I think you should look for a great song that was not a great record.’ Recorded in the spring of 1966, the Happenings” version of ‘See You in September’ was produced by Bob Crewe (The Four Seasons, Mitch Ryder) for the B.T. Puppy label. The recording peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 but failed to chart in the UK. Instead, ‘See You in September’ was recorded for the UK market by The Symbols, a male quartet from East London signed by Edward Kassner of President Records specifically to cover The Happenings’ hit. The song was also covered in 1966 in Hong Kong and made popular there by the local pop group Teddy Robin & the Playboys, the first Chinese-led rock band in HK.

“In 1972, an MOR cover of ‘See You in September’ was recorded by The Mike Curb Congregation and charted again in the US.”

The Quotations, “See You in September” (1962):

The Chiffons, “See You in September” (1963):

The Symbols, “See You in September” (1966):

The Happenings, “See You in September” (1966):

Teddy Robin & The Playboys, “See You in September” (1967):

Mike Curb Congregation, “See You in September” (1972):

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