Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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See You Later, Alligator

Written and originally recorded (as “Later Alligator”) by Bobby Charles (1955).
Inspired by “Later For You Baby” by Guitar Slim (1954).
Also recorded by Roy Hall (1955).
Hit version by Bill Haley & His Comets (US #6/R&B #7/UK #7 1956), Dr. Feelgood (UK #93 1986).

From the wiki: “Originally titled ‘Later Alligator’, the song was written by Louisiana songwriter Robert Charles Guidry and first recorded by him under his professional name ‘Bobby Charles’ in 1955. Guidry, a Cajun musician, adopted a New Orleans-influenced blues style to the song, intending it to be recorded by fellow NOLA musician Fats Domino. (Guidry also wrote ‘Walking to New Orleans’, which was recorded by Domino.) The melody for ‘Alligator’ was borrowed from bluesman Guitar Slim’s ‘Later for You Baby’ which was recorded in 1954.

“The song was also recorded by Roy Hall (‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On‘) on December 1, 1955 at a Nashville session. The most famous recording of the song, however, was that created on December 12, 1955 by Bill Haley & His Comets at a recording session for Decca Records. Haley’s recording of ‘See You Later, Alligator’ popularized a catchphrase already in use at the time (of which Princess Margaret of the United Kingdom was quoted as saying it further publicizing the term overseas). It would become Haley’s third and final million-selling single, although it did not hit the top of the American charts.”

Guitar Slim, “Later For You, Baby” (1954):

Roy Hall, “See You Later, Alligator” (1955):

Bill Haley & His Comets, “See You Later, Alligator” (1956):

Dr. Feelgood, “See You Later, Alligator” (1986):

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