Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Singin’ in the Rain

First hit version by Ukulele Ike (US #1 1929).
Also performed by Judy Garland (1940).
Most familiar version performed by Gene Kelly (1952).

From the wiki: “‘Singin’ In the Rain’ is a song with lyrics by Arthur Freed and music by Nacio Herb Brown, published in 1929. However, it is unclear exactly when the song was written; it has been claimed that the song was performed as early as 1927.

“We do know it was first performed on film by Doris Eaton Travis in the 1929 talkie The Hollywood Music Box Revue. The song was an immediate success and recorded on disc by a number of artists, first and most notably by Ukulele Ike (Cliff Edwards) on May 28, 1929, in Los Angeles, for Columbia Records. Edwards would also perform the number on-screen in 1929 with the Brox Sisters in the early MGM musical The Hollywood Revue of 1929.

“‘Singin’ in the Rain’ was also performed on film by Jimmy Durante in Speak Easily (1932), and by Judy Garland in Little Nellie Kelly (1940) prior to it being highlighted in the 1952 Oscar-nominated Gene Kelly-Danny Kaye musical Singin’ in the Rain.”

Ukulele Ike & The Brox Sisters, “Singin’ in the Rain” from The Hollywood Music Box Revue (1929):

Judy Garland, “Singin’ in the Rain” from Little Nellie Kelly (1940):

Gene Kelly, “Singing’ in the Rain” from Singin’ in the Rain (1952):

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