Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Bobby Womack

Harry Hippie

Written and first recorded by Jim Ford (1970).
Hit version by Bobby Womack (R&B #8 1973).

From the wiki: “‘Harry Hippie’ was written by Jim Ford for a self-titled album scheduled to be issued by Capitol in the fall of 1970. But, Ford had a falling out with the label and the album was shelved. ‘Harry Hippie’ was written by Ford in tribute to Bobby Womack’s laid-back brother, bass guitarist Harry Womack. ‘Harry Hippie’ would, after Womack recorded it in 1973, become a Top-10 R&B hit for Womack.


Originally recorded by Gabor Szabo (R&B #43 1971).
Hit version by George Benson (US #63/MOR #13/R&B #65 1976).

From the wiki: “‘Breezin” was written by Bobby Womack (‘It’s All Over Now‘) and first recorded by Hungarian Jazz guitarist Gabor Szabo. Szabó was famous for mixing jazz, pop-rock and his native Hungarian music. He began playing guitar at the age of 14, inspired by jazz music he heard on the Voice of America broadcasts. He escaped Hungary and moved to the United States in 1956, a year of the attempted revolt against Soviet-dominated Communist rule, and attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston.

Harlem Shuffle

Written and first recorded by Bob & Earl (US #44/R&B #44 1963 |UK #7 1969).
Other hit version by The Rolling Stones (US #5/UK #13/NZ #1/AUS #6 1986).

From the wiki: “Bobby Byrd and Earl Nelson had both been members of The Hollywood Flames, a prolific doo-wop group in Los Angeles, California whose major hit was ‘Buzz Buzz Buzz’ in 1958. By 1957, Byrd had started a parallel solo career, writing and recording for contractual reasons as Bobby Day. He wrote and recorded the original version of ‘Little Bitty Pretty One‘ (a hit for Thurston Harris), but had a hit of his own with ‘”Rockin’ Robin’ (1958). In 1960, Byrd and Nelson began recording together as Bob & Earl, on the Class record label.

It’s All Over Now

Written and first recorded by The Valentinos (US #94/R&B #21 1964).
Other hit version by The Rolling Stones (US #26/UK #1/IRE #2/NZ #2 1964).

From the wiki: “‘It’s All Over Now’ was written by Bobby Womack and Shirley Womack. It was first released by The Valentinos featuring Bobby Womack. The Valentinos version entered the Billboard Hot 100 on June 27, 1964, where it stayed on the chart for two weeks, peaking at #94.

“New York disc jockey Murray the K gave The Stones a copy of The Valentinos’ version and suggested they record it. The Stones recorded this during their first US tour at Chess Studios in Chicago, at a session that also produced ‘Time Is On My Side‘. ‘It’s All Over Now’ became the group’s first UK #1 hit, in July 1964. It was the band’s third single released in America, and stayed in the Billboard Hot 100 for ten weeks, peaking at #26.