Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Brenda Holloway

Every Little Bit Hurts

First recorded by Brenda Holloway (1962).
Hit versions by Brenda Holloway (US #13/R&B #3 1964), The Spencer Davis Group (UK #41/CAN #5 1965), “Shirley” Strachan (AUS #3 1976).
Also recorded by The Clash (1980, released 1991), Alicia Keys (2005).

From the wiki: “‘Every Little Bit Hurts’ was a 1964 hit single for Motown soul singer Brenda Holloway (‘You’ve Made Me So Very Happy‘), written by Ed Cobb (‘Tainted Love‘) of The Four Preps (‘Love of the Common People‘). It was first recorded by the then-16-year old Holloway in 1962 for the Del-Fi record label without any chart impact.

“After being signed to Motown Records, Holloway was reluctant to re-record the song and later said she was upset during the sessions; several takes were recorded before producers felt that Holloway had hit her mark. Released in April 1964, three months before Holloway’s eighteenth birthday, the song peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and charted Top-5 on the R&B chart.”

You’ve Made Me So Very Happy

Co-written and originally recorded by Brenda Holloway (US #39/R&B #40 1967).
Other hit version by Blood, Sweat & Tears (US #2/MOR #18/R&B #46/CAN #1/UK #35/AUS #14 1969).

From the wiki: “By 1967, Brenda Holloway had been recording for Motown Records since 1964 and had struggled with Berry Gordy over control of her music, alleging that Gordy had forced her to sing Mary Wells’ ‘leftover tracks’ after the Motown singer left the label in 1964. Along with her sister Patrice, using music provided by Frank Wilson and with additional help from Gordy himself, Holloway co-wrote ‘You’ve Made Me So Very Happy.’ Coincidentally, Holloway recorded the song after a breakup with a boyfriend.