Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Brenda Lee

All Alone Am I

First performed (in Greek, as “Μην τον ρωτάς τον ουρανό”) by Tzeni Karezi (1962)
First recorded (as “Don’t Ask the Sky”) by Mary Lo (1962).
Hit version (in English) by Brenda Lee (US #3/MOR #1/UK #7/AUS #10 1962).

From the wiki: “‘All Alone Am I’ was composed by the Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis and originally recorded in Greek by Tzeni (Jenny) Karezi for the soundtrack of the 1962 film To nisi ton genneon (The Island of the Brave) and titled “Μην τον ρωτάς τον ουρανό” (‘Don’t ask the sky’). Greek singer Mary Lo recorded and released her own recording of the song (in Greek) as a single in 1962.

“Later the same year, a new version of the song was produced in Nashville, TN, by Owen Bradley with English lyrics (by Arthur Altman). This arrangement was recorded by Brenda Lee for her 1962 album, All Alone Am I. ‘All Alone Am I’ was released as a promotional single in late 1962, reaching #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 while also becoming Lee’s first single to chart on the Billboard Easy Listening chart, reaching #1 in late 1962. In addition, the single reached #7 on the UK Singles chart, and peaked at #10 on the Australian singles chart.”

Always on My Mind

First recorded by Brenda Lee (C&W #45/CAN #40 1972).
Hit versions by Elvis Presley (C&W #16/UK #9 1972), John Wesley Ryles (C&W #20 1979), Willie Nelson (US #5/C&W #1 1982), Pet Shop Boys (US #4/UK #1/CAN #1 1988).

From the wiki: “‘Always on My Mind’ is an American country music song by Johnny Christopher, Mark James (‘Suspicious Minds‘, ‘Hooked On a Feeling‘) and Wayne Carson, recorded first by Brenda Lee in 1972.

“Wayne Carson says that he wrote the song in 10 minutes at his home in Springfield at his kitchen table and completed the song in studio with the assistance of Johnny Christopher and Mark James. Brenda Lee would be the first singer to record and release a version of ‘Always On My Mind’. Her single, however, would stall at #45 on the US Country Singles chart.

The Crying Game

Originally recorded by Dave Berry (UK #5 1964).
Other hit versions by Brenda Lee (US #87 1965), Boy George (US #15/UK #22/CAN #1 1992).

From the wiki: “‘The Crying Game’ was first released by UK singer Dave Berry in July 1964. Session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan played lead guitar on this song, and Jimmy Page supported. Berry’s single peaked at #5 in July 1964, his highest-charting UK single to date. But, his original arrangement gained greater international interest in 1992, when it (along with a cover by Boy George) was used as the theme song for the film The Crying Game.