Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Canned Heat

Going Up the Country

First recorded (as “Bull Doze Blues”) by Henry Thomas (1928).
Hit version by Canned Heat (US #11 1969).

From the wiki: “Canned Heat, who were early Blues enthusiasts, based ‘Going Up the Country’ on ‘Bull Doze Blues’, recorded in Chicago for Vocalion Records in 1928 by Texas bluesman Henry Thomas. Thomas was from the songster tradition and had a unique sound, sometimes accompanying himself on quills, an early Afro-American wind instrument similar to panpipes.

“For Canned Heat’s recording ‘Going Up the Country’, Alan Wilson used Thomas’ melody on the quills and his basic rhythm, but re-arranged it for a rock setting and rewrote the lyrics; multi-instrumentalist Jim Horn reproduced Thomas’ quill parts on the flute.

Let’s Work Together

Written (as “Let’s Stick Together”) and originally recorded by Wilbert Harrison (1962).
Hit versions by Wilbert Harrison (US #32 1969), Canned Heat (US #26/UK #2 1970) and Bryan Ferry (UK #4 1976).

From the wiki: “Wilbert Harrison recorded ‘Let’s Stick Together’ in 1962 but the song failed to appear in the charts. However, a 1969 re-recording, as ‘Let’s Work Together’, for Sue Records, the reached #32 in the Billboard Hot 100 in 1970, making it Harrison’s first chart appearance since his #1 1959 hit ‘Kansas City‘. Unlike the 1962 version, ‘Let’s Work Together’ was a solo performance – with Harrison (credited as ‘Wilbert Harrison One Man Band’) providing the vocal, harmonica, guitar, and percussion.