Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Dave Bartholomew

Lawdy Miss Clawdy

First recorded by Lloyd Price (R&B #1 1952).
Other hit versions by Elvis Presley (UK #15 1957), Gary Stites (US #47 1960), The Buckinghams (US #41 1967), Mickey Gilley (C&W #3 1976).

From the wiki: “‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’ was an R&B song written by New Orleans singer/songwriter Lloyd Price (‘Personality’) that ‘grandly introduced The New Orleans Sound’ to the world according to music writer Rick Coleman. It was first recorded by Price in 1952, along with Dave Bartholomew and Fats Domino backing Price for his first session with Specialty Records.

“In 1952, Art Rupe, founder of Specialty Records in Los Angeles, had come to New Orleans in search of new talent. Local recording studio owner Cosimo Matassa introduced him to Bartholomew, who had co-written and produced many of Fats Domino’s early hit records. Bartholomew invited nineteen year-old Lloyd Price to audition for Rupe at Matassa’s J&M Studio. The accounts differ on what happened next.

“According to Rupe, Price spent too much time rehearsing and Rupe threatened to leave if he did not get it together; Rupe then relented and Price turned out an emotional performance of ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’, prompting Rupe to cancel his return flight and to arrange for a full recording session.

Blue Monday

First recorded by Smiley Lewis (1954).
Hit version by Fats Domino (US #5/R&B #1 1957).

From the wiki: “‘Blue Monday’ was originally written by Dave Bartholomew (‘I Hear You Knocking‘, ‘My Ding-a-Ling‘), and first recorded by Smiley Lewis in 1954. ‘Blue Monday’ was later popularized in a recording by Fats Domino in 1956, and it became one of the earliest Rhythm & Blues songs to make the Billboard magazine Pop music charts. The song was also featured in the 1956 film The Girl Can’t Help It.”

I Hear You Knocking

Originally recorded by Smiley Lewis (R&B #2 1955).
Other hit versions by Gale Storm (US #2 1955), Dave Edmunds (UK #1 1970 |US #4 1971).

From the wiki: “‘I Hear You Knocking’ (sometimes spelled ‘I Hear You Knockin”) was written in 1955 by Dave Bartholomew and Earl King (under the pen name Pearl King) and first recorded that year by Smiley Lewis, reaching #2 on the Billboard R&B singles chart in 1955.

One Night

First recorded by Smiley Lewis (R&B #11 1956).
Also recorded by Elvis Presley (1957, released 1983).
Other hit version by Elvis Presley (US #4/R&B #10/CAN #1/UK #1/SWE #1 1958).

From the wiki: “The song was written by Dave Bartholomew, Earl King (under the pseudonym ‘Pearl King’) and Anita Steiman, and was originally recorded by Smiley Lewis in 1956. His recording charted R&B Top-15 in 1956.

“Elvis Presley recorded a cover of the song with its original lyrics on January 18, 1957, but that version would not be released until 1983. Both Elvis’ manager, Colonel Tom Parker, and Presley’s record company (RCA) had reservations about the suggestive lyrics along with the provocative title, ‘One Night of Sin’. This recording was unheard by the public until its release in 1983 on Elvis: A Legendary Performer Volume 4. In the meantime, Presley did not give up on the song. He continued to play with it during his spare time on the movie set of Loving You, finally rewriting the lyrics that he felt were holding the song captive.

My Ding-a-Ling

Written and first recorded by Dave Bartholomew (1952).
Also recorded by The Bees (as “Toy Bell” 1954), Chuck Berry (as “My Tambourine” 1968).
Hit version by Chuck Berry (US #1/&B #42/UK #1 1972).

From the wiki: “‘My Ding-a-Ling’ was originally recorded by Dave Bartholomew in 1952 for King Records. When Bartholomew moved to Imperial Records, he re-recorded the song under the new title, ‘Little Girl Sing Ding-a-Ling.’ (In 1954, The Bees also released a version on Imperial titled ‘Toy Bell.’) Bartholomew’s partnership with Fats Domino on Imperial Records produced some of his greatest successes. In the mid 1950s they co-wrote more than forty hits, including two songs that reached #1 on the Billboard R&B chart, ‘Goin’ Home’ and ‘Ain’t That a Shame’, along with ‘I’m Walkin”, ‘I Hear You Knocking‘ and ‘One Night‘. Bartholomew is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.