Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: David Gates

It Don’t Matter to Me

First recorded by Bread (September 1969).
Hit version re-recorded by Bread (US #10/MOR #2/CAN #6 September 1970).
Also recorded by Maxine Weldon (1971).

From the wiki: “‘It Don’t Matter to Me’ was written by David Gates. It was first recorded for the eponymous debut album of his group, Bread, and released as an album track in September 1969.

“In 1970, during sessions for Bread’s second album, On the Waters, Gates had the group re-record ‘It Don’t Matter to Me’ for the group’s follow-up single to the #1 hit ‘Make It With You’. (The re-recording, however, was not included on the second album.) Released as a single in September 1970, this new version hit the Top-10 in both the U.S. and Canada, peaking at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spending two weeks at #6 in Canada.

Never Let Her Go

First recorded (as “Never Let Him Go”) by Jody Miller (1965).
Hit version by David Gates, writer (US #29/MOR #3 1975).

From the wiki: “‘Never Let Him Go’ was written by David Gates and was first recorded by Jody Miller (‘You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me‘) in 1965 (B-side ‘Be My Man’) with no apparent chart impact (but which some consider to be one of her best Capitol Records recordings).

“Discovered by actor Dale Robertson, Miller began her career in the early 1960s as a folk/pop singer, singing in the Los Angeles area. By the mid-1960s, Miller became a pioneer crossover female vocalist, opening the doors for Linda Ronstadt, Anne Murray, and Olivia Newton-John and others as a pop singer recording a strong Country influence. Miller enjoyed modest success in both genres.

“Songwriter Gates, who had also arranged and produced Miller’s original recording, covered ‘Never Let Her Go’ for his own album, Never Let Her Go, in 1975 – Gates’ second solo album but his first after the break-up of the group Bread – and the single charted in the US Top 30.”