Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: David & Jonathan

Softly Whispering I Love You

First recorded by David & Jonathan (1967).
Hit version by English Congregation (US #29/UK #4/NZ #1/SA #1 1971), Paul Young (UK #21 1990).

From the wiki: “During their period as David & Jonathan, writers Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway (‘You Got Your Troubles’, ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing‘) recorded early versions of many of their songs that became hits for others including ‘Softly Whispering I Love You’, first recorded by the duo in 1967 but covered more popularly in 1971 by a group of their own creation, English Congregation, whose recording charted in the UK Top 5 and US Billboard Hot 100. The Congregation recording topped the New Zealand and South Africa music charts, too, that year. Paul Young’s 1990 cover barely missed the UK Top 20 in 1990.”


First recorded by The Beatles (FRA #1/NOR #1/NZ #1 1966).
Other hit versions by The Overlanders (UK #1 1966), Billy Vaughn (US #77/MOR #17 1966), David & Jonathan (US #18/UK #11 1966), The Spokesmen (US #106 1966), Bud Shank & Chet Baker (US #65/MOR #12 1966).
Also recorded by Jan & Dean (1966), The Singers Unlimited (1971).

From the wiki: “One of Rubber Soul’s most memorable songs, ‘Michelle’ was written by Paul McCartney with a little help from the wife of an old schoolfriend. The song is one of McCartney’s oldest compositions, having been started around 1959; composed on his first-ever guitar, a Zenith. ‘Michelle’ won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1967 and has since become one of the best-known and most-often recorded of all Beatles songs … but was never released in the US or the UK by the Beatles as a single (although Beatles’ singles of ‘Michelle” did top singles charts in France and Norway).

“After The Beatles declined to release the song as a single, ‘Michelle’ became a UK hit in 1966 for The Overlanders. Of all the covers recorded of ‘Michelle’ released to date, the recording by David & Jonathan (nom de plume of songwriters Roger Cook and Roger Greenway, ‘I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing‘) was the only recording of ‘Michelle’ that made the US Billboard Top 40.