Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Dee Clark

Hey Little Girl

Inspired by “Hambone” by The Red Saunders Orchestra with The Hambone Kids (1952).
First released by Thurston Harris (1958).
Hit version by Dee Clark (US #20/R&B #2 August 1959).

From the wiki: “Dee Clark was born Delecta Clark (or Delectus Clark, Jr.), in Blytheville, Arkansas, in 1938 and moved to Chicago in 1941. His mother, Essie Mae Clark, was a Gospel singer and encouraged her son to pursue his love of music.

“Clark made his first recordings in 1952 as one of the original members of The Hambone Kids, who enjoyed some success recording with The Red Saunders Orchestra for the OKeh record label. Clark embarked on a solo career in 1957, initially following the styles of Clyde McPhatter and Little Richard. When Little Richard temporarily abandoned his music career in 1957 to study theology, Clark fulfilled Richard’s remaining live dates and made his first recordings with Richard’s backing band, The Upsetters.

“First released in 1958 by Thurston Harris (‘Little Bitty Pretty One‘, 1957), with no apparent chart impact, ‘Hey Little Girl’ would be reach the Billboard Hot 100 Top-20 in 1959 with Clark’s cover. Written by Otis Blackwell and Bobby Stevenson, ‘Hey Little Girl’ surely felt a bit familiar to Clark. It was loosely based on ‘Hambone’, a song Clark had recorded with the Hambone Kids seven years earlier under his birth name, Delecta Clark. A Jo Stafford-Frankie Laine cover of ‘Hambone’ charted as high as #6 on the Billboard chart. Bo Diddley would also derive his ‘Bo Diddley beat’ from ‘Hambone’.”