Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Engelbert Humperdinck

Release Me (And Let Me Love Again)

Co-written and first recorded by Eddie Miller & His Oklahomans (1950).
Also recorded by Jimmy Heap & the Melody Masters (1953).
Hit versions by Ray Price (C&W #6 1954), Kitty Wells (C&W #8 1954), Little Esther Phillips (US #8/R&B #1 1962), Engelbert Humperdinck (US #4/UK #1/IRE #1 1967).

From the wiki: “‘Release Me’ (sometimes rendered as ‘Release Me (And Let Me Love Again)’), is a popular song written by Eddie Miller, Robert Yount, and James Pebworth (under the pseudonym ‘Dub Williams’). Miller worked as a locomotive engineer before becoming a songwriter. Although he never went beyond high school, he taught songwriting at the University of Tennessee.

“Although Miller later claimed to have written the song in 1946 — only being able to record it himself in December 1949 and releasing it in January 1950 — he actually co-wrote it with Robert Yount in 1949. As they were working at that time with Dub Williams, a pseudonym of James Pebworth, they gave him one-third of the song.

Can’t Smile Without You

First recorded by David Martin (1975).
First released by The Carpenters (1976).
Also recorded by Engelbert Humperdinck (1976).
Hit version by Barry Manilow (US #3/MOR #1 1978).

From the wiki: “‘Can’t Smile Without You’ was written by David Martin, Christian Arnold and Geoff Morrow, and was first recorded by Martin in 1975. The Carpenters covered the song on their 1976 album A Kind of Hush, and it was featured as the B-side of their hit ‘Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft’ the following year. Engelbert Humperdinck also recorded the song in 1976, using the same lyrics as the original Carpenters version, on his After the Lovin’ album.

“‘Can’t Smile Without You’ was the first single to be released from Barry Manilow’s 1978 album Even Now, reaching the #1 spot on Billboard’s MOR chart and the #3 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.”

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