Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Freddy Fender

Since I Met You Baby

Written and first recorded by Ivory Joe Hunter (US #12/R&B #1 1956).
Other hit versions by Mindy Carson (US #34 1956), Bobby Vee (B-side US #81 1960), Sonny James (C&W #1 1969).
Also recorded (as “Desde que conozco”) by Freddy Fender (US #45/C&W #10 1975).

From the wiki: “‘Since I Met You Baby’ was written and first recorded by pianist Ivory Joe Hunter. The song, which Hunter recorded and charted with in 1956, has since become an American R&B standard, and saw renewed popularity in 1969 when Country music artist Sonny James released his #1 version. Hunter had already tasted major success with Pop and R&B audiences with songs such as ‘I Almost Lost My Mind‘. He moved to Atlantic Records by 1954, and around that time wrote ‘Since I Met You Baby’. Hunter’s recording topped the Billboard R&B chart for three weeks in 1956 and became his sole Billboard Hot 100 entry, peaking at #12.

Wasted Days and Wasted Nights

First recorded by Freddy Fender (1959).
Hit version by Freddy Fender (US #8/C&W #1/NZ #1 1974).
Also recorded by Texas Tornados (1999).

From the wiki: “Freddy Fender wrote and first recorded ‘Wasted Days and Wasted Nights’ as a smoky rhythm & blues ballad during the early stages of his career. He was in the process of perfecting his mesh of Rockabilly and Tejano, and the song showcased his new style. First released in 1959 on the small Duncan Records label, the song became a minor national hit in 1960 (Cashbox Magazine #82) on the more widely-distributed Imperial label. But, Fender was arrested on charges of marijuana possession and, in May 1960, he was convicted and jailed. The popularity of the song, along with Fender’s own popularity, plummeted.

“Flash-forward to 1975: With the help of record producer Huey P. Meaux (‘Talk to Me‘, Sir Douglas Quintet), Fender re-recorded ‘Wasted Days and Wasted Nights’. This time, the song became a major Country and Pop hit, topping the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in August 1975 and peaking at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Before the Next Teardrop Falls

First recorded by Duane Dee (C&W #44 1968).
Also recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis (1969).
Other hit versions by Linda Martell (C&W #33 1970), Freddy Fender (US #1/C&W #1 1975).

From the wiki: “‘Before the Next Teardrop Falls’ was written in the late 1960s by Vivian Keith and Ben Peters, and had been recorded more than two dozen times – achieving modest success in versions by various performers (the original version by Duane Dee reached #44 on the Billboard country chart in early 1968; Linda Martell sent her version to #33 in early 1970) before becoming a chart-topping hit for Freddy Fender.

The Wild Side of Life

Inspired by “Thrills That I Can’t Forget” by ‘John Ferguson’ (1925).
Inspired by “I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes” by The Carter Family (1929).
Inspired by “Great Speckled Bird” by Roy Acuff (1936).
First recorded (as “Wild Side of Life”) by Jimmie Heap & The Melody Masters (1951).
Hit versions by Hank Thompson (C&W #1 1952), Burl Ives & Grady Martin & His Slew Foot Five (US #30/C&W #6 1952), Tommy Quickly & The Remo 4 (UK #33 1964), Freddy Fender (C&W #13 1976), Status Quo (UK #9 1976).

From the wiki: “‘The Wild Side of Life’ carries one of the most distinctive melodies of early country music, used in ‘Thrills That I Can’t Forget’ (recorded by Welby Toomey, using the pseudonym ‘John Ferguson’ in 1925), ‘I’m Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes’ (by the Carter Family in 1929), and ‘Great Speckled Bird’ (by Roy Acuff in 1936). That, along with the song’s story of a woman shedding her role as domestic provider to follow the night life, combined to become one of the most famous country songs of the early 1950s when recorded as ‘Wild Side of Life’, first by Jimmie Heap & the Melodie Masters and, then, a #1 hit by Hank Thompson.

“According to Country music historian Bill Malone, ‘Wild Side’ co-writer William Warren was inspired to create the song after his experiences with a young woman he met when he was younger — a honky-tonk angel, as it were — who ‘found the glitter of the gay night life too hard to resist.’