Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Gary “U.S.” Bonds

Jolé Blon

First recorded (as “Ma blonde est partie”) by Amede, Ophy & Cleoma Breaux (1929).
Hit version by Red Foley (C&W #1 1947).
Also recorded by Waylon Jennings (1958), Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band (1980), Gary “U.S.” Bonds (1981).

From the wiki: “‘Jolé Blon’ is a traditional Cajun waltz, often called ‘the Cajun national anthem’ because of the popularity it had in Cajun culture’; is considered to be the very first Cajun recording. The song was then later popularized on a nationwide scale by a series of renditions and references in late 1940s country songs. There is some mystery to the song’s origin: According to Cleoma Breaux’s daughter, while Amede Breaux is credited with writing the song, it was his sister, Cleoma, who actually wrote the lyrics and Amede sang the song. Dennis McGee claims the original song was written by Angelas Lejeune as ‘La Fille De La Veuve (The Widows Daughter)’ during WWI and Cleoma simply rewrote the lyrics, allegedly about Amede’s first wife.

Quarter to Three

Based on “A Night with Daddy G – Part 1” by The Church Street Five (1961).
Hit version by Gary “U.S.” Bonds (US #1/R&B #3/UK #7 1962).
Also performed by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band (1975).

From the wiki: “‘Quarter to Three’ was adapted and expanded from ‘A Night with Daddy ‘G’ – Part 1′, a 1961 instrumental recording by the Church Street Five and written by written by Gene Barge, Frank Guida (‘If You Wanna Be Happy‘), and Joseph Royster. ‘Daddy G’ was saxophone player Gene Barge, who would go on to be featured on all Gary ‘U.S.’ Bonds’ hits. Barge’s group, The Church Street Five, scored a bubbling-under hit with ‘A Night With Daddy ‘G” before Bonds would compose a vocal arrangement for the song (listed under his birth name, Gary Anderson). It was co-writer Guida who discovered and named Bonds, and the recording of ‘Quarter to Three’ took place during a party celebrating Bond’s first hit ‘New Orleans’.


First recorded (as an outtake) by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band (1976, released 2010).
Commercially-released by Greg Kihn (1979), Gary “U.S.” Bonds (1982).
Also recorded (live) by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band (1980, released 1998).

From the wiki: “‘Rendezvous’ was written by Bruce Springsteen during the recording sessions for the Darkness On The Edge of Town album but was not included in the album’s final release because Bruce felt it could interrupt the sonic intensity of the album.

“After making a guest appearance with The Knack at L.A.’s The Troubadour club in October 1978, Springsteen first offered the group ‘Rendezvous’ or ‘Don’t Look Back’ for their debut album, Get the Knack, but later had second thoughts thinking his own ‘Rendezvous’ recording would be included in the final mix of Darkness On The Edge of Town and requested they not record it.

“After his appearance with The Knack the group’s Bruce Gary recalls, ‘I asked Bruce if he had any songs that The Knack might use in our stage show, and he offered two unreleased numbers, ‘Rendezvous’ and ‘Don’t Look Back.’ The band selected ‘Don’t Look Back,’ which was ‘Knackified’ and recorded in one take at MCA Whitney studios in April, 1979. The tune was originally scheduled to appear on the Get The Knack album, but was pulled at the request of Springsteen’s management in order to allow him to release the song first.’ (But that did not happen. Ironically, the Knack’s ‘Don’t Look Back’ would ultimately be released first … in 1992 on the compilation album Retrospective, six years before the official release of Springsteen’s own studio recording on Tracks in 1998.)

“Bruce ultimately offered ‘Rendezvous’ to another Springsteen devotee, Greg Kihn (‘because I liked the way he did ‘For You’ on that early album’), who released it in 1979 on the Greg Kihn Band album With the Naked Eye.

“‘Rendezvous’ was covered again in 1982 by Gary ‘U.S.’ Bonds with a recording produced by Springsteen, a Bonds devotee, and Stevie Van Zandt, and backed by Springsteen’s E Street Band. After recording the album, Columbia Records had Bruce Springsteen remove his vocals from the tracks he backed on Bond’s On The Line album (distributed by competitor EMI Records), with some rerecorded with Van Zandt. Even so, Springsteen can still be heard on several of the tracks, including ‘Rendezvous’, but he is not credited in the original liner notes.