Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Gloria Estefan

This Christmas

Co-written and first recorded by Donny Hathaway (XMAS #11 1970).
Other popular versions by Gladys Knight & The Pips (1980), Yutaka Yokokura (1988), Gloria Estefan (1993).

From the wiki: “‘This Christmas’ is a well-known Christmas song originally recorded by R&B singer-songwriter Donny Hathaway (under the stage name ‘Donny Pitts’) and released as a single in 1970, peaking that year at #11 on the Billboard Christmas Singles chart.

“In 1980, Gladys Knight & the Pips recorded ‘This Christmas’ for their holiday album That Special Time of Year, re-released in 2013 on The Classic Christmas Album. Japanese jazz artist Yutaka Yokokura’s recording was one of several Christmastime songs by various artists included on the 1988 holiday compilation album The GRP All Star Christmas Collection. Gloria Estefan, in 1993, included ‘This Christmas’ on her holiday album Christmas Through Your Eyes.”

Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me

First recorded by Noble & King (1951).
Hit versions by Karen Chandler (US #5 1952), Muriel Smith (UK #3 1953), Mel Carter (US #8/MOR #1 1965), Johnny & Jonie Mosby (C&W #38 1969), Gloria Estefan (UK #11/IRE #22 1994).
Also recorded by The Orioles (1953), Connie Francis (1959).

Noble & King (1951) [No video available]

From the wiki: “‘Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me’ was written by Harry Noble in 1952. It became a hit in three different decades and is considered a classic of the early Rock/Pop era. The Karen Chandler recording became a US Top 10 hit in 1952; as was often the case with songs of that era, a version was also separately recorded for the UK market – by British singer Muriel Smith – and it became a Top 5 hit in Britain in 1953.

Turn the Beat Around

First recorded by Vicki Sue Robinson (US #10 1976).
Also recorded by Laura Branigan (1990).
Other hit version by Gloria Estefan (US #13/UK #21 1994).

From the wiki: “”Turn the Beat Around” was written by brothers Gerald and Peter Jackson of the R&B outfit Touch of Class. Vicki Sue Robinson recorded her version on September 26, 1975 cutting her lead vocal in a single take after recording her own multi-tracked chorale vocals.

“Like the other cuts on Robinsons’s debut album Never Gonna Let You Go, ‘Turn the Beat Around’ was recorded at RCA Studios with producer Warren Schatz who recalls the basic master of the song was recorded ‘on a Friday after a very depressing week of rain [and] I hated [the track]! I listened to it in my office and I just couldn’t get it. It had been such a bad week that I just couldn’t hear anything with an open mind. Then David Todd, the head of disco promotion at RCA, came into my office and he went crazy over the track! He convinced me to finish it as soon as possible.’

Everlasting Love

Originally recorded by Robert Knight (US #13/UK #40 1967 |UK reissue #19 1974).
Hit versions by Love Affair (UK #1 1968), Carl Carlton (US #6/R&B #11 1974), Narvel Felts (C&W #14 1979), Rex Smith & Rachel Sweet (US #32/UK #35 1981), U2 (AUS #2/POL #3/NETH #10 1989), Gloria Estefan (US #28/UK #19 1994).
Also recorded by David Ruffin (1969).

From the wiki: “‘Everlasting Love’ is one of two songs (the other being ‘The Way You Do the Things You Do’, by The Temptations, Rita Coolidge, Hall & Oates & UB40) to become a Top 40 hit in the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. The original version of ‘Everlasting Love’ was recorded by Robert Knight, at Fred Foster Sound Studio, Nashville. His producers, Buzz Cason and Mac Gayden, aimed to record him in a Motown style with an especial reference to the Four Tops and the Temptations, intending the song to serve as B-side for another titled ‘The Weeper’.

“Cason believes he may have drawn the phrase ‘everlasting love’ from the Biblical verse Jeremiah 31.3 which begins: ‘Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love’. According to Cason, the recording ‘had some different sounds on it that, for the time period, were kind of innovative. The string sound is actually an organ and we used a lot of echo.’ Ultimately, ‘Everlasting Love’ was released as an A-side for Knight, and it peaked at #13 in 1967 on the Billboard Hot 100.