Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Huey “Piano” Smith

Rockin’ Pneumonia & the Boogie Woogie Flu

Written and first recorded (as “Tu-Ber-Cu-Lucas and the Sinus Blues”) by Huey “Piano” Smith (1957).
Hit versions by Huey “Piano” Smith & The Clowns (US #52/R&B #5 1957), Johnny Rivers (US #6/AUS #27/NZ #11 1972).
Also recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis (1965), Chris Farlowe (1966), David Lindley (1981).

From the wiki: “In 1955, Huey ‘Piano’ Smith turned 21, and became the piano player with Little Richard’s first band for Specialty Records. The same year Smith also played piano on several studio sessions for other artists such as Lloyd Price; one of the sessions resulted in the Smiley Lewis hit, ‘I Hear You Knocking‘.

“In 1957, Smith formed ‘Huey ‘Piano’ Smith and His Clowns’ and signed a long-term contract with Ace Records. The group hit the Billboard charts with several singles in succession, including ‘Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu’, first recorded as ‘Tu-Ber-Cu-Lucas and the Sinus Blues’ in 1957 and released as the B-side to ‘Dearest Darling’.

Sea Cruise

Written and first recorded by Huey “Piano” Smith & His Clowns (1959).
Hit version by Frankie Ford (US #14/R&B #11 1959).

From the wiki: “Ace Record’s biggest act in 1958 was Huey ‘Piano’ Smith and the Clowns, who had scored with ‘Rockin’ Pneumonia And the Boogie Woogie Flu’ and ‘Don’t You Just Know It’ and were chart in early 1959 with ‘Don’t You Know Yockomo’. Huey and his Clowns had cut two sides, “Sea Cruise” and ‘Loberta’, which Ace owner Johnny Vincent considered to have hit potential, but he felt both recordings needed some improvement.