Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: J.D. Loudermilk


Co-written and first recorded by Bob Gibson (1957).
Hit version by George Hamilton IV (US #15/C&W #1 1963).

From the wiki: “‘Abilene’ was written by Bob Gibson, Lester Brown and John D. Loudermilk (‘Indian Reservation‘, ‘Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye‘), and first recorded by Gibson in 1957. When covered by George Hamilton IV (and produced by Chet Atkins), in 1963, the song reached # on the US Country Singles chart for four weeks, also peaking at #15 on the Billboard Hot 100. Hamilton also performed ‘Abilene’ in the 1963 movie Hootenanny Hoot.

Tobacco Road

Written and first recorded by J.D. Loudermilk (1960).
Hit version by The Nashiville Teens (US #14/UK #6 1964).
Also recorded by Edgar Winter (1970).

From the wiki: “‘Tobacco Road’ is a song written and first recorded by John D. Loudermilk (‘Indian Reservation‘, ‘Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye‘) in 1960 that was a hit for The Nashville Teens in 1964 and has since become a standard across several musical genres.

“Originally framed as a folk song, ‘Tobacco Road’ was a semi-autobiographical tale of growing up in Durham, North Carolina. It was not a hit for Loudermilk, achieving only minor chart success in Australia. Other artists, however, immediately began recording and performing the song.

Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye

First recorded by Don Cherry (1962).
Also recorded by J.D. Loudermilk, writer (1967).
Hit versions by The Casinos (US #6/UK #28/CAN #57 1967), Eddy Arnold (C&W #1 1968), Glen Campbell (recorded as “Don’t Pull Your Love/Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye” US #27/MOR #1/C&W #4 1976), Neal McCoy (C&W #4 1996).

From the wiki: “‘Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye’ was written by John D. Loudermilk (‘Indian Reservation‘, ‘Tobacco Road‘). It was first released in 1962 by Don Cherry, as a country song, without any chart impact.

“In 1967, ‘Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye’ was recorded in a doo-wop style by the pop vocal group The Casinos. Their arrangement became a US Top-10 and a UK Top-30 hit. Country crooner Eddy Arnold, in 1968, returned the song to the Country Singles chart with his #1 arrangement.