Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Jackie DeShannon

Needles and Pins

First recorded by Jackie DeShannon (US #84/CAN #1 1963).
Other hit version by The Searchers (US #13/UK #1 1964).

From the wiki: “‘Needles and Pins’ was written by Jack Nitzsche and Sonny Bono. Jackie DeShannon (‘What the World Needs Now’, ‘Bette Davis Eyes‘) recorded the original in 1963 on Liberty Records, but her version stalled at #84 on the Hot 100.

“DeShannon explained (via why her recording didn’t hit:

‘There were a lot of issues with the record company, a lot of marketing things I wasn’t happy with. For instance, ‘Needles And Pins’ was Top 5 in Detroit, Top 5 in Chicago, and Top 5 in every city it was played in. However, unless you’re coordinated across the country and the song hits the charts at the same time, you can’t get the big leaps. My record didn’t have [momentum], because it would be going down in Chicago while it was going up in some other city. So that was a problem.’

Bette Davis Eyes

Co-written and first recorded Jackie DeShannon (1974).
Hit version by Kim Carnes (US #1/MOR #15/UK #10 1981).

From the wiki: “‘Bette Davis Eyes’ is a classic hit song written by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon, and made popular by American singer-songwriter Kim Carnes. It spent nine weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Billboard’s biggest hit of the entire year for 1981. The recording won the 1982 Grammy Awards for both Record of the Year and Song of the Year.