Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: James & Bobby Purify

Let Love Come Between Us

First recorded by The Rubber Band (1966).
Hit version by James & Bobby Purify (US #23/R&B #18 1967).

From “‘Let Love Come Between Us” was written by Joe Sobotka and John Wyker, of the Alabama group The Rubber Band, and first recorded by the group in 1966. The song would later be covered by James and Bobby Purify (‘I’m Your Puppet‘) and achieve chart success a year later. The Rubber Band was fronted by Johnny Townsend, who later had a hit with ‘Smoke From A Distant Fire’ as half of the Sanford-Townsend Band.

“In an odd, unfortunate twist of fate, Townsend recalls, ‘Our version [of ‘Let Love Come Between Us’] on Columbia Records was considered a turntable hit in that it went to #1 on the radio in 20 major cities in the US. But, Columbia didn’t get any records in the stores because they didn’t even know it was their record. We were such novices in the business that it got by us and was gone before we knew it. It did however give us a taste of success and we wanted more.'”

I’m Your Puppet

Co-written and first recorded by Dan Penn (1965).
Hit version by James & Bobby Purify (US #6/R&B #5 1966 |UK #12 1976).

From the wiki: “Dan Penn’s writing credits read like a soul jukebox. Often working with his friend Spooner Oldham, Penn (who kept busy performing, producing and songwriting at Muscle Shoal’s famed FAME studio) was behind many of the defining songs from the most celebrated black singers of the Sixties: James Carr’s ‘The Dark End of the Street’; Aretha Franklin’s ‘Do Right Man, Do Right Woman’; Percy Sledge’s ‘It Tears Me Up’; Otis Redding’s ‘You Left The Water Running’; and James and Bobby Purify’s ‘I’m Your Puppet’.