Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Jim Weatherly

Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)

Written and first recorded by Jim Weatherly (1972).
Hit versions by Bob Luman (C&W #7 1973), Gladys Knight & The Pips (US #2/R&B #1/UK #31 1973), David Sanborn (R&B #56 1983).

From the wiki: “‘Neither One of Us’ was written and first recorded by Jim Weatherly, found on his 1972 album Weatherly. Weatherly was an All-American quarterback at the University of Mississippi before choosing songwriting over a football career. Bob Luman charted first with ‘Neither One of Us’, making it into the Top 10 Country in 1973.

Midnight Train to Georgia

Written and first recorded (as “Midnight Plane to Houston”) by Jim Weatherly (1972).
Hit versions by Cissy Houston (R&B #45 1973), Gladys Knight & The Pips (US #1/R&B #1/UK #10 1973).

From the wiki: “The song was originally written and performed by Jim Weatherly (‘(You’re the) Best Thing That Ever Happened‘) under the title ‘Midnight Plane to Houston’, recorded for Amos Records.

“‘It was based on a conversation I had with somebody… about taking a midnight plane to Houston,’ Weatherly recalls. ‘I wrote it as a kind of a country song. Then we sent the song to a guy named Sonny Limbo in Atlanta and he wanted to cut it with Cissy Houston (mother of Whitney Houston) … He asked if I minded if he changed the title to ‘Midnight Train to Georgia.’ And I said, I don’t mind. Just don’t change the rest of the song.’ Houston took Weatherly’s song into the R&B chart under the title ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’.

(You’re the) Best Thing That Ever Happened

First recorded by Danny Thomas (1973).
First single release by Ray Price (C&W #1 1973).
Also recorded by Dean Martin (1973).
Hit versions by Gladys Knight & The Pips (US #3/R&B #1/UK #7 February 1974), The Persuaders (US #85/R&B #29 March 1974).

From the wiki: “‘You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me’ — also known simply as ‘Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me’ — is a song written by Jim Weatherly, and enjoyed two runs of popularity, each by an artist in a different genre. The song’s first run of popularity, as ‘You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me,’ came in 1973. That’s when Country singer Ray Price took the song to #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart on October 6, 1973.

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