Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Joe Simon

Misty Blue

First recorded by Wilma Burgess (C&W #4 1966).
Other hit versions by Eddy Arnold (US #57/C&W #3 1967), Joe Simon (US #91/R&B #47 1972), Dorothy Moore (US #3/R&B #2/UK #5/CAN #4/AUS #6 1976).

From the wiki: “Bob Montgomery wrote the song with Brenda Lee in mind. He recalls, ‘I wrote ‘Misty Blue’ in about twenty minutes. It was a gift and it was perfect for Brenda Lee, but she turned it down. Her producer Owen Bradley loved the song [but] as he couldn’t push her to do it, he cut it country-style with Wilma Burgess.’

“Eddy Arnold covered ‘Misty Blue’ in a Chet Atkins-produced session at the RCA Victor Studio, Nashville, in April 1966. Included on his 1966 album The Last Word in Lonesome, Arnold’s ‘Misty Blue’ had a belated single release in May 1967 to introduce The Best of Eddy Arnold compilation album. Besides bettering Burgess’ success on the Country chart with the song, Arnold’s ‘Misty Blue’ became the first version of the song to crossover to the Pop field, reaching #57 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1967.

Help Me Make It Through the Night

Written and first recorded by Kris Kristofferson (1970).
Hit versions by Sammi Smith (US #8/C&W #1 1971), Joe Simon (US #69/R&B #13 1971), Gladys Knight & The Pips (US #33/R&B #13/UK #11 1972).
Also recorded by Elvis Presley (1971), Joan Baez (1971), Jerry Lee Lewis (1971), Dottie West (1971), Bryan Ferry (1974).

From the wiki: “Kris Kristofferson wrote ‘Help Me Make It’ while sweeping floors and emptying ashtrays at Columbia Records studios in Nashville, and said that he got the inspiration for the song from an Esquire magazine interview with Frank Sinatra. When asked what he believed in, Frank replied, ‘Booze, broads, or a Bible…whatever helps me make it through the night.’