Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Kathy Young & The Innocents

Gee Whiz

First recorded by Bob & Earl (1958).
Hit version by The Innocents (US #18 1960).

From the wiki: “‘Gee Whiz’ was one of two similarly-titled songs that charted in 1960. This version, written by Jeanne Vicki and Jimmie Thomas (the latter an alias for Chess Records owner Leon René), was first recorded in 1958 by Bob & Earl, Bobby Day (née Bobby Byrd) and Earl Nelson. Both authors had also collaborated earlier Day’s #1 hit ‘Rockin’ Robin’ in 1958. (Note: Day left the duo in 1960, and was replaced by Bob Relf. It was the Relf/Nelson ‘Bob and Earl’ who would go on to record ‘Harlem Shuffle‘ in 1963, Bob and Earl’s only chart success.)

“‘Gee Whiz’ was covered in 1960 by The Innocents, the group who had backed up Kathy Young on ‘A Thousand Stars‘, with a single that peaked in the US Top-20.”

A Thousand Stars

Originally recorded by The Rivileers (1954).
Hit version by Kathy Young & The Innocents (US #3/R&B #6 1960).

From the wiki: “The Rivileers were an R&B quintet who recorded for the Sol Rabinowitz’s New York City-based Baton Record label. ‘A Thousand Stars’ was the label’s first release. (The label’s most enduring hit is arguably ‘Got My Mo-Jo Working‘, first recorded by singer Ann Cole in 1957.)