Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Kenny Lynch

Mountain of Love

Written and first recorded by Harold Dorman (US #21 1959).
Other hit versions by Kenny Lynch (UK #33 1960), Johnny Rivers (US #9/CAN #4/AUS #19 1964), Charlie Pride (C&W #1/CAN #1 1981).

From the wiki: “‘Mountain of Love’ was written by Harold Dorman who first recorded the song in 1959, releasing it as a single in 1960 that peaked in the Top 40 at #21.

“In 1960, UK singer Kenny Lynch covered ‘Mountain of Love’ for the UK market, becoming his first charting single on the UK Singles chart. (Trivia: Lynch was on the same bill as the Beatles for their first UK tour, with the top-billed Helen Shapiro, in early 1963, and made the acquaintance of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Later that year, he would become the first singer to cover a Beatles song (‘Misery’). In 1973, Lynch would also be among the celebrities appearing on the album cover of Wings’ Band on the Run.)

“A Johnny Rivers 1964 cover recording went Top 10 in the US and Top 5 in Canada. Charlie Pride topped the US Country singles chart in 1981 with his cover of ‘Mountain of Love’, his 26th #1 country hit.”

Up on the Roof

First recorded (as a demo) by Little Eva (1962).
Hit versions by The Drifters (US #5/R&B #4 1963), Kenny Lynch (UK #10 1962), Julie Grant (UK #33 1963), The Cryan’ Shames (US #85 1968), Laura Nyro (US #92 1970), James Taylor (US #28 1980), Robson & Jerome (UK #1 1995).
Also recorded by Carole King (1970).

From the wiki: “‘Up on the Roof’ is a song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, first recorded as a demo in 1962 by Little Eva – their 14-year old babysitter whose singing career Goffin and King had helped launched with ‘The Loco-Motion’ and who the songwriting pair often used for demos. The song was then recorded and commercially released first by The Drifters in July 1962, becoming a major hit in early 1963, peaking at #5 the week of February 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #4 on the US R&B Singles chart.

“In the UK the Drifters’ version of ‘Up on the Roof’ failed to reach the Top 50, being trumped by two local cover versions, sung by, respectively, Julie Grant and Kenny Lynch (‘Mountain of Love‘).

“The Kenny Lynch version, which largely replicated the Drifters’ original, was the more successful, reaching #10 UK. The Julie Grant version, which reached #33 UK, was reinvented as a Merseybeat number. Its producer, Tony Hatch, would later be inspired to write Petula Clark’s iconic hit ‘Downtown’, which itself was originally envisioned as being in the style of the Drifters, with whom Hatch had hoped to place it.

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