Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Larry Williams

Dizzy Miss Lizzy

Written and first recorded by Larry Williams (US #69 1958).
Also recorded by Ronnie Hawkins & the Hawks (1959), The Fabulous Echoes (1965), The Plastic Ono Band (1969).
Hit album version by The Beatles (1965).

From the wiki: “‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’ was composed and first recorded by Larry Williams (‘Nobody‘) in 1958, sharing some similarities with the Little Richard-composed hit ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’. Williams’ original recording peaked at #69 on the Billboard Hot 100 but failed to chart R&B.

“The song has been covered many times, including, and most notably by, the Beatles on the 1965 Help! album. (The recording was initially intended for the 1965 American album Beatles VI, along with the Larry Williams cover, ‘Bad Boy’, recorded by the group on the same day.) Paul McCartney has stated that he believes ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’ to be one of the Beatles’ best recordings.


First recorded by Larry Williams & Johnny Watson with The Kaleidescope (1967).
Bubblin’-Under Hit version by Three Dog Night (US #116 1968).

From the wiki: “The Kaleidoscope (featuring Chris Darrow, Earl Palmer and future Jackson Browne/Warren Zevon sideman David Lindley). Kaleidoscope returned briefly for studio work to back Larry Williams and Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson on their 1967 single ‘Nobody’. (The group would later back Leonard Cohen on ‘So Long Marianne’ and ‘Teachers’ on Cohen’s first album.) ‘Nobody’ would be covered in 1968 by Three Dog Night and released as that group’s very first single.

“Larry Williams was making comeback in the mid-1960s while, at the same time, luring Little Richard back into secular music. Williams produced two Little Richard albums for Okeh Records in 1966 and 1967, returning Little Richard to the Billboard album chart for the first time in ten years. Williams also acted as the music director for the Little Richard’s live performances at the Okeh Club. Bookings for Little Richard during this period skyrocketed. Williams also recorded and released material of his own and with Watson, with some moderate chart success.