Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Little Anthony & The Imperials

Hurt (Juice Newton)

First recorded by Roy Hamilton (R&B #8 1954).
Other hit versions by Timi Yuro (US #4/MOR #2/R&B #22 1961), Little Anthony & the Imperials (US #55 1966), Fausto Leali (as “A Chi” ITA #1 1967), Connie Cato (C&W #14 1975), The Manhattans (US #97/R&B #10/UK #4 1976), Elvis Presley (US #28/MOR #7/C&W #6/UK #37 1976), Juice Newton (C&W #1 1985).
Also recorded by Carly Simon (1981).

From the wiki: “‘Hurt’ was written by Jimmie Crane and Al Jacobs, and was first recorded by Roy Hamilton (‘Unchained Melody‘, ‘Don’t Let Go‘), whose version peaked at #8 on the R&B Best Seller chart and spent a total of seven weeks on the chart.

“The song is considered to be the signature hit of Timi Yuro, whose version peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961. But,

Hurt So Bad

First recorded by Little Anthony & the Imperials (US #10/R&B #5 1964).
Other hit versions by The Letterman (US #12/MOR #2/CAN #14 1969), Philly Devotions (Dance #10 1976), Linda Ronstadt (US #8/MOR #25/CAN #27 1980).
Also recorded by Willie Bobo (1965), El Chicano (1970), Bobby Hart, co-writer (1979).

From the wiki: “‘Hurt So Bad’ was written especially for Little Anthony & the Imperials by Teddy Randazzo, Bobby Weinstein, and Bobby Hart. It was the follow-up to the hit single ‘Goin’ Out of My Head’ and, like that single, became a Billboard Top-10 hit as well as a Top Five R&B hit.

“After writing ‘Come A Little Bit Closer’ with Tommy Boyce for Jay & the Americans, Bobby Hart signed with DCP Records and sang background when Randazzo performed in Las Vegas. When label head Don Costa asked for another hit for Little Anthony, Hart, Randazzo and Weinstein went to a conference room between sets and came up with “Hurt So Bad,” a song about a man who feels intense pain when he sees his former love.

Shimmy, Shimmy Ko-Ko Bop

First recorded (as “(Shimmy Shimmy) Ko Ko Wop”) by The El Capris (1956).
Hit version by Little Anthony & The Imperials (US #24/R&B #14 1960).

From the wiki: “The El Capris formed in 1954, in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They were neighborhood friends, all of whom were between 13 and 14 years old. They decided to call themselves the ‘Bluebirds’ but with a twist: Believing that the Spanish for ‘bluebird’ was ‘capri’, they settled on the ‘El Capris’ – ignoring the fact that ‘el’ is used grammatically in the singular … and that ‘capri’ does not mean ‘bluebird’. None of this, however, had any relevance to their singing talent which they used to win a contest, at school in 1955. The prize was an audition for Woody Henderling, owner of New York City’s Bullseye label. He liked what he heard, and in late 1955, he put them in a studio at WHOD Radio in Homestead, PA, recording two songs.

“One of the sides they recorded was titled ‘(Shimmy Shimmy) Ko Ko Wop’, written by three of the group’s members, ames Scott, James Ward and Leon Gray. The record was released in March of 1956, but went nowhere.