Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Little Willie John

Talk to Me

First recorded (as “Talk to Me, Talk to Me”) by Little Willie John (US #20/R&B #5 1958).
Also recorded by Joe Seneca (1960), Jean DuShon (1961), The Beach Boys (1976).
Hit versions by Sunny & The Sunglows (US #11/R&B #12 1963) and Mickey Gilley (C&W #1/CAN #1 1982).

From the wiki: “‘Talk to Me’ (or ‘Talk to Me, Talk to Me’) is a song written by Joe Seneca. Originally recorded in 1958 by Little Willie John, whose version charted #5 R&B and #20 Pop, ‘Talk to Me’ was also recorded by Seneca himself in 1960 and covered by numerous other performers, including Jean DuShon (1961, produced by Phil Spector), Sunny & the Sunglows (1963), The Beach Boys, whose version was released on their 1976 album 15 Big Ones, and Mickey Gilley (1982).


Originally recorded by Little Willie John (US #24/R&B #1 1956).
Other hit versions by Peggy Lee (US #8/UK #5 1958), Helen Shapiro (UK #38 1964), The McCoys (US #7/UK #44 1965), Madonna (DANCE #1/UK #6 1993).
Also recorded (as “Fiebre”) by La Lupe (1963), La Lupe (1968).

From the wiki: “The idea for the song was presented to Otis Blackwell (‘All Shook Up‘, ‘Don’t Be Cruel’, ‘Great Balls of Fire’) by an old friend, Eddie Cooley. Blackwell said: ‘Eddie Cooley was a friend of mine from New York and he called me up and said ‘Man, I got an idea for a song called Fever, but I canĀ“t finish it. I had to write it under another name [‘John Davenport’] because, at that time, I was still under contract to Joe Davis.’

“Little Willie John reportedly disliked the song, but was persuaded to record it on March 1, 1956. His version was released in April 1956 and became a double-sided hit along with the top-ten R&B song ‘Letter from My Darling’. ‘Fever’ reached #1 for three weeks on the R&B Best Sellers chart. It also made the pop charts, peaking at #24 on the Billboard chart.