Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Loggins & Messina

A Lover’s Question

Co-written and first recorded by Brook Benton (1958).
Hit versions by Clyde McPhatter (US #6/R&B #1 1958), Del Reeves (C&W #14 1970), Jacky Ward (C&W #3 1978).
Also recorded by Loggins & Messina (1975).

From the wiki: “‘A Lover’s Question’ was written by Brook Benton (‘Rainy Night in Georgia‘) and Jimmy T. Williams, and first recorded by Benton in 1958. That same year, it was covered by Clyde McPhatter (formerly of The Dominoes and founder of The Drifters) and became his most successful solo pop or R&B release. Only 39 at the time of his death in 1972, McPhatter struggled for years with alcoholism and depression and was, according to Jay Warner’s On This Day in Music History, ‘broke and despondent over a mismanaged career that made him a legend but hardly a success.’

“McPhatter was the first artist in music history to become a double inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame … first as a member of The Drifters and, later, as a solo artist and, as a result, all subsequent double and/or triple inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are said to be members of ‘The Clyde McPhatter Club’.

A Love Song

Written and first recorded by Loggins & Messina (1973).
Hit version by Anne Murray (US #12/C&W #5/CAN #1 1974).

From the wiki: “‘A Love Song’ was first recorded and released by Loggins & Messina on their 1973 album Full Sail but had been written by Kenny Loggins and Donna Lyn George specifically for Anne Murray who, a year earlier, had had great chart success with another Loggins composition, ‘Danny’s Song‘. ‘A Love Song’ was later recorded and released in late 1973 by Murray as the second single from her album Love Song. Her version would go on to win a Grammy award in 1974 for Best Country Vocal Performance.”

Return to Pooh Corner

First recorded (as “House at Pooh Corner”) by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (US #53 1970).
Also recorded (as “House at Pooh Corner”) by Loggins & Messina (1971).
Hit version by Kenny Loggins & Amy Grant (US #25 1994).

From the wiki: “‘House at Pooh Corner’ was written by Kenny Loggins, while still in high school, based on the popular children’s book of the same name. “Pooh Corner” would be first recorded in 1970 by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band for the album Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy.

“Loggins would then, in 1971, cover his own song with his producer and duo partner, Jim Messina, for their debut album Sittin’ In (on which also appeared the his ‘Danny’s Song’). In 1994, after the birth of his third child, Loggins (with Amy Grant) re-recorded the song, adding an additional verse, as ‘Return to Pooh Corner’.”

Danny’s Song

First recorded by Gator Creek (1970).
Also recorded by Loggins & Messina (1971).
Hit version Anne Murray (US #7/C&W #10/MOR #1/CAN #1 1973).

From the wiki: “‘Danny’s Song’ was written by singer-songwriter Kenny Loggins as a gift for his brother Danny and the birth of his son, Colin. ‘Danny’s Song’ was first recorded for an album by Loggins’ first group, Gator Creek, in 1970 and, a year later, on the album Sittin’ In, the debut album by Loggins and Messina.