Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Muscle Shoals Studio


Written and originally recorded by Otis Redding (US #35/R&B #4 1965).
Other hit version by Aretha Franklin (US #1/R&B #1/UK #10/CAN #3/AUS #14 1967).

From the wiki: “Essentially a ballad, ‘Respect’ was written by Otis Redding for Speedo Sims, who intended to record it with his band, the Singing Demons, but was unable to produce a good version. Redding then decided to sing the song himself, which Speedo agreed to. (Redding also promised to credit Speedo on the liner notes, but this never happened.)

Mustang Sally

Written and first recorded by “Sir” Mack Rice (R&B #15 1965).
Other hit versions by Wilson Pickett (US #23/R&B #6/UK #28 1967 |UK #62 1987), The Commitments (UK #63 1991).

From the wiki: “According to music historian Tom Shannon the song started as a joke. Mack Rice wrote a song called ‘Mustang Mama’ after visiting his friend, the actress/singer Della Reese, in New York City. Reese told him that she was thinking about buying her drummer a new Lincoln for his birthday, which Rice, being from Detroit, thought was a great idea. When Rice mentioned this to Shields, the drummer replied, ‘I don’t want a Lincoln, I want a Mustang.’

“As Rice then explains, on the 2007 Rhythm & Blues Cruise, he had never heard of a Mustang before but Shields filled him in. Rice couldn’t believe Shields wanted such a small car instead of a big ol’ Lincoln. When he returned to Detroit, Rice started writing the song, with the chorus ‘Ride, Sally, ride.’ Rice’s publisher knew Aretha Franklin well, and brought Rice by her house for a visit; he sang some of the song for her; Franklin suggested he change the title to ‘Mustang Sally’ to better suit the chorus.

(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me

First recorded (as a demo) by Dionne Warwick (1963).
Hit versions by Lou Johnson (US #49 1964), Sandi Shaw (US #52/UK #1/CAN #1/AUS #16 1964), Dionne Warwick B-side re-recording (US #65 1968), R.B. Greaves (US #27/MOR #3 1971) and Naked Eyes (US #8/UK #59/CAN #9/AUS #7 1983).

From the wiki: “Originally recorded as a demo by Dionne Warwick in 1963, ‘(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me’ first charted for Lou Johnson whose version (with backing vocals by Doris Troy, Dee Dee Warwick, and Cissy Houston) reached #49 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1964. Johnson also recorded the original versions of several other Bacharach and David songs that later proved to be bigger hits for other musicians, including ‘Reach Out for Me’, and ‘Message to Michael (Kentucky Bluebird)‘.