Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Pat Boone

Love Letters in the Sand

First recorded by The Majestic Dance Orchestra (1931).
Inspired by “The Spanish Cavalier” (c. 1881).
Hit versions by The Ted Black Orchestra (US #6 1931), Pat Boone (US #1/R&B #12/UK #2 1957), Vince Hill (UK #23 1967).

From the wiki: “‘Love Letters in the Sand’ was written by J. Fred Coots and the lyrics by Nick Kenny and Charles Kenny and was first published in 1931. The song was ‘inspired’ by an 1881 composition, ‘The Spanish Cavalier’, by William D. Hendrickson. First recorded by The Majestic Dance Orchestra, featuring vocalist Helen Rowland, on August 27, 1931, ‘Love Letters in the Sand’ was also recorded the following day (August 28, 1931) by the Ted Black Orchestra whose arrangement peaked at #6 on the Hit Parade.

Theme of Exodus

First performed by Ernest Gold (1960).
Hit versions by Pat Boone (US #64 1960), Ferrante & Teicher (US #2 1960).
Also recorded by Eddie Harris (1961), Skatalites (1967).

From the wiki: “The soundtrack for Exodus, including ‘Theme of Exodus’ was written by Ernest Gold, born in Austria and Pop songwriter Andrew Gold’s father, and was recorded with the Sinfonia of London for the 1960 film directed by Otto Preminger. In 1961, Gold’s ‘Exodus’ was nominated for a Golden Globe under the Best Original Score category. The film won an Academy Award for Best Original Score and a Grammy for Best Soundtrack Album. For his contributions, Gold had his name engraved in the Hollywood Walk of Fame – the first composer to receive this honor.

“The main theme from the film (‘Theme of Exodus’) was been widely recorded and covered by many artists such as Ferrante and Teicher, whose version went #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. Pat Boone wrote lyrics to Gold’s instrumental and released his recording, titled ‘Exodus Song (This Land is Mine)’, in 1960. Jazz saxophonist Eddie Harris covered the song in 1961; Jamaican ska band, Skatalites, recorded a reggae version of the song in 1967.”

Moody River

Written and first recorded by Chase Webster (1961).
Hit version by Pat Boone (US #1/UK #18 1961).
Also recorded by John Fogerty (2009).
Also recorded as “Dancing in the Dark” parody by Big Daddy (UK #27 1985).

From the wiki: “‘Moody River’ was written by and originally performed by country Rockabilly singer Chase Webster, a a labelmate of Pat Boone’s at Dot Records. It was covered later in 1961 by Boone, and became a #1 hit for him on the Billboard Hot 100. John Fogerty covered the song in the album entitled The Blue Ridge Rangers Rides Again.

“In 1985, the US group Big Daddy recorded a parody of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’, using the melody and chord changes of ‘Moody River’, that charted in the UK.”

Speedy Gonzales

First recorded by Dave Dante (1962).
Hit version by Pat Boone (US #6/UK #2 1962).

From the wiki: “‘Speedy Gonzales’, ‘the fastest mouse in all Mexico,’ was written by Buddy Kaye, Ethel Lee, and David Hess (aka David Hill, ‘All Shook Up’) who first recorded the song under the alias ‘Dave Dante’ in 1962. The song was popularized in the United States as a 1962 single by Pat Boone, doing better in many national charts in Europe where Boone’s recording sold a million copies. The female voice (‘La-la-la…’) on this song was of Robin Ward (‘Wonderful Summer’), and Boone’s cover also incorporated Mel Blanc voicing ‘Speedy Gonzales’ as he did in the Warner Brothers cartoons. (Elton John has stated that the ‘hook’ in his best-selling single ‘Crocodile Rock’ was inspired by his listening to Ward’s vocal on ‘Speedy Gonzales’.)”

Two Hearts

First recorded by The Charms (1954).
Hit version (recorded as “Two Hearts, Two Kisses”) by Pat Boone (1955).

“Two Hearts” was Pat Boone’s first single release and the first of several “covers” he recorded of R&B songs. Boone’s recording peaked at #16, and was followed by his first #1 hit: “Ain’t That a Shame” (another R&B cover).

I Almost Lost My Mind

Written and originally recorded by Ivory Joe Hunter (R&B #1 1949).
Other hit version by Pat Boone (US #1 1956).

From the wiki: “‘I Almost Lost My Mind’ written by Ivory Joe Hunter and was first recorded by him in 1949. Hunter’s 12-bar blues recording of the song was a #1 hit on the US Billboard R&B chart in that year. The best selling version of the song was a cover version by Pat Boone, hitting #1 on the Billboard charts in 1956.”

“Ivory Joe Hunter was a prolific songwriter, and some estimate he wrote more than 7,000 songs during his career.