Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Petula Clark

Happy Heart

Co-written and first recorded (as an instrumental) by The James Last Orchestra (1969).
Hit versions by Nick DeCaro (MOR #22 1969), Petula Clark (US #62/MOR #12 1969/AUS #22), Andy Williams (US #22/MOR #1/UK #19/AUS #22 1969).

From the wiki: “‘Happy Heart’ was written by James Last and Jackie Rae, and was first recorded as an instrumental by The James Last Orchestra in 1969. It was first covered by Nick DeCaro, a version which enjoyed modest success in the U.S. on the Billboard MOR chart. ‘Happy Heart’ would go on to be recorded by both Petula Clark and Andy Williams.

“Clark was reportedly dismayed when Williams, guest-starring on her second U.S. television special, made known his intention to perform ‘Happy Heart’ at the time each were planning to launch arrangements of the song as their next respective single. ‘Happy Heart’ would be released as promotional singles by each simultaneously in March 1969. Williams performed ‘Happy Heart’ on Portrait of Petula on April 7.

I Will Follow Him

First recorded (as “Chariot”) by Franck Pourcel (1961).
First recorded (in French) as “Chariot” by Petula Clark (UK #39/FRA #1/BEL #8 1962).
Also recorded (in English) as “I Will Follow Him” by Petula Clark (DEN #4 1963).
Other hit version by Little Peggy March (US #1/R&B #1/AUS #1/NZ #1/JPN #1 1963).

From the wiki: “‘I Will Follow Him’ was first recorded as an instrumental titled ‘Chariot’ in 1961 by Franck Pourcel, who co-wrote the song with Paul Mauriat (‘Love is Blue‘). It was released on Pourcel’s European LP Amour, Danse, Et Violons. No.17.

“In 1962, Petula Clark recorded a French-language version (with lyrics by Jacques Plante), an arrangement that hit #1 in France and #8 in Belgium and earned Clark a gold record. Her English-language version, with lyrics by Norman Gimbel and Franck Pourcel, was released in early 1963 by Pye in the UK and by Laurie in the USA with no chart impact – but Clark’s English-language version did peak at #4 on the Danish music chart. Clark also recorded Italian and German versions of the song, with her Italian version, ‘Sul mio carro’, reaching #4 in Italy, and her German version, ‘Cheerio’, reaching #6 in Germany.

Let Me Be the One

First released by Nanette (released November 1970).
Also recorded by Cathy Carlson (released January 1971).
Hit album version by The Carpenters (released May 1971)
Hit single version by Jack Jones (MOR #18 1971).
Also recorded by Matthew Sweet (1994).

From the wiki: “The earliest evident recording of ‘Let Me Be the One’, written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams, was made by Nanette Workman, one of five songs recorded with producer Tommy Cogbill in late June 1970 at American Sound Studio in Memphis, with her arrangement of ‘Let Me Be the One’ released as a UK single in November 1970 (credited to ‘Nanette’) with no apparent chart impact.

“The first recording to receive US distribution was recorded in December 1970 by Ontario, Oregon native Cathy Carlson, and released in January 1971 as the B-side to Carlson’s single, ‘God Bless the Child’. Carlson appeared regularly as a performer on ‘The Tonight Show’ in the late 1960s and early ‘70s, and on the annual Jerry Lewis Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy. Carlson and Lewis were such good friends, he became her daughter’s godfather.

Call Me

First recorded by Petula Clark (1965).
Hit version by Chris Montez (US #22/MOR #2 1966).

From the wiki: “‘Call Me’ was composed by Tony Hatch for Petula Clark (although some suggest he had written the song with Keely Smith in mind), and first appeared as the title cut on Clark’s EP, Call Me, released in 1965 by Pye in the UK and in the US on the album I Know a Place (1965) but was not released as a promotional single.

“Chris Montez, who had scored the hit ‘Let’s Dance’ in 1962 and subsequently dropped out of the music business, was invited to resume recording by A&M Records’ founder Herb Alpert. Alpert was unhappy when Montez began recording for A&M in his previous Chicano rock style and personally suggested Montez shift to easy listening, choosing ‘Call Me’ as the song to be Montez’s debut single in 1966 on A&M.