Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Pretenders

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

First performed (in Meet Me in St. Louis) by Judy Garland (1944).
Popular recorded versions Judy Garland (1944), by Frank Sinatra (1957), Barbra Streisand (1967), The Pretenders (1987), Sam Smith (2014).

From the wiki: “‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’, written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, was introduced by Judy Garland in a poignant moment in the 1944 movie musical Meet Me In St. Louis. When presented with the original draft lyric, Garland, her co-star Tom Drake and director Vincente Minnelli criticized the song as depressing, and asked Martin to change the lyrics.

“Though he initially resisted, Martin made several changes to make the song more upbeat, e.g. the lines ‘It may be your last / Next year we may all be living in the past’ became ‘Let your heart be light / Next year all our troubles will be out of sight’. Garland’s version of the song, which was also released as a single by Decca Records, became popular among United States troops serving in World War II; her performance at the Hollywood Canteen brought many soldiers to tears.

Thin Line Between Love and Hate

First recorded by The Persuaders (US #15/R&B #1 1971).
Also recorded by B.B. Seaton (1972).
Other hit versions by The Pretenders (US #83/UK #49 1984), H-Town (US #37/R&B #6 1996).

From the wiki: “‘Thin Line Between Love and Hate’ was first recorded by The Persuaders (‘(‘You’re the) Best Thing That Ever Happened‘, ‘Some Guys Have All the Luck‘), written and produced by the Poindexter brothers (‘Backfield in Motion’), Robert and Richard, and also co-written by Persuaders producer Jackie Members. It proved to be the group’s biggest hit song, spending two weeks atop the Billboard R&B chart in late 1971.”