Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: The Clovers

Devil or Angel

Originally recorded by The Clovers (R&B #3 1955).
Hit version by Bobby Vee (US #6/R&B #22/CAN #2 1960).

From the wiki: “‘Devil or Angel’ is a song written by Blanche Carter and originally recorded by the Clovers in 1955, where it went to #3 on the U.S. R&B Best Sellers chart. It was re-recorded by John Bailey after he left the Clovers and formed another Clovers group for Lana Records in 1965.

“The song was covered by Bobby Vee in 1960, with veteran session drummer Earl Palmer among the studio musicians. It peaked at #6 in the U.S. charts and #2 in Canada, and was also a crossover R&B hit in the U.S. It was Vee’s first Top 10 hit.”

Bossa Nova Baby

First recorded by Tippie & the Clovers (1962).
Hit version by Elvis Presley (US #8/R&B #20/UK #13 1963).

From the wiki: “‘Bossa Nova Baby’ was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (‘Kansas City’, ‘Hound Dog‘, ‘Ruby Baby‘, ‘Jailhouse Rock’). Even though the song would go on to become a huge promotional hit for the Elvis Presley movie, Fun in Acapulco, its origin had nothing to do with ‘fun’ or with ‘Acapulco’. It was initially given by Leiber-Stoller to The Clovers, who had had past success (‘Love Potion No. 9’) with the songwriters, to record.