First recorded (as “Guajira Guantanamera”) by Joséito Fernández (1940).
Also recorded by Pete Seeger (1963), Celia Cruz (1967).
Hit versions by The Sandpipers (US #9/MOR #3/UK #7/CAN #10/IRE #3 1966), Wyclef Jean & the Refugee Camp All Stars (US #62/R&B #23/UK #25 1997).
From the wiki: “‘Guantanamera’ (Spanish: ‘from Guantánamo, feminine’, thus ‘she from Guantánamo’) is perhaps the best-known Cuban song and that country’s most noted patriotic song.
“The music for the song is sometimes attributed to José Fernández Diaz, known as Joseíto Fernández, who claimed to have written it at various dates (consensus puts 1929 as its year of origin), and who used it regularly in one of his radio programs. After a lengthy copyright dispute, the People’s Supreme Court of Cuba credited Fernández as the sole composer of the music in 1993.
First recorded by Lori Lieberman (1972).
Hit versions by Roberta Flack (US #1/MOR #2/R&B #2/UK #6/CAN #1/AUS #1/IRE #3 1973), The Fugees (US #2/R&B #1/MOR #30/UK #1/CAN #6/AUS #1/IRE #1/GER #1/FRA #1 1996).
From the wiki: “Written by Charlie Fox, Norman Gimbel and Lori Lieberman, ‘Killing Me Softly with His Song’ has a contentious and disputed origin.
“Lori Lieberman, the artist who performed the first recording in 1972, claims the song was born of a poem she wrote after experiencing a strong reaction to the song ‘Empty Chairs,’ written, composed, and recorded by Don McLean.
“On the other hand, Charlie Fox has disputed Lieberman having any input into the song’s creation, saying: ‘We [i.e. himself and lyricist Norman Gimbel (‘Girl from Ipanema‘, ‘So Nice (Summer Samba)‘) wrote the song and [Lieberman] heard it and said it reminded her of how she felt at [a Don McLean] concert. Don McLean didn’t inspire Norman [Gimbel] or me to write the song but even Don McLean thinks he’s the inspiration for the song according to his official website!’ Instead, the song, Fox claims, has its origin in a novel.
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