Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: The O’Kaysions

Girl Watcher

First recorded (as “Boy Watcher”) by Ginger Thompson (recorded January 1968, released August 1968).
Hit version by The O’Kaysions (first released April 1968 |US #5/R&B #6 June 1968).

From the wiki: “‘Girl Watcher’ was written by Buck Trail (a pseudonym used by songwriter Ron Killette) and was first recorded as ‘Boy Watcher’ in January, 1968 by Atlanta, GA, singer Ginger Thompson for 1-2-3 Records but was not released until August 1968.

“The song was also given to The O’Kaysions, a pop/blue-eyed soul group originally from Wilson, North Carolina, who had first formed in 1959 under the name The Kays, who recorded their production of ‘Girl Watcher’ in April 1968 for North Carolina-based North State Records. (This can be determined, somewhat, by the presence of only Trail’s name as songwriter on the Thompson release vs. the inclusion of O’Kaysions’ group member and manager Wayne Pittman on the latter’s releases.)

“However, by the time ABC Records chose to distribute the O’Kaysions’ April 1968 recording nationally, the original master tape had gone missing. So, a ‘needle-drop’ of the O’Kaysions’ regionally-issued North State label recording was used and that recording was then duplicated by ABC to create a nationally-distributed single in June 1968. ‘Girl Watcher’ was the O’Kaysions’ only chart hit.”