Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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The Clapping Song

Based on “Little Rubber Dolly” by The Light Crust Doughboys (c. 1935).
Also recorded (as “Rubber Dolly”) by Bill Parsons & His Orchestra (1958).
Hit versions by Shirley Ellis (US #8/UK #6 1965), The Belle Stars (UK #11 1982), Pia Zadora (US #36 1983).

From the wiki: “‘The Clapping Song’ was written by Lincoln Chase and Shirley Ellis, with lyrics borrowed from the song ‘Little Rubber Dolly’, a 1930s song first recorded by Texas Swing band The Light Crust Doughboys.

“Ellis was an American singer and songwriter of West Indian origin best known for her 1963 novelty hit ‘The Name Game’. Ellis was originally in the group The Metronomes and her solo hits were written by her and her manager, record producer, and songwriting partner, Lincoln Chase.

“Tom Waits’s song ‘Clap Hands’ from his album Rain Dogs quotes the line ‘they all went to heaven in a little row boat.’ In the version of the song on the live album Big Time, Waits prefaces “Clap Hands” with the entire first verse of ‘The Clapping Song’.”

Bill Parsons & His Orchestra, “Rubber Dolly” (1958):

Shirley Ellis, “The Clapping Song” (1965):

The Belle Stars, “The Clapping Song” (1982):

Pia Zadora, “The Clapping Song” (1983):

Tom Waits, “Clap Hands” live (1987):

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