Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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The Girl Can’t Help It

First recorded by Little Richard (R&B #7/UK #9 1956).
Also covered by The Animals (1964), The Everly Brothers (1965), The Flamin’ Groovies (1969), Led Zeppelin/The Nobs (1970), Mick Ronson (1975), Darts (as “Daddy Cool/The Girl Can’t Help It” UK #6 1977), Bonnie Raitt (as “The Boy Can’t Help It” (1979), Babes in Toyland (2001).

From the wiki: “‘The Girl Can’t Help It’ is the title song to the film The Girl Can’t Help It, composed by songwriter Bobby Troup (‘Route 66’, ‘Girl Talk’, ‘The Meaning of the Blues’). The recording was released in December 1956 and peaked at #49 on the Billboard Top 100 singles chart (also UK #9 and US R&B #7 ), and is included in the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Originally, Fats Domino was lined up to record the track, which was not written to be a Rock song. The movie, The Girl Can’t Help It, was originally intended as a vehicle for the American sex symbol Jayne Mansfield, with a satirical subplot involving teenagers and rock ‘n’ roll music. The unintended result has been called the ‘most potent’ celebration of Rock music ever captured on film. The original music score included the title song performed by Little Richard. Reportedly, the producers had wanted Elvis for ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’, but Elvis’s manager Tom Parker demanded too much money.

“The movie’s influence on rock music is significant. The film reached Liverpool, England in the early summer of 1957. It featured cameo performances of early rock ‘n’ roll stars such as Little Richard, Eddie Cochran, and Gene Vincent and His Bluecaps, fascinated a 16-year-old John Lennon. In July, 1957, 15-year-old Paul McCartney was introduced to Lennon. McCartney demonstrated his musical prowess to Lennon by performing ‘Twenty Flight Rock’ in a similar manner to the way he had seen it played by Eddie Cochran in The Girl Can’t Help It. This led to Lennon inviting McCartney to join his skiffle group, The Quarrymen.

“In 1964 ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’ was covered by The Animals, in 1965 by The Everly Brothers in 1969 by The Flamin’ Groovies, in 1970 by Led Zeppelin (performing as The Nobs, for one concert in 1970), in 1975 by Mick Ronson, and in 2001 by Babes in Toyland.A gender-reversed version, ‘The Boy Can’t Help It’, appears on Bonnie Raitt’s 1979 album The Glow.”

The Animals, “The Girl Can’t Help It” (1964):

The Everly Brothers, “The Girl Can’t Help It” (1965):

The Flamin’ Groovies, “The Girl Can’t Helo It” (1969):

Led Zeppelin (performing as “The Nobs”), “The Girl Can’t Help It” (1970):

Mick Ronson, “The Girl Can’t Help It” (1976):

Darts, “Daddy Cool/The Girl Can’t Help It” (1977):

Bonnie Raitt, “The Boy Can’t Help It” (1979):

Babes in Toyland, “The Girl Can’t Help It” The Peel Session BBC Radio (1995):

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