Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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The Hucklebuck

First recorded by Paul Williams & His Hucklebuckers (R&B #1 1949).
Also recorded by Lionel Hampton (1949), .
Other hit versions by Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra (US #5 1949), Frank Sinatra (US #10 1949), Roy Milton (R&B #5 1949), Chubby Checker (US #14 1960), Coast to Coast (UK#3 1983).

From the wiki: “In his book, Honkers and Shouters, Arnold Shaw credits Paul Williams as one of the first to employ the honking tenor sax solo that became the hallmark of R&B and Rock ‘n Roll in the 1950s and early 1960s. Williams formed his own band in 1947 after first performing with Clarence Dorsey and King Porter. He became best known for his 1949 hit, ‘The Hucklebuck’, a twelve-bar blues that also spawned a dance craze. The single went to #1 on the U.S. Billboard R&B chart … and stayed there for 14 weeks.

“Williams’ recording was covered in 1949 by Lionel Hampton and, vocally, by Roy Milton (R&B #5). A version by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, with vocals by Charlie Shavers, entered the Billboard pop chart in May 1949, also rising to #5, and later the same year Frank Sinatra’s recording reached #10 on the pop chart. But Williams’ Savoy recording was still the best-selling ‘Rhythm & Blues Song of the Year’.

“In his book, Shaw points out that ‘The Hucklebuck’ was an early example of a crossover hit from R&B to mainstream Popular music. With Tiny Grimes, Williams would later co-headline the first Moondog Coronation Ball, promoted by Alan Freed in Cleveland on March 21, 1952, often claimed as the first Rock ‘n Roll concert.

“Williams later worked in the Atlantic Records house band, and was the musical director for Lloyd Price and James Brown.

“Later, during the Rock ‘n Roll era, in 1960, Chubby Checker’s uptempo remake – his follow-up to ‘The Twist’ – peaked at #14.”

Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra feat. Charlie Shavers, “The Hucklebuck” (1949):

Frank Sinatra with The Ken Lane Quintet, “The Huckle Buck” (1949):

Lionel Hampton, “The Hucklebuck” (1949):

Roy Milton, “The Hucklebuck” (1949):

Chubby Checker, “The Hucklebuck” (1960):

Coast to Coast, “The Hucklebuck” (1981):

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