Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Theme from “A Summer Place”

First recorded by Hugo Winterhalter & His Orchestra (1959).
Hit versions by Billy Vaughn (R&B #2 1960), The Percy Faith Orchestra (US #1/UK #2 1960), Norrie Paramor & His Orchestra (UK #35 1960), Dick Roman (US #64/MOR #16 1962), The Lettermen (US #16 1965).
Also recorded (as “Illya Kuryakin”) by Ike B. & The Crystalites (1968).

From the wiki: “‘Theme from A Summer Place‘ was written by Max Steiner (music) and Mack Discant (lyrics) for the 1959 film A Summer Place. Originally known as the ‘Molly and Johnny Theme’ (for the two characters in the film portrayed by Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue), it was recorded for the film by Hugo Winterhalter & HiS Orchestra.

“Percy Faith recorded the most popular version of the tune which spent an at-the-time record of nine consecutive weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in early 1960. Faith’s recording still remains the longest-running #1 instrumental in the history of the chart.

“The song was also recorded as the title cut to a chart-topping 1960 album by band leader Billy Vaughn and was well-accepted enough by R&B audiences of the day to peak at #2 on the Billboard R&B chart. Overseas, a vibrato-voiced arrangement of ‘A Summer Place’ recorded by Norrie Paramor & His Orchestra, peaked at #35 on the UK Singles chart in 1960.

“Dick Roman returned the song to the Billboard Hot 100 and MOR charts in 1962 with the first vocal arrangement to be released as a single. In 1965, The Lettermen charted their vocal version of the song into the US Top-20.

“In Jamaica, the tune was recorded in the Rocksteady style in 1968 by instrumental group The Crystalites, featuring organist Ike Bennett, and was released under the odd title ‘Illya [sic] Kuryakin’ although the title has no connection whatsoever with the song or with the film, A Summer Place, nor any connection with the then-popular character of that name from the TV series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E..”

Billy Vaughn, “Theme from A Summer Place” (1960):

The Percy Faith Orchestra, “Theme from A Summer Place” with clips from A Summer Place (1960):

The Percy Faith Orchestra, “Them from A Summer Place” live TV performance (ca. 1960):

Norrie Paramor & His Orchestra, “Theme from Summer Place” (1960):

Dick Roman, “Theme from A Summer Place” (1962):

The Lettermen, “Theme from A Summer Place” (1965):

Ike B. & The Crystalites, “Illya Kuryakin” (1968):

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