Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Till There Was You

First commercial release by Sue Raney & The Nelson Riddle Orchestra (November 1957).
First performed by Barbara Cook & Robert Preston (December 1957).
Hit versions by Anita Bryant (US #30 1959), Peggy Lee (UK #30 1961).
Also recorded by Sonny Rollins (1958), The Beatles (1962 & 1963).

From the wiki: “‘Till There Was You’ was written by Meredith Willson for his 1957 musical play (and, later, movie) The Music Man, the original cast album for which was released in 1957. The first recording of the song to be commercially released came even before the original cast album release in January 1958. Promotional copies of a 45-rpm single were released on November 26, 1957 (before the Broadway premiere on December 19) featuring The Nelson Riddle Orchestra and 17-year-old vocalist Sue Raney.

“Jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins recorded an instrumental version of “Till There Was You” in 1958. Anita Bryant had the first chart success with the song, making the Billboard Top 40 in 1959. Peggy Lee charted UK Top-30 the same year in Great Britain in 1961 with her recording of “Till There Was You”.

“Paul McCartney, of The Beatles, was introduced to Peggy Lee’s music by his older cousin, Bett Robbins, and it would be the only Broadway song the group performed or would record. ‘Till There Was You’ became part of the Beatles’ repertoire in 1962 and was first recorded by them as part of their failed audition for Decca Records in January 1962. The George Martin-produced version, recorded in July 1963, would appear in the UK on With The Beatles, the group’s second album, in November 1963. ‘Till There Was You’ would also be the second of five songs The Beatles performed during their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964.

“The song, as performed by The Beatles, would also receive notoriety at the Royal Variety Performance in November 1963 when it was introduced by McCartney as ‘from the show The Music Man, and it’s also been recorded by our favorite American group, Sophie Tucker.’ It was after performing ‘Till There Was You’ that John Lennon also delivered his famous line ‘Would the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands. And the rest of you, if you’ll just rattle your jewelry’ before The Beatles ripped into ‘Twist and Shout‘.”

Barbara Cook & Robert Preston, “Till There Was You” Original Broadway Cast album (1957):

Sonny Rollins, “Till There Was You” (1958):

Anita Bryant, “Till There Was You” (1959):

Peggy Lee, “Till There Was You” (1961):

The Beatles, “Till There Was You” failed Decca audition (1962):

The Beatles, “Till There Was You” With The Beatles (1963):

The Beatles, “Till There Was You/Twist and Shout” (begins @ 1:55) Royal Variety Performance (1963):

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