Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tobacco Road

Written and first recorded by J.D. Loudermilk (1960).
Hit version by The Nashiville Teens (US #14/UK #6 1964).
Also recorded by Edgar Winter (1970).

From the wiki: “‘Tobacco Road’ is a song written and first recorded by John D. Loudermilk (‘Indian Reservation‘, ‘Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye‘) in 1960 that was a hit for The Nashville Teens in 1964 and has since become a standard across several musical genres.

“Originally framed as a folk song, ‘Tobacco Road’ was a semi-autobiographical tale of growing up in Durham, North Carolina. It was not a hit for Loudermilk, achieving only minor chart success in Australia. Other artists, however, immediately began recording and performing the song.

“The English group The Nashville Teens’ recording was produced by Mickie Most with the same tough-edged-Pop feel that he brought to The Animals’ hits and ‘Tobacco Road’ became a trans-Atlantic pop hit in 1964.

“‘Tobacco Road’ was also covered by Edgar Winter for his hit 1970 debut album Entrance.

“Trivia: In the late 1960s, ‘Tobacco Road’ became a staple of the Jackson 5’s early shows, and it was also one of the four songs they performed at their audition for Motown Records in 1968.”

The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” (1964):

The Jackson 5, “Tobacco Road” audition for Motown (1968):

Edgar Winter, “Tobacco Road” (1970):