Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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First recorded by Thomas Wayne with the DeLons (US #5 1958).
Other hit versions by The Fleetwoods (US #10 1961) Brian Hyland (US #56 1969).
Also recorded by Paul McCartney (1971, released 2018).

From the wiki: “‘Tragedy’ was written by Gerald H. Nelson and Fred B. Burch. The first recording of the song, produced in October 1958 by Thomas Wayne with the DeLons, rose to #5 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1959. Recorded in Memphis and produced by Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley’s guitarist, the arrangement was made with a trio of girls recruited from the local high school. A 1961 cover version by The Fleetwoods rose to #10 on the charts. Brian Hyland (‘Sealed With a Kiss’, 1962; ‘Gypsy Woman‘, 1970) also recorded it and released it as a single in 1969, but it only made it to #56.

“Wayne was a ‘one-hit wonder’ who cut around 20 songs including a remake of his hit in 1961 for the reactivated Sun label which an almost identical arrangement to the original. Some of Wayne’s other songs were hits for others such as ‘This Time’ (Troy Shondell) and ‘Girl Next Door Went a Walkin” (Elvis Presley). Despite all of his recordings for 3 different labels before his death in a car crash in 1971, he never cut an album and there has never been any reissue of his songs on LP or CD.

“Paul McCartney and Wings covered ‘Tragedy’ for the planned 2-LP release of Red Rose Speedway in 1971. The idea for the double-LP was later abandoned and instead was released as a single LP with the same title, but without ‘Tragedy’ on the track list. The Wings’ version was officially released on the 2018 deluxe edition of Red Rose Speedway which included the original proposed double album.”

The Fleetwoods, “Tragedy” (1961):

Brian Hyland, “Tragedy” (1969):

Paul McCartney and Wings, “Tragedy” (1971):

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