Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Wasted Days and Wasted Nights

First recorded by Freddy Fender (1959).
Hit version by Freddy Fender (US #8/C&W #1/NZ #1 1974).
Also recorded by Texas Tornados (1999).

From the wiki: “Freddy Fender wrote and first recorded ‘Wasted Days and Wasted Nights’ as a smoky rhythm & blues ballad during the early stages of his career. He was in the process of perfecting his mesh of Rockabilly and Tejano, and the song showcased his new style. First released in 1959 on the small Duncan Records label, the song became a minor national hit in 1960 (Cashbox Magazine #82) on the more widely-distributed Imperial label. But, Fender was arrested on charges of marijuana possession and, in May 1960, he was convicted and jailed. The popularity of the song, along with Fender’s own popularity, plummeted.

“Flash-forward to 1975: With the help of record producer Huey P. Meaux (‘Talk to Me‘, Sir Douglas Quintet), Fender re-recorded ‘Wasted Days and Wasted Nights’. This time, the song became a major Country and Pop hit, topping the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in August 1975 and peaking at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“The song was also a major hit in New Zealand. In 1975, it spent a total of 12 weeks in the #1 position in the NZ Singles charts, making it the longest running number-one single at the time and the third-longest running number-one single of all time in New Zealand.

“Tex-Mex supergroup, Texas Tornadoes, comprising Doug Sahm, Augie Myers, Flaco Jiménez and Freddie Fender, recorded a live version of ‘Wasted Days and Wasted Nights’ for their 1999 album Live from the Limo, Vol. 1.”

Freddy Fender, “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” (1974):

Texas Tornadoes, “Wasted Days and Wasted Night” (1999):

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