Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Workin’ on a Groovy Thing

First recorded by Patti Drew (US #62/R&B #34 1968).
Also recorded by Barbara Lewis (1968), Neil Sedaka (1969).
Other hit version by The 5th Dimension (US #20/R&B #15 1969).

From the wiki: “Neil Sedaka co-wrote ‘Workin’ on a Groovy Thing’ in 1968 but did not record his own version of the song until 1969 when touring Australia. Sedaka recorded an album titled Workin’ on a Groovy Thing on a one-off basis for a Sydney, Australia-based label at a time his career had slumped and his contract had not been renewed by his former label in the USA. (In the United Kingdom, the album was released on the MCA label under the title Sounds of Sedaka.) Patti Drew was the first to record and release the song, in 1968.

“In the early ’60s, Drew’s mother worked for a Capitol Records promoter, who heard Drew and her sisters sing in a church service and signed the group as the Drew-Vels. The group first recorded ‘Tell Him’, written by Carlton Black (and not to be confused with ‘Tell Him’ by The Exciters). The single release was a local hit and scraped the lower echelons of the national charts. In 1966, Drew was signed as a solo artist to Quill Records but soon after moved up to Capitol Records. ‘Workin’ on a Groovy Thing’ became her highest-charting Pop song.

“Barbara Lewis (‘Hello Stranger’, ‘Baby I’m Yours‘) covered ‘Workin’ on a Groovy Thing’ in 1968 with no apparent chart success. In 1969, it would be The 5th Dimension who return the song to the charts. The group recorded the song for their album Age of Aquarius, releasing ‘Groovy Thing’ as the follow-up single to the worldwide hit ‘Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In’. Their single peaked at #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #15 on the R&B chart.”

Barbara Lewis, “Workin’ on a Groovy Thing” (1968):

Neil Sedaka, “Workin’ on a Groovy Thing” (1969):

The 5th Dimension, “Workin’ on a Groovy Thing” (1969):

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