Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Yeh Yeh

First recorded by Mongo Santamaria (1963).
Hit versions by Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames (UK #1 1964/US #21 1965), Matt Bianco (UK #13 1985).
Also recorded by Lambert, Hendricks & Bavan (1963), Hugh Laurie (2013), Diana Krall & Georgie Fame (2015).

From the wiki: “‘Yeh Yeh’ is a Latin Soul tune first composed as an instrumental by Rodgers Grant and Pat Patrick, and first recorded by Mongo SantamarĂ­a (‘Watermelon Man‘) on his 1963 album Watermelon Man. Lyrics were written for ‘Yeh Yeh’ shortly thereafter by Jon Hendricks for the vocal group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, and recorded by them at the 1963 Newport Jazz Festival.

“The vocal arrangement of ‘Yeh Yeh’ was taken to the top of the UK Singles Chart by Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames (‘Peaceful‘), breaking The Beatles’ long-term hold on the #1 spot (five weeks, with ‘I Feel Fine’). A month later, ‘Yeh Yeh’ appeared on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart to peak at #21. (The US single edited out the saxophone solo break.)

“Other notable covers include a recording by Matt Bianco, who covered the song in 1985, reaching #13 in the UK Singles chart. In 2013, British actor and musician Hugh Laurie included a live cover version of ‘Yeh, Ye’h on his album Didn’t It Rain. In 2015 Diana Krall covered the song for her 12th studio album, Wallflower, which topped the Billboard Top Jazz chart that year, together with the original hit-maker, Georgie Fame.”

Lambert, Hendricks & Bavan, “Yeh Yeh” (1963):

Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames, “Yeh Yeh” (1965):

Matt Bianco, “Yeh Yeh” (1985):

Hugh Laurie, “Yeh Yeh” (2013):

Diana Krall & Georgie Fame, “Yeh Yeh” (2015):

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