Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me

First performances (as “Io Che Non Vivo (Senza Te)”) by Pino Donaggio (ITA #1 1965) and Jody Miller (1965).
First (English-language) recording by Willeke Alberti (1965).
Hit versions by Dusty Springfield (US #4/UK #1 1966), Elvis Presley (US #11/UK #9 1970), Guys ‘n Dolls (UK #5 1976), The Floaters (US #28 1977).

From the wiki: “‘Io Che Non Vivo (Senza Te)’ was introduced at the 1965 Sanremo Festival by Pino Donaggio – who’d co-written the song with Vito Pallavicini – and his team partner Jody Miller (‘He’s So Fine‘, ‘Never Let Her Go‘): the song took seventh place at San Remo and, as recorded by Donaggio, reached #1 in Italy in March 1965.

“Willeke Alberti was a Dutch singer and actress, starting her career at the early age of eleven in the musical Duel om Barbara, recording her first single in 1958 together with her entertainer father, Willy Alberti. Willeke and her father had a television show between 1965 and 1969. Her singing career from 1970 onwards was less active. In 1994, she returned to the state to representd the Netherlands in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song ‘Waar is de zon?’ (‘Where is the sun?’).

“Dusty Springfield, herself a participant at the Festival, was in the audience when Donaggio and Miller performed the song and, despite having no awareness of the lyrics’ meaning, the song moved Springfield to tears. Springfield obtained an acetate recording of Donaggio’s song but allowed a year to go by before actively pursuing the idea of recording an English version.

“When Springfield did record her version, she was unhappy with the acoustics in the recording booth and eventually moved into a stairwell to record. She recorded forty-seven takes of the song before she was satisfied with the quality of her recording. Springfield’s English-language recording proved to be her career record, reaching #1 UK and #4 US, and it still remains one of the songs most identified with her.

“Elvis Presley recorded his version in Nashville in 1970. It would reach #11 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #9 in the UK.”

Jody Miller, “Io Che Non Vivo (Senza Te)” Festival di Sanremo performance (1965):

Willeke Alberti, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” (1965):

Dusty Springfield, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” (1966):

Elvis Presley, “You Don’t Have to Stay You Love Me” single (1970):

Elvis Presley, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” live performance (1970):

Guys & Dolls, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” (1976):

The Floaters, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me” (1977):