Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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(You’re the) Best Thing That Ever Happened

First recorded by Danny Thomas (1973).
First single release by Ray Price (C&W #1 1973).
Also recorded by Dean Martin (1973).
Hit versions by Gladys Knight & The Pips (US #3/R&B #1/UK #7 February 1974), The Persuaders (US #85/R&B #29 March 1974).

From the wiki: “‘You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me’ — also known simply as ‘Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me’ — is a song written by Jim Weatherly, and enjoyed two runs of popularity, each by an artist in a different genre. The song’s first run of popularity, as ‘You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me,’ came in 1973. That’s when Country singer Ray Price took the song to #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart on October 6, 1973.

“In the early- to mid-1970s, Gladys Knight & the Pips had covered several of Weatherly-penned tunes (including ‘Midnight Train to Georgia‘), and in 1974, they dipped into Weatherly’s catalog once again with their recording of ‘(You’re the) Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me’. The Pips reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1974 and topped the Hot Soul Singles for two weeks.

“Although the Persuaders recorded ‘Best Thing’ earlier in 1973 than did the Knight & the Pips, and released it as an album track in late 1973 (on the album The Best That Ever Happened to Me), the Persuaders had the misfortune of releasing the song as a single in March 1974, immediately in the wake of the Pips’ February 1974 single release, and thus had little chart impact. (The Persuaders also fell short with their original recording of ‘Some Guys Have All the Luck‘, also released on the same album, as ‘Best Thing …’, which would have greater success as a Rod Stewart recording.)”

Dean Martin, “You’re The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me” (1973):

The Persuaders, “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” (1974):

Gladys Knight & The Pips, “Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me” (1974):

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