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April 5, 2020 7:27 pm  #1

Original Versions Of Classic Hit Oldies Can Be Surprising

Here’s what should be an easy trivia test - who was the first to sing the hits “Burning Love,” “Little Bit O’ Soul”  and “Mama Told Me Not To Come?”
If you said Elvis Presley, The Music Explosion and Three Dog Night, you’d be wrong.
They had the hits, but they weren’t the first to put any of those songs to disc. Which is a very long winded way of talking about an Internet channel that plays the original version of hits many of us never knew had an original version.
If you’ve never heard of AccuRadio, it’s a great site that has an extensive oldies section divided into every conceivable category you can think of – from West Coast Oldies, Surf Sounds, One & Two Hit Wonders and Motown to Lost 70s, Girl Group Oldies, Doo Wop and Classic Rockabilly. Just to name a few. The best part – it’s absolutely free, you don’t need to sign up and you can skip every song you’d rather not hear. Plus there are no commercials.
They’ve just introduced a new category called “Used Songs: Original Versions of Hit Covers.” Among the tunes I heard (and partially skipped through):
Mr. Bojangles - Jerry Jeff Walker (later by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)
Last Kiss - Wayne Cochran (J. Frank Wilson had the hit.)
Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood - Nina Simone (Eric Burdon & The Animals scored with the tune.)
All Shook Up - David Hill (An Elvis classic.)
I Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) - Teddy Hill & The Southern Soul  (Far different from the more familiar First Edition version.)
But perhaps the biggest surprises to me were two songs, one with the now-offensive title of “The Pale Faced Indian.” You may know it better as “Indian Reservation,” which was a huge hit for The Raiders. I always thought the original was the Don Fardon version. But it goes all the way back to 1959 by an artist named Marvin Rainwater.
And then there’s "Bull Doze Blues" by Henry Thomas. What song is that? It turned into the classic “Goin’ Up The Country” by Canned Heat in 1969. But it was originally recorded in 1928!
It's not everyone's taste but if you're curious to learn about the history of a song you thought you knew, you'll find them at the site. And you'll also be able to hear more familiar oldies, depending on which category you pick. 

“Used Songs: Original Versions of Hit Covers.” (It won't let me link to the section directly, so you'll need to scroll down to the second last row, and find it on the right.)  

And by the way, the answers to the original questions are:
Burning Love - Arthur Alexander (1972, four months before Elvis)
Little Bit O’ Soul – The Little Darlings (1965)
Mama Told Me Not To Come – Eric Burdon & The Animals (1967)

Last edited by aflem (April 5, 2020 7:32 pm)


April 5, 2020 10:27 pm  #2

Re: Original Versions Of Classic Hit Oldies Can Be Surprising

Just a note.  Marvin Rainwater was a County Music performer in the late 1950's.  His biggest hit was "Gonna Find Me A Bluebird" which hit #3 on the C&W chart in the Spring of 1957.  It also reached up to #18 on the pop charts and is listed as a "gold single".


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