Friday, 2 November 2012

"Misirlou", "Walk, Don't Run", "Rock Around the Clock" and other originals that were no such thing

"Misirlou" (1927) by Tetos Demetriades

Now, I'd known for many years that Dick Dale's surfing masterpiece was based on an old Greek tune, but I didn't know it was based on an actual recording. (Apparently the word misirlou means Egyptian girl.

I'd always imagined that The Ventures' sublime "Walk, Don't Run" was the original - but it was first released by jazzer, Johnnie Smith, in 1954:

We all know that the Beatles covered the Isley brothers' version of "Twist and Shout" - but I had no idea that the Isleys were covering the 1961 original by The Top Notes:

And I only recently discovered that a boyhood favourite of mine - Pat Boone's "Speedy Gonzales" - was a cover of David Dante's acceptable 1962 original:

I was genuinely taken aback to learn that The Coasters' brilliant "Shoppin' For Clothes" is a  cover version of Boogaloo and his Gallant Crew's "Clothes Line (Wrap It Up)":

And who'd have thought that Gene Vincent's "Woman Love" was a cover of a wonderfully primitive slice of 1956 rockabilly from Jimmy Johnson:

The unclassifiable John D. Loudermilk wrote and recorded a whole slew of songs that went on to be hits for other artists, including "Tobacco Road" (Nashville Teens), "Indian Reservation" (Don Fardon) and "The Little Bird" (Marianne Faithful). But what suprises me the most is that he was responsible for Eddie Cochran's "Sittin' in the Balcony":

I have to confess I never knew that even Bill Hailey's "Rock Around the Clock" wasn't the first version of the song - he pinched it from Sonny Dae and the Knights. Even odder, they were white too!:

There are plenty more surprising examples, but I'll save those for another post. Meanwhile, I'll leave you with the original version of Glenn Miller's "In the Mood" - yes, even that was knicked!:

"In the Mood" (1938) by Edgar Hayes and His Orchestra

1 comment:

  1. John D.loudermilk,indeed unclassifiable.On checking The Nashville Teens,I see they came from Weybridge in Surrey England!This might be the deep south to some people,but I'd always assumed thay came from well..Nashville.