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April 05, 2007



We were listening to Bobby Conn's version of "Without You" - as in, "I can't live... If living is without you..." - here in the office (un-named Chicago indie record label) a few weeks ago, and decided to throw it back to the Harry Nilsson version.

I kept having this feeling that there was another version of the song that I was more familiar with though. I was very dismayed (and thoroughly flamed by the coworkers) when I realized the version in my head was by Mariah Carey.


Just a few weeks ago I heard Argent's original version of "God Gave Rock N' Roll To You" on Maria Levitsky's show. I always thought it was a KISS song and was confused as to why it was called "God Gave Rock N' Roll To You II." This kind of thing has happened to me countless times...


I think Badfinger does a version of "Without You", I
believe they wrote it...


good call on Badfinger, I couldn't remember that


Badfinger was the first group to record "Without You".

Here is a couple of other originalversions:

Betty Hutton - Its Oh So Quiet (covered by Bjork)
Dave Bartholomew - My Ding A Ling (covered by Chuck Berry (his first #1 record).



My most recent moment, if it qualifies, was just now. As I read these comments concerning the many versions of "Without You," I seemed to remember that Lisa Loeb and Dweezil Zappa once performed it together live. In reality, it was REO Speedwagon's "Keep On Loving You."

And if I'm not mistaken, George Benson wrote "Abbey Road."

Station Manager Ken

I can't believe that Argent's "God Gave Rock and Roll To You" wont leave me along! I heard the damn song ONCE in High School but for some reason, never forgot it... (not that I liked it). And now I've heard it on FMU like 4 times in the last week, and then it pops up here again! I didn't know about the KISS version.

My Uncover story is "God Be With You Till We Meet Again," a version of which I've been playing by Haruomi Hosono (of Yellow Magic orchestra) and a batch of other Japanese artists. Here it here in streaming realaudio. (what an embarassment that we still stream in realaudio)

Anyway, after loving this song for YEARS and always assuming it was an original, a listener recently informed me that it's in fact an OLD MORMOM HYMN from the 1800s! And not only that, it's a song that's in the public domain!

Tommy E.

Being a bit of a youngen from Jersey, I have a natural aversion to the Boss (lots of family barbeques with drunken adult sing-alongs to the Springsteen catalogue) and I always tried to steer clear of his music. So one Saturday morning during the 5:00am hour while on air at a NYC metro area station, I played a live version of Townes van Zandt performing "Racin' in the Streets" and during the set break, praised van Zandt's writing abilities and how great that song is. Remember, this is 5:00am on a Saturday. Within a few seconds there were about 4-lines blinking, all Bruce fans, excoriating me and my lack of Boss knowledge. During the next break, I was forced to correct myself and praise Springsteen as the songwriter. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but it actually persuaded me to give Springsteen a shot. That song is really excellent.


What's the matter with you Ken? Didn't you ever see Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey?

Station Manager Ken

No, I never saw it. I have a lot of catching up to do in the slacker-buddy-movie genre.


"God Be with YOu Till We Meet Again" has been sung in churches for as long as I can recall (50 years).
There are too many cases of mistaken originals for me. I think it happens a lot in the rock world especially because of their acersion to revamping old Blues tunes. Any number of songs I heard for the first time in the late 60's and early 70's that I thought were originals wetre actually old blues tunes. Songs like "Train Kept Rollin'" I always thought was an Aerosmith orignal. I heard on some show the other night that it was an old blues tune. And several songs that eric Clapton recorded were old blues tunes. Like "Crossroads".
I think it is funny also how people have messed up lyrics to songs over the years as they sing along to them...lol. Like that new ringtone commercial where the guys are listening to "Rock The Casbah", and one guy think's it says "Stop the cat box"....lol.


I once vociferously proclaimed (to my boss at the pizza restaurant) that Tom Waits could not have written "Heartattack and Vine," because the style and tone were obviously more in line with Screamin' Jay Hawkins' other work. Never fessed up to the mistake, but I doubt I was very convincing in that argument.


When I was young (probably about six years old) I heard the Dire Straits "Money for Nothing" song on the radio-- which I thought was the coolest thing ever. With my incredibly limited knowledge of music, I somehow surmised that rock of this magnitude could only come from Bruce Springsteen.

Wha? I was six, okay?

Anyways.. armed with this information, I set out to find a copy of the song for myself. Luckily, my elderly neighbors were having a yard sale, so I started going through their records, looking for Bruce Springsteen. Finding none, I resorted to asking if they happened to have this song, but I didn't know the name. I tried humming the riff, but that didn't help much either, though the neighbors DID agree it could have been by the Boss.


like nearly everyone, I always thought that "Dazed And Confused" was one of jimmy pages best compositions, such a unique and trippy song, that descending guitar line and the vocal melody that snakes around it, drenched in echo and wah-wah. . . then the Jake Holmes LPs were reissued a few years ago. OOPS!!

Considering that Led Zep stole so many other blues songs ("lemon Song", "Bring it On Home", "whole Lotta Love", "Babe Im gonna Leave You"), it makes me wonder what else they stole, and WHY didn't they just claim credit for the other covers they did like "You Shook Me" and
"I Can't Quit You." And why was CCR never called out for ripping off Leadbelly's "Midnight Special" (It's credited to Fogerty in the CCR songbook I learned to play guitar with at age 14).

On a related note: I met a lot of Deadheads over the years who were clueless that the various classic blues and country songs the Dead covered WEREN'T written by Garcia/Hunter (though I'm sure a lot of the older deadheads aren't so clueless). "NO DUDE, 'Little Red Rooster' is by Jerry, they didnt get it from some old dude named Howlin Wolf!! It's a totally different song!!"


I always thought Hit that Jive Jack was by Slim Gaillard but it turns out it was written by Skeets Tolbert. Train Kept a Rollin' is credited to
Owen Bradley and the oldest(and greatest!) version I've heard is by The Rock And Roll Trio


Sorry that link should be The Rock and Roll Trio.


Not embarrasing maybe, but i was disappointed to learn that "Sin City" was not a Mekons orginal but a Flying Burritos cover. It seemed key to their identity somehow. This was in high school, when these things hit the hardest, but nothing compared to finding out that young whelp Doug Yule sang so many parts on what is probably still my favorite album of all time, the eponymous VU record. How did I think Lou Reed had coaxed forth such honeyed, higher tones? Willing suspension of disbelief?
As with the Mekons, it seems like the song that seems the strongest on a record by a band you like turns out to be a cover, and then you just feel disappointed in them somehow.

Sour Bob

The one that got me was "Brown Paper Sack," which Reigning Sound covered so well that I'd have never guessed Greg Cartwright didn't write it if he hadn't, on a live record, said "This song is by The Gentrys."

jon manyjars

As a teen, I bought my first Iggy Pop album, Soldier. In the middle of one of the songs ("Get Up and Get Out"), Iggy sings a few lines from Gershwin's "Summertime". I was unfamiliar with Porgy & Bess, and I assumed that Iggy came up with the lyrics himself. I didn't realize my mistake until several years later.

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