Musical Misconceptions: Early In The Morning


Retro Dee is a regular contributor to The Grooveyard’s website, writing about music, fashion and other trends of the 1950s.  Check out her blog, Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever here, and her column here every week.

Hey there folks! It’s Retro Dee with another edition of Musical Misconceptions!

In this edition, instead of looking at two different songs with the same name, we’ll be looking at the very same song, performed by two different artists.

Recently, the discussion came up of who has the better version of “Early In The Morning”, Bobby Darin or Buddy Holly. The answer was unanimous, but let’s start at the beginning.

Bobby Darin and Buddy Holly

“Early In The Morning” is a song composed by the multi-talented singer, song-writer, producer and actor Bobby Darin (1936-1973). I don’t need to tell you what a fantastic artist Bobby Darin was if you know anything about music from bygone eras. Bobby Darin was known for being a crooner and a Rock n Roll star. He wrote much of his own music and played a number of instruments.

Bobby Darin wrote and recorded “Early In The Morning”, but that isn’t where I found the song. Instead, I happened upon it on The Very Best of Buddy Holly and The Crickets by NotNow! Music. I first heard the song in 2016 and I was blown away by Buddy’s vocals. Still, every single time I hear it, I’m astonished at how fantastic he is on this particular track. Looking up more information on the song, I was surprised to see it was written by none other than Bobby Darin (another favorite of mine from that era.)

Honestly, I wasn’t only surprised, I laughed out loud. How did Bobby Darin sing it? Was it in a high-class, debonair style? I pictured him in a tux and imagined the lyrics to go something like: “You’re gonna miss me / Rather early in the A.M./ One of these days / You’re gonna want me / Rather early in the A.M./ While I am away… Oh, yes …”

Years later, I finally took time out, looked it up, and actually listened to Bobby Darin’s version of his own song. Turns out, he recorded it with a group called “The Rinky Dinks” at his last session with Decca Records. It was released on Atco records in 1958.

While it’s fairly good, (no, he does not say “rather early in the A.M.”) it pales in comparison to Buddy Holly’s version and on noooo uncertain terms. But don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to tell you that if you prefer Bobby’s version to Buddy’s that your ears are broken. The two versions are, however, comparing apples to apples. Dick Jacobs directed both versions and the arrangement, lyrics and style are both the same. Neither varies much from the other… except for the vocals.

Buddy’s version of “Early In The Morning” was also released in 1958 on Coral Records with “Now We’re One” on the B side.

I wonder if Bobby ever regretted having Buddy record his song. I could just picture him saying: “What have I done? Did NOT think that one through…”

But all jokes aside. It was Bobby Darin who wrote the song, and that in itself is genius. Below are the two versions. Which version do you like better? Buddy Holly’s, or are your ears broken? I kid, I kid. Enjoy, folks.

Early In The Morning – Bobby Darin’s Version

Early In The Morning – Buddy Holly’s Version

I hope you enjoyed this post! You can follow Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era ever on WordPress and you can also find Retro Dee on Twitter: @RealRetroDee and on Instagram: @mariepascal82 .

Voting is open for our annual “Summer Song Survey”.  You can pick 10 songs of the season, or favorites you remember from a barbeque, pool party, trip to the beach or other summer memories.  Vote and find more details here.

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