There are times you hear a song and you could swear you know exactly who sang it. Then (sometimes years later) you find out you were wrong and it was an entirely different artist or band that made it! If you’ve had this happen you’re certainly not alone.
The songs below were all chart-toppers in their day and if you were listening to the radio back then you might have known from the start who sang these songs. But, even some of us golden oldies still got these songs wrong! Here are 5 classics that everyone seems to think were performed by the wrong artists.
5) “A Horse With No Name”
Most folks believe that this song was sung by Neil Young only be be shocked to find out it was the band America who released this song. And, before you ask, no Neil Young was never in the band or on their records. But, the sound they cultivated during this time was very similar to the sound Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young created, which of course did include Neil Young.
This soundalike was an homage to the genre and done in the style of the CSNY for sure. It doesn’t help that Young’s other work sounds a lot like the song, and Young’s “Down By the River” even references his beloved horse. Given all this it’s no wonder so many folks get this tune so wrong – and have since it was first released!
4) “Dancing in the Moonlight”
You might think this one was sung by Van Morrison, but it was actually by the New York-Paris band, King Harvest. The song was released in 1972, 2 years after it was first released from Sherman Kelley’s band Boffalongo. Kelley would go on to become one of the keyboardists for King Harvest and of course he also wrote the song.
The husky vocals of singer Dave “Doc” Robinson have an eerie similar quality to Irish singer Van Morrison.
3) “Son of a Preacher Man”
For some reason there are lots of listeners who believe that this song was sung by American artist Janis Joplin. But it was actually British singer Dusty Springfield who belted out this soulful tune.
The song was released in 1968 for her album Dusty in Memphis. It certainly has lots of grit to it, but Joplin’s signature vocal fry is nowhere to be found in this tune. However, both women have their legacies in “blue-eyed soul” and blues tunes.
2) “Cat’s in the Cradle”
Perhaps because the name “Cat” is in the song and because both men had gentle voices that mingled softly with their guitars, a lot of music fans think that
“Cat’s in the Cradle” was sung by Cat Stevens. In reality it was Harry Chapin who wrote and sang this sad, but beautiful, song.
In 1970 Stevens did have a hit with the song “Father and Son” so perhaps this is why folks get the artists confused.
1) “Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)”
Creedence Clearwater Revival certainly had a unique sound that is easily recognizable. But, the classic “Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)” from 1972 wasn’t sung by them. It was, in fact, released by The Hollies. The styling on this British song was very much like the American band CCR, so it’s no wonder that the two get mixed up.
Bringing us back full circle Graham Nash of CSNY was also once a member of The Hollies. The styles and artists have a way of connecting back to each other, don’t they?