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Can anyone settle a debate? Who was the first to record 'The Real Thing'? Was it Tina Britt (who I think did), Betty Everett, or The Chiffons?

I know that someone on here will know the answer. Thanks in anticipation :)

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I almost sure the first version of "The Real Thing" was by Tina Britt. If you go by Billboard, the Tina Britt version is mentioned in 

April, the Betty Everett version in May and the Chiffons (as the flip of "Nobody Knows...." isn't mentioned until June. 

Edited by the yank

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Tina Britt's  'Blue All The Way' retrospective Cd of her 60s recordings issued in 2006 has some information that is relevant to your query.

Henry 'Juggy' Murray , the manager of Tina Britt received a demo of the 'Real Thing' in  autumn 1964. There was an issue over its provenance and indeed early pressings give Chicago-based  Ed Silvers as the writer. Silvers appears to have renamed the song originally called 'Baby Take Me Baby' written by Ashford-Simpson- Armstead, a song recorded by Chuck Brown and Maxine Brown for their album 'Sayin' Something'. It was also the b-side to 'Sayin' Something' on Scepter released in February 1965.

Murray who may not have known of the song's previous title hired former Drifter Jimmy Oliver and Jerome 'JJ' Jackson as arrangers and cut 'Real Thing' with Tina Britt is February 1965 and released it on Eastern 604. This was released in mid-March 1965. London -America released 'The Real Thing' in June 1965 in the UK and in France.

There's a twist as Scepter recalled Chuck Jackson and Maxine Brown back to the studio to re-cut 'Baby Take Me' as 'The Real Thing'. According to the notes the recut version appears on 'Hold On, We're Coming' LP . In fact this is wrong information as 'The Real Thing' appears as the final track on 1965's 'Saying Something' LP. It's the same backing track as 'Baby Take Me.'

I have the 'Saying Something' LP in my hand and the majority of cuts are by Ashford-Simpson-Armstead so I suggest that the song was originally intended for Jackson-Brown. How Murray got the demo is an ever-lasting mystery.

The doyen of British soul writing David Cole interviewed Tina Britt for his wonderful 'In The Basement' magazine # 55 for Autumn 2009. Tina was very much the protegee of Murray. She remained based in new York and when Murray sold his labels in 1968 her contract was transferred to United Artists. She rarely toured because of her children and most of her working life has been as a nurse.



Edited by Firecrest
Grammar tidy-up.

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