Get Well Soon, The Elegants (c. 1960) and Come Home Soon, The Intruders (1961)

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This page was originally published on 27 March 2014 under the title “Come Home Soon – The Intruders, 1961,” and was focused entirely on that song and the Intruders’ recording of it. The page was revised in mid-November 2019 soon after I discovered the similar song “Get Well Soon,” from which “Come Home Soon” seems to have been adapted. The Elegants’ recording of “Get Well Soon” was evidently released approximately two years before the Intruders released their recording of “Come Home Soon.”

In addition to copies of the recordings, and relevant information about those recordings, for each of the two songs I’ve provided the lyric, transcribed by myself, and an analysis of some of the similarities and differences between the two recordings. This is latest edit of the revised and retitled page, dated 13 February 2020. ~ doc

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The song “Get Well Soon,” recorded by The Elegants, was released either in January 1960 or in 1959 (see release date disagreement below), with the songwriting credited to Arthur Venosa, a member of that vocal group. A Catalog of Copyright Entries edition published in 1960 that covers the period July-December 1959 has an entry on page 1274 indicating that the song “Get Well Soon,” with words and music by Arthur Venosa, was copyrighted on 16 November 1959.

Approximately two years after the release of “Get Well Soon” by the Elegants, a recording by The Intruders of the very similar song “Come Home Soon” was released with the songwriting credited to “Intruders.”

Having enjoyed “Come Home Soon” many times since 2014, I know every note of it. So as I listened to “Get Well Soon” for the first time in mid-November 2019 it was immediately obvious that the principal melodies of the two songs are strikingly similar. More surprising was the fact that one line after another of the lyric in the song’s opening two sections are either identical to lines in the first two sections of “Come Home Soon,” or nearly so. Let’s compare the words of the first couple of sections of the two songs:

Beginning of “Get Well Soon”

Each night under this moon
I sit alone
Hoping you’ll get well soon
And come home to me
(Get well soon)

I sit in my room
Each and every night
Wondering how you are
Are you feeling alright
For I, I miss you so
Darling, get well soon

Beginning of “Come Home Soon”

Each night under this moon
I sit alone
Hoping you’ll get home soon
Darling, come home soon
Darling, come home soon

I sit in my room
Each and every night
Wondering how you are
Are you feeling all alone
For I miss you so

Collectively, the evidence I’ve outlined above indicates that “Come Home Soon” was most likely adapted from “Get Well Soon” rather than vice versa (although it’s possible that both were adapted from an as yet unidentified third song). A more detailed comparison of the similarities and differences of the two songs appears at the bottom of this page.

The Elegants links:

Get Well Soon (Arthur Venosa) — copyright date: 16 November 1959

Arthur “Artie” Venosa was a founding member of the American vocal harmony group The Elegants. Founding member and lead singer Vito Picone co-wrote, with Venosa, the group’s big hit “Little Star.”

The Elegants — issued on the 45 rpm single Hull Records 45-H-732, as the B-side of “Little Boy Blue (Is Blue No More)”; A-side written by Vito Picone

Hull 45-H-732 release date disagreement:

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“Get Well Soon” (Arthur Venosa) lyric – transcribed by Jim Radcliff (“doc”) on 19 November 2019, from the c. 1960 recording by the Elegants above

Each night under this moon
I sit alone
Hoping you’ll get well soon
And come home to me
(Get well soon)

I sit in my room
Each and every night
Wondering how you are
Are you feeling alright
For I, I miss you so
Darling, get well soon

I’m so sorry, baby
You’re feeling ill
And now that apart
I’ll be waiting still
For I, I miss you so
Darling, get well soon

I never felt so all alone before
I’ve waited patiently for your knock on my door
Though you’ve been gone a few days, it seems
Like a million years you’re out of my dreams

So I pray to God
That you’ll hear my plea
And that maybe ba-baby
You’ll come on home to me
For I, I miss you so
Darling, get well soon

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Intruders, 1960

The Intruders — from the Wikipedia profile:

Formed around 1960, the group originally consisted of Sam “Little Sonny” Brown, Eugene “Bird” Daughtry, Phillip “Phil” Terry and Robert “Big Sonny” Edwards.[2] In 1969, Sam Brown was replaced as lead singer by Bobby Starr, only to rejoin the group in 1973.

In 1965, when songwriters and record producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff first contemplated leaving the Cameo-Parkway record label to risk launching their own label, the vocalists on which they pinned all their hopes and venture capital were The Intruders. Like many other subsequent acts the duo produced, which included Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes and The O’Jays, The Intruders had already developed a vocal sound that was both theirs and uniquely Philadelphian.[3]

1961 Come Home Soon, Intruders, LN-195ABrown, Daughtry, Terry and Edwards had been recording and performing one-off singles together since 1961, blending Philly’s street corner doo-wop tradition with black gospel fervor. The result was neither as pop-infected as Motown, nor as funky and blues-inflected as Stax. The sound which The Intruders refined for the Excel, Gamble and Philadelphia International imprints reflected a different attitude than either Stax or Motown.[4][read more]

The Intruders bio and discography:

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Come Home Soon (Intruders) — originally issued in December 1961 on Gowen 1401 as the B-side of the first single by the Intruders, “I’m Sold On You” — The single was later reissued with the sides reversed on Lost-Nite LN-195. The Lost-Nite Records discography at tidalwaves.com (Tidalwaves band website) dates the reissue 1963, as does Soulful Kinda Music, though the release date given on the label is 1961. See the lyric, transcribed by yours truly, below the videos.

The existence of the very similar and evidently earlier song “Get Well Soon” (see above), credited to Arthur Venosa, suggests that Venosa should have been given at least partial songwriting credit for the Intruders song “Come Home Soon,” which is instead credited simply to “Intruders” on the corresponding sides of the Intruders’ singles Gowen 1401 and Lost-Nite LN-195.

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“Come Home Soon” (Intruders) lyric, transcribed by doc (Jim Radcliff), February 2014; latest edit: 27 December 2016 — The back vocalists (maroon highlight) take the lead to begin the third section, and alternate with the lead vocalist before retreating into the background after the first line of the final section.

Each night under this moon
I sit alone
Hoping you’ll get home soon
Darling, come home soon
Darling, come home soon

I sit in my room
Each and every night
Wondering how you are
Are you feeling all alone
For I miss you so

I’m writing to you
So sad and blue
For I love you so
So sorry, dear
Wish you were here
And I’ll never let you go

Midnight, under this moon
I sit in my room
Here’s hoping you’ll get home soon
Darling, come home soon
Darling, come home soon

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Lyric, with additional back vocals:

 

Each night under this moon
I sit alone
Hoping you’ll get home soon
(Midnight, midnight, ooh…)
Darling, come home soon
Darling, come home soon

I sit in my room
(Midnight, under this moon, ooh…)
Each and every night
Wondering how you are
Are you feeling all alone
For I miss you so
(Ah…ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah)

I’m writing to you
So sad and blue
For I love you so
So sorry, dear
Wish you were here
And I’ll never let you go

Midnight, under this moon (ooh…)
I sit in my room
Here’s hoping you’ll get home soon
Darling, come home soon
Darling, come home soon
(La la la la la, la la la la la…)

Lyric, with additional back vocals, transcribed by doc (Jim Radcliff), February 2014; latest edit: 27 December 2016

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How are “Get Well Soon” and “Come Home Soon” alike, and how are they different?

Similarities

  • lyric – The first couple of sections of the two lyrics have numerous identical lines, and others that are nearly so.
  • structure – Each song features a 32-bar AABA chorus. “Come Home Soon” jumps right into the chorus, so it’s virtually the whole song, except for the fadeout (which lasts fewer than 2 bars). “Get Well Soon,” on the other hand, has a 2-bar instrumental introduction and a 6-bar introductory vocal section preceding the 32-bar AABA chorus.  Since its fadeout is also less than 2 bars long, altogether it’s about 8 bars longer than “Come Home Soon.”
  • melody – The melodies of the A sections of the two song’s choruses are quite similar, while the melodies of the B-sections are dissimilar.
  • time and tempo – Each song features both 4/4 and 12/8 time throughout. The 12/8 meter consists of four eighth note triplets. The tempo is similarly moderate in each song.

Differences

  • structure and length – As mentioned above, “Get Well Soon” has  8 bars of introduction (2 bars instrumental and 6 bars vocal) preceding the 32-bar AABA chorus. The tempos of the two songs are about the same, the chorus isn’t repeated in either song, and their fadeouts are each less than 2 bars long. Consequently, since “Get Well Soon” has about eight bars more than “Come Home Soon,” it’s about 30 seconds longer.
  • asynchronicity – Although the first section of each of the two lyrics are very similar, in “Get Well Soon” the first lyric section coincides with a 6-bar introductory musical section that precedes the four 8-bar sections of the 32-bar AABA chorus, while in “Come Home Soon” the first lyric section coincides with the first 8-bar A section of the AABA chorus.
  • bridge – The bridges (B-sections) of the two songs are dissimilar, melodically and lyrically.
  • The phrases and sounds sung by the back vocalists are different in the two songs.
    • Example 1: The phrases “doo wah” and “wah, wah, wah” are only heard in “Get Well Soon.”
    • Example 2: The phrase “Midnight, under this moon,” a modification of “Each night, under this moon,” is only heard in “Come Home Soon.”
    • Example 3: The repeated phrase “la la la la la,” sung at the end of “Come Home Soon,” is only heard in that song. The “la” notes fall on beats 2-6 and 8-12 of the 12-beat bar.

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