The sixth and final instalment of our series on Beatles Cover Versions deals with the cover versions contained on the Beatles VI album that was originally issued in Canada on Monday, June 14th, 1965. Regular visitors to our web site should note that we will plan to issue a limited edition booklet of the compilation of these articles with *** ALL *** related updates and amendments at a later date. So please stay tuned for that.
In the meantime, we are still missing the following two original Canadian label images and would appreciate any help to track them down:
Regency R-791 Little Richard - Kansas City / Lonesome And Blue (Phonodisc Records, April 1959)
Dot 16387X Arthur Alexander - Anna / I Hang My Head And Cry (Quality Records, 1962)
Now enjoy the final instalment !
1. Medley: "Kansas City"/"Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey" (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller/Richard Penniman) – 2:30
2. "Eight Days a Week" – 2:43
3. "You Like Me Too Much" (George Harrison) – 2:34
4. "Bad Boy" (Larry Williams) – 2:17
5. "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party" – 2:33
6. "Words of Love" (Buddy Holly) – 2:10
1. "What You're Doing" – 2:30
2. "Yes It Is" – 2:40
3. "Dizzy Miss Lizzie" (sic) (Williams) – 2:51
4. "Tell Me What You See" – 2:35
5. "Every Little Thing" – 2:01
The song "Kansas City" was composed by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller in 1952. Just like the Coasters songs covered by The Beatles, Kansas City tells a great story in a song that is just a couple of minutes long. The song was first recorded by Little Willie Littlefield as "K.C. Lovin" in 1952. (Source: Wikipedia). Wilbert Harrison recorded the very same song as "Kansas City" in early 1959 ... and it became a huge hit in both the USA and Canada.
NOTE - early Canadian pressings of the Beatles VI LP only credit Mike Stoller - Jerry Leiber
Wilbert Harrison recorded the same song as "Kansas City" in early 1959 and it became a huge hit in both the USA and Canada. The disc was issued as Fury 1023 in the USA and was then picked up and issued in Canada by a small Toronto independent label called Barrel Records as Barrel 403 Wilbert Harrison "Kansas City / Listen, My Darling". This proved to be a lucky strike for Barrel in Canada but sadly the label was gone within a year.
Barrel 601 Travis And Bob - "Tell Him No / We're Too Young"
Barrel 78-601 Travis And Bob - "Tell Him No / We're Too Young"
Barrel 602 Hot-Toddys "Rockin' Crickets / Shakin' And Stompin' " (45 RPM)
Barrel 603 TBD Barrel 604 Wilbert Harrison "Kansas City / Listen, My Darling" (45 RPM)
Barrel 78-604 Wilbert Harrison "Kansas City / Listen, My Darling" (78 RPM)
Barrel released a number of records up and until the end of 1959. The final release was barrel 640. For the detailed Barrel Records discography we highly recommend Mr. David Whatmough's excellent 900 page volume that lists all 45s issued in Canada between 1940 and 1990. Copies of this book may be ordered directly from Mr. David Whatmough, 284 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8P 1J8 CANADA. You can also email Mr. Whatmough at email@example.com for further details.
The Wilbert Harrison 45 topped the CHUM Toronto chart in May of 1959. CHUM charted the Barrel disc for a total of 14 weeks (Source: Ron Hall, The CHUM Chart Book 1957-1986, Stardust Publications, 1990)
These were in effect two songs put together in a medley. While both were covers of the Little Richard versions, Kansas City had already been issued by Wilbert Harrison and Little Richard's cover version was much more up tempo. It is safe to say that The Beatles version of the Kansas City tune was "a cover of the Little Richard cover".
The Beatles had appeared on stage as the main support act for Little Richard when he played at The Tower Ballroom in Liverpool on Friday, October 12th, 1962. Little Richard's live set after 1959 often included a combination of his fast version of Kansas City with his own song Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey so we can assume that The Beatles paid hommage, yet "stole with their eyes and ears" when they recorded the track for Beatles For Sale (UK Parlophone) and Beatles VI (Capitol Canada). Note that early Canadian pressings of the Beatles VI Lp only credited Mike Stoller - Jerry Leiber and did not list "Richard Penniman". Even the later green target and orange label copies from 1969 and beyond do not show the corrected songwriter-credits ... and these copies were being issued when Lennon shared a stage with Little Richard in Toronto ! The Beatles VI Lp covers as well were never modified and always showed just "Kansas City".
It is also this track that was issued as a Star Line budget 45 in Canada in October 1965 as Kansas City / Boys (Star Line 45-6066). The two Little Richard 45s were released in Canada on Regency by Phonodisc (Toronto) between early 1958 and mid-1959 as:
Regency 711X Little Richard Good Golly Miss Molly / Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey ! (green label, January 1958)
(also issued on 78 RPM in Canada as Regency 711)
Released in the USA as Specialty 624
Released in the UK as London American 45-HLU 8560
Regency R-791 Little Richard Kansas City / Lonesome And Blue (April 1959)
(Also issued on 78 RPM in Canada as Regency R-791 -very rare ! )
Released in the USA as Specialty 664
Released in the UK as London American 45-HLU 8668 (flip is She Knows How To Rock)
CHUM Toronto charted Good Golly Miss Molly / Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey ! for 6 weeks and it's highest position was 8 during March 1958 (Source: Ron Hall, The CHUM Chart Book, Stardust Productions, 1990).
CHUM Toronto charted Kansas City for 2 weeks and it's highest position was 24 during April 1959 (Source: Ron Hall, The CHUM Chart Book, Stardust Productions, 1990).
But The Beatles always did it best live ...
The very name "The Beatles" was directly derived from the name "The Crickets" ... that naming of the band alone defines how influential Buddy Holly And The Crickets were on the earliest formations of John, Paul, George et al. According to Spencer Leigh, Paul McCartney and many other young Liverpool musicians, including Mike Pender of The Searchers, saw Buddy Holly And The Crickets play two shows at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on the evening of Thursday, March 20th, 1958. At this time, The Crickets included just Jerry Allison on drums and Joe B. Mauldin. Guitarist Niki Sullivan had left the group by this time.
Saturday, September 14th, 1957 - Maple Leaf Gardens - Toronto, Ontario (Canada)
Sunday, September 15th, 1957 - Forum - Montreal, Quebec (Canada)
Wednesday, October 23rd, 1957 - Georgia Auditorium - Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) Tuesday, October 29th, 1957 - Stampede Corral - Calgary, Alberta (Canada) Wednesday, October 30th, 1957 - Edmonton Gardens - Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) Thursday, October 31st, 1957 - Exhibition Auditorium - Regina, Saskatchewan (Canada)
Sunday, November 17th, 1957 - Forum - Montreal, Quebec (Canada))
Monday, November 18th, 1957 - Auditorium Arena - Toronto, Ontario (Canada)
Monday, January 20th, 1958 - Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Wednesday, April 9th, 1968 - The Arena - Windsor, Ontario, Canada (2 shows)
Thursday, April 10th, 1958 - The Arena - London, Ontario)
Friday, April 11th, 1958 - The Auditorium - Kitchener, Ontario
Saturday, May 3rd, 1958 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada (2 shows))
Sunday, May 4th, 1958 - The Forum - Montreal, Quebec, Canada (2 shows)
Sunday, October 5th, 1958 - The Forum - Montreal, Quebec )
Monday, October 6th, 1958 - Memorial Centre - Peterborough, Ontario, Canada)
Tuesday, October 7th, 1958 - Memorial Auditorium - Kitchener, Ontario
In Canada, "Words Of Love" was coupled with "Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues" and was pressed and issued by The Compo Company Ltd. of Lachine, Quebec on both 78 RPM and 45 RPM formats as follows:
78 RPM - Coral 61852 "Words Of Love / Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues"
45 RPM - Coral 9-61852 "Words Of Love / Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues"
The track was written by Buddy Holly and was recorded on April 8th, 1957 and the record was issued by Decca/Coral in the USA on June 20th, 1957.
In the UK, The Beatles included their cover version on Beatles For Sale.
The Beatles had already covered the Larry Williams song "Slow Down" on the Something New LP in 1964. The song "Bad Boy" had been issued as the B-side in Canada to "She Said 'Yeah' " on the Regency label in early (probably January or early February) 1959 as:
45 Regency R-778X " She Said 'Yeah' / Bad Boy "
Bad Boy was composed by Larry Williams and The Beatles version is a faithful one - with the double-tracked guitar solo even an improvement in my opinion. The A-side would of course later be covered by The Animals and The Rolling Stones.
According to Wikipedia... "The song was recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, California on August 14, 1958. The musicians on the recording included Williams on vocals and piano, Earl Palmer on drums, Rene Hall on guitar, Jewell Grant on baritone sax, Plas Johnson on tenor sax, and Ted Brinson on bass. The record did not break the Top 40 charts in the United States.". The "She Said Yeah / Bad Boy" Regency 45 did not chart in Canada and copies are very hard to find.
Other than being a really great track on Beatles VI, 1960s Beatles fans in Canada will fondly remember the song as it was used in the animated colour Beatles cartoon series in Season 1 (September 1965 into spring 1966) ... although in Canada we did not get colour TV until the fall of 1966 so we had to watch these cartoons in black and white.
The song was originally issued in Canada as a B-side to the Larry Williams song "Slow Down". Larry Williams composed the song. The record was issued in late February 1958 as:
45 RPM REO 720X Larry Williams "Slow Down / Dizzy, Miss Lizzy"
As below from page 186 of the excellent Toronto chart reference book "The CHUM Chart Book" (Ron Hall, Stardust Productions, 1990), CHUM charted the Slow Down 45 on Reo for just 2 weeks and it peaked at number 40 during March 1958.
In my opinion, the Larry Williams songs that were covered by The Beatles were excellent choices and The Beatles' own cover versions are among the very best "rock and roll" songs they ever recorded. I am sure that Larry Williams really appreciated the song royalties that came his way from the sales of the Beatles covers of his songs!