Saturday, May 10, 2008

This date in Beatles history: 1965

On May 10, 1965 – a Monday night – the Beatles gathered at Abbey Road to record a couple of songs. Both songs had been written and previously recorded by Larry Williams, an American R&B singer.

John Lennon was a big Larry Williams fan, and John sang lead on both tracks – “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” and “Bad Boy.” These tunes were recorded especially for the U.S. market. One month later, they appeared on the Capitol LP “Beatles VI.”

“Dizzy Miss Lizzy” and “Bad Boy” were the only Beatles tracks to be released in America before being released in Europe.

I’m streaming the Larry Williams originals on my Vox blog. Click here to hear “Dizzy Miss Lizzy.” Click here for “Bad Boy.”

Larry Williams is an interesting story. In 1957, Art Rupe, the owner of Specialty Records, lost his biggest hitmaker – Little Richard – to the ministry.

With the help of promotions man Sonny Bono, Rupe focused on making Larry Williams a star to take Little Richard’s place.

Williams had major hits with “Short Fat Fannie” and “Bony Moronie,” but his career soon petered out. Then he was arrested for selling drugs in 1959.

In 1980 Williams died of a gunshot wound to the head. It was ruled a suicide.


Dougfp said...

Larry Williams was great. But can you name the only artist to have his songs recorded by The Beatles, The Stones, Elvis, and Dylan?

Hint: he's black.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ My first guess would be Willie Dixon... but I don't think the Beatles ever did a Willie Dixon tune.

Still, that'd be my guess.

Dougfp said...

Nope. More obscure than Willie.

Undercover Black Man said...

When you said "obscure," I said: Must be Arthur Alexander.

Great trivia question.