The Carefrees, best known for their novelty song "We Love You Beatles"“We Love You Beatles” was the only Beatles novelty record to reach the Top 40. It was released in 1964 by The Carefrees, a British group made up of session vocalists Lynn Cornell, Betty Prescott and Barbara Kay. This musical tribute to The Beatles was their only charted single, where it peaked at #39 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song was based on “We Love You Conrad” from the musical Bye Bye Birdie. Each Beatle is named separately in individual verses. Sprinkled in the song are bits mymicing the Beatles themselves, such as some “woos” and “yeah, yeah, yeahs” similar to “She Loves You”.

Curiously, vocalist Cornell was married to Andy White, best known for playing drums on The Beatles’ first single, “Love Me Do”.

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Actor Dustin Hoffman with musician Paul McCartneyWhile having dinner together in 1973, Dustin Hoffman inspired Paul McCartney to write “Picasso’s Last Words (Drink To Me)”. Hoffman had asked McCartney how he came up with ideas for writing songs. Paul replied that he didn’t know, “You just sort do it, kind of pick them out of the air”. Dustin asked him if he could “write one now.” Paul agreed to try. So, Hoffman grabbed his copy of Time magazine that had an article about the recent death of artist Pablo Picasso. He told Paul the story about Picasso’s death and his famous last words, “Drink to me, drink to my health. You know I can’t drink anymore.” McCartney had a guitar with him and immediately began composing the song on the spot, much to Dustin’s amazement.

Later, Paul McCartney recorded “Picasso’s Last Words (Drink To Me)” for inclusion on the Band On The Run album, released in late 1973.

Below, listen to an audio clip of Paul McCartney and Dustin Hoffman talking about the song’s birth. Also, there’s a couple of brief snippets of the song mixed in.

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Eddie Cochran and his Gretsch guitarWhen Paul McCartney met John Lennon on July 6, 1957, one of the songs Paul played on guitar and sang for John was Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock”. The occasion was the garden fete of St Peter’s Church, Woolton, Liverpool, where John’s band, the Quarry Men, were performing. Mutual friend Ivan Vaughan had introduced the two future Beatles and this impromptu audition took place. Lennon was impressed that Paul knew all of the lyrics to “Twenty Flight Rock”, and McCartney wrote them down for him. A couple weeks later Paul was invited to join the Quarry Men and he eventually did so.

Unfortunately, Cochran didn’t live to hear about the significance his song had on the two future music legends. On April 17, 1960, at the young age of 21, he died from injuries from a traffic accident in a taxi. This was a few years before The Beatles were to became famous. Ironically, the name of the taxi driver in the accident was George Martin.

Paul McCartney released a cover version of “Twenty Flight Rock” on his “Russian album”, Choba B CCCP (Back in the USSR) [Amazon link].

Listen to Eddie Cochran’s original version of “Twenty Flight Rock”:

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Bonnie Jo Mason/Cher Bono - Ringo, I Love You 45 SingleUnder the pseudonym of Bonnie Jo Mason, a teen-aged Cher recorded the novelty record “Ringo, I Love You”. The single was Cher’s first record and was released in 1964 on Annette Records, with “Beatle Blues” (instrumenal) on the flip side.

Cher’s husband-to-be, Sonny Bono, worked as an assistant to record producer Phil Spector, and helped her get a job as a studio backup singer. This led to the record being produced by the famous (and later infamous)  Spector.

The songwriting for “Ringo, I Love You” is credited to P. Spector – P. Case – V. Poncia – P. Andreoli.

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