Billy Preston played the organ on the song “Let It Be” and the Fender Rhodes electric piano on “Get Back” and “Don’t Let Me Down” during the recording of the Let It Be album and film (earlier called Get Back). George Harrison brought Preston in to temporarily ease some of the tension in the studio during the tumultuous sessions. Also, the Beatles intended to record the tracks “live”, with no overdubbing, so it helped to have a fifth musician playing keyboards. At one point during the sessions, John Lennon suggested that Billy could join the band as the “Fifth Beatle”, but Paul McCartney nixed the idea saying that it was bad enough with four.
The “Get Back”/”Don’t Let Me Down” single was credited to “The Beatles with Billy Preston”. This was the only time an outsider was given this type of credit on an official Beatles-sanctioned release. Tony Sheridan had shared credit on some Hamburg-era recordings, but these were unsanctioned reissues on which the Beatles were primarily the backing group.
Preston also played Hammond organ on the tracks “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and “Something” that appeared on the Abbey Road album.
The Beatles first met Billy Preston in 1962 when he was part of Little Richard’s touring band. Manager Brian Epstein had organized a Liverpool show in which the Beatles opened for.
“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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The Ramones song “Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?” mentions John Lennon in the line “Will you remember Jerry Lee, John Lennon, T. Rex and OI Moulty?.” Also mentioned in the lyrics are Ed Sullivan, Murray the K, and Alan Freed.
The song came out during the last year of John Lennon’s lifetime. It was recorded in 1979, and released on the Ramones’ End of the Century album on February 4, 1980. Like a few of Lennon’s albums, End of the Century was produced by Phil Spector.
With the lyrics; “We need change and we need it fast, before rock’s just part of the past, ’cause lately it all sounds the same to me”, the song claims that rock and roll needs change if it’s to survive.
Ringo Starr was the drummer for Rory Storm and The Hurricanes before joining The Beatles in August 1962. Starr’s first concert with The Hurricanes was in March 1959. It was during his tenure with the band that he changed his name to Ringo. Up until then he had been known as Ritchie. With the Hurricanes, Ringo had a solo spot called “Starr-time” and he was the vocalist on songs such as “Boys” by The Shirelles.
In October 1960, while Rory Storm and The Hurricanes were performing in Hamburg, Ringo met The Beatles who were playing there also. Promoter Allan Williams had arranged a recording session for Lu Walters (of The Hurricanes) for October 18, 1960, at the Akoustik Studio. He had asked John, Paul, and George from The Beatles to play and sing harmonies on the session. Beatles drummer Pete Best wasn’t available, so Ringo was asked to fill in. This was the first time that the future famous line-up of The Beatles played and recorded together.
Back in the UK, Starr sat in for Best as The Beatles’ drummer on several occasions. The first time he played with them live on stage was February 5, 1962, when Best fell ill and The Beatles had two performances scheduled for that date. Ringo would permanently replace Pete when he was fired from The Beatles on August 16, 1962.
During their existence, The Hurricanes were one of the most popular music acts on the Liverpool and Hamburg club scenes, but their attempt at a recording career never took off.