Beatles 5 singles on Billboard Top 100During the week of April 4, 1964, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, “Twist and Shout”, “She Loves You”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, and “Please Please Me” occupied the top five spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100. To date, this achievement has never been matched by any other artist.

In addition to these five singles, seven of their other songs held various lower positions on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart during this same period. They were: “I Saw Her Standing There”, “You Can’t Do That”, “All My Loving”, “Roll Over Beethoven”, “From Me To You”, “Do You Want To Know A Secret”, and “Thank You Girl”.

“Twist and Shout” has the distinction of being the only cover song recorded by The Beatles to become a million-selling single.

My Sweet Lord - Geroge Harrison single 1971The first single by an ex-Beatle to reach number one was “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison. Released in November 1970 in the US, and January 1971 in the UK, the song reached number one on the charts in both countries, as well as in a few others.

“My Sweet Lord” appeared on Harrison’s number one hit triple album All Things Must Pass. George wrote the song in December 1969, while he and Billy Preston were in Copenhagen, Denmark. Originally intended as a song for Preston, Billy’s version appeared on his album Encouraging Words. He had a minor hit with the single in early 1970.

Harrison was involved in a lengthy legal battle due to musical similarities between “My Sweet Lord” and The Chiffons’ song “He’s So Fine”. A U.S. federal court decision in the case found that Harrison “subconsciously” copied the earlier song. He had to surrender the majority of royalties from “My Sweet Lord” and a cut of royalties from his All Things Must Pass album. In something of a twist, George would eventually buy the rights to “He’s So Fine”.

After George Harrison’s death from cancer in late 2001, “My Sweet Lord” reached number one again on the UK charts when it was reissued in January 2002.

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.

The Beatles were last photographed together on Friday, August 22, 1969, at John and Yoko’s home, Tittenhurst Park. The Lennon’s lived there from the late summer of 1969 until August 1971. On September 18, 1973, Ringo Starr purchased the property and it became the home of Starr and his family until the late 1980s.

This historic photo session occurred two days after the Beatles’ last recording session together. On hand to shoot film were American photographer Ethan Russell, Monte Fresco from Daily Mail, and the Beatles’ assistant Mal Evans. Amateur film footage of the event was also shot on this day.

Three of the Ethan Russell photos formed the front and back covers of the Capitol compilation album Hey Jude (original title: The Beatles Again), issued in February 26, 1970. (Note: One of the three photos is a small picture superimposed over the door, in the top center of the Hey Jude album cover photo.)