Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby

Beatles For Sale album artworkWritten by: Perkins
Recorded: 18 October 1964
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Released: 4 December 1964 (UK), 15 December 1964 (US)

George Harrison: vocals, lead guitar
John Lennon: acoustic rhythm guitar, tambourine
Paul McCartney: bass
Ringo Starr: drums

Available on:
Beatles For Sale
Anthology 2
Live At The BBC

Sung by George Harrison as the final track on the Beatles For Sale album, Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby was originally recorded by Carl Perkins in 1957.

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The Beatles recorded two other Perkins songs for EMI – Honey Don’t and Matchbox, both sung by Ringo Starr. They also played a number of his songs live: Lennon sang Tennessee, Bopping The Blues, Blue Suede Shoes and early versions of Honey Don’t; McCartney performed Sure To Fall (In Love With You) and duetted with Lennon on Lend Me Your Comb.

George Harrison, meanwhile, was arguably the group’s biggest Perkins fan. His early guitar solos deployed many of the same licks, and he had sung Your True Love and Glad All Over, as well as Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby.

Additionally, during The Beatles’ first tour of Scotland in 1960, as the backing band for Johnny Gentle, they all decided to adopt pseudonyms. George became briefly known as Carl Harrison, after his idol.

The Beatles recorded Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby for the BBC radio programme Saturday Club in November 1964. This version can be heard on Live At The BBC. They also recorded it in June 1963 for the Pop Go The Beatles show.

The song returned to The Beatles’ live set in 1965, following the release of Beatles For Sale. A version recorded at Shea Stadium on 15 August was included on Anthology 2.

In the studio

The Beatles recorded Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby in a single take on 18 October 1964.

For this album we rehearsed only the new ones. Songs like Honey Don’t and Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby, we’d played live so often that we only had to get a sound on them and do them.
George Harrison
Anthology

The recording contained a large amount of echo on Harrison’s vocals, which were double tracked to make them sound even fuller. For this, Abbey Road’s engineers used a technique called STEED: single tape echo and echo delay.

The Beatles inserted a short pause between the lines in the first verse, an arrangement borrowed from Perkins’ original recording of Blue Suede Shoes. The false ending, meanwhile, appears to have been the group’s own invention: a version recorded at Hamburg’s Star-Club in December 1962 features no fewer than four extra instrumental flourishes at the close.

Lyrics

Well they took some honey from a tree
Dressed it up and they called it me

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Woke up last night, at half past four
Fifty women knocking on my door

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Went out last night, I didn’t stay late
‘Fore I got home I had nineteen dates

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Went out last night, I didn’t stay late
‘Fore I got home I had nineteen dates

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

Well they took some honey from a tree
Dressed it up and they called it me

Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby
Everybody’s trying to be my baby, now

17 responses on “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby

  1. McLerristarr

    “The Beatles inserted a short pause between the lines in the first verse, an arrangement borrowed from Perkins’ original recording of Blue Suede Shoes.”

    Carl Perkins’ version of the song had the same pause at the start.

      1. McLerristarr

        Sorry, I should have explained my point better. I meant Carl Perkins’ original version of Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby had the pauses, the Beatles version sounds very similar to the original.

  2. Trorine

    Carl Perkins is a joke, a thief he had nothing to do with the song of “Rex Griffin” Everybody’s Tryin’ To Be My Baby, he did not write it. Rex Griffin did.
    Trorine

    1. Trorine Richoux

      I have no problem replying to your comments !!
      My name is Trorine Richoux, and very proud to be the grand daughter of Rex Griffin !!
      You said, Carl Perkins reconstructed the song and altered its theme as well. “You belive what you like” Maybe take a look at the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
      The Griffin family has had over 50 years to fight for their claim to this song but apparently they have not. “Apparently, You are wrong again”
      I really don’t know how Carl Perkins and now the Perkins Estate can still live with there self,
      So I have the right to call a man like Carl Perkins and the estate a joke and a thief?
      Trorine Richoux
      Anyone can contact me @
      rexgriffinmusic@aol.com

  3. Joseph Brush

    Carl Perkins reconstructed the song and altered its theme as well.
    The Griffin family has had over 50 years to fight for their claim to this song but apparently they have not.
    This song is not the only old song that was later modernized.
    Trorine, who the hell are you to call a man like Carl Perkins a joke and a thief?

    1. Michael Taliaferro

      I agree with with Trorine, maybe not on the joke part, but definitely on the thief part. I know for a fact that the song was stolen from Rex and it’s a shame that the Perkins family is so greedy they wont won’t give the true writer credit.

  4. Sergey

    Everett:
    “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby”:
    1. Drums, bass, John’s Jumbo
    2. George’s Country Gent
    3. George’s vocal with heavy STEED
    4. George’s doubled vocal for chorus and tambourine

  5. Carl Savich

    The major point here is that Carl Perkins wrote completely new music for the song. Lyrically, the two songs are similar but musically they are not. My guess is that Carl Perkins did not have the sheet music for the song and did not remember the music so he just wrote and created new music for it in the style of “Blue Suede Shoes”. He did the same thing with “Matchbox” which does borrow lyrics from an older blues song but which has totally new music. I think if you compare the music to the Carl Perkins song and the Rex Griffin song you will find that they are different. This is why a lawsuit would fail. The music is different. The Carl Perkins song is more blues-based and is closer to “Blue Suede Shoes” musically.

  6. Bill

    On top of that, Perkins’ self-penned Sun recordings were originally published by Sun’s in-house publishing companies (Hi-Lo Music and Knox Music), which were maintained by Sun’s owner, Sam Phillips, so the discrepancy would lie with Sam, not Carl.
    Sam Cooke took lyrics from “Matchbox” & stuck them in the middle of “Somebody Have Mercy”, yet I don’t hear anyone complaining about that…

    Just to stir things up, if Carl’s a thief, then so is John for putting lyrics from “Baby, Let’s Play House” into “Run For Your Life” & lifting the intro from “Some Other Guy” for “Instant Karma”. It depends on how ridiculous you wanna get about it. “Here come ol’ flattop” anybody? How ’bout “My Sweet Lord”???

    One more of these… Let’s give co-writer’s credits to Jimmies Nichol & Scott for “Getting Better” & “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. Run that one by Paul & Yoko & see if they’ll go for it. Ok, I’m off the soapbox now…

    1. appmanga

      As a songwriter, I understand both sides of the coin as far as what may be borrowing and what may be stealing. It’s long been a point of controvesy as to how people like Perkins and even Led Zeppelin have used old material from others and claimed it as their invention. The reality is it’s very hard to prove this type of plagerism in court. I’ve long felt that John gave into Morris Levy (re: “You Can’t Catch Me”) because he didn’t need the headache of a lawsuit from a person known to be extremely litigious and allegedly “mobbed up”. Typically, using a line from a previously written song doesn’t rise to the level of plagerism. The “My Sweet Lord” incident certainly is a better example of two songs being very similar. I also believe Paul paid a few bucks to Jimmie Scott.

      1. metzgermeister77

        Scott actually tried to take Paul to court over Ob-la-di Ob-la-da but the court ruled that he had no claim on the song. Scott may have introduced Paul to the phrase, but it existed before he ever said it.

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