Paul McCartney produced a session for Mary Hopkin on this day at Morgan Studios in London.
Two songs were worked on: ‘Goodbye’, the follow-up single to Hopkin’s debut Those Were The Days, and the b-side Sparrow.
Although credited to Lennon-McCartney, Goodbye was written by McCartney. He had recorded a solo demo at his home, 7 Cavendish Road, London, in February 1969, which was released in 2019 on the Abbey Road 50th anniversary deluxe box set.
I didn’t have in mind any more Russian folk songs so I just wrote one for her. I thought it fit the bill. It wasn’t as successful as the first one but it did all right. My main memory of it is from years later, going on a boat trip from the north of Scotland to the Orkney Islands. The skipper of the boat was called George, and he told me it was his favourite song. And if you think of it from a sailor’s point of view, it’s very much a leaving-the-port song. He had the strangest Scottish accent, almost sort of Norwegian, as the Orkneyans do. He was quite proud of the fact that that was his favourite song.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
Hopkin’s recording raised the key from C to E.
He did demo Goodbye for me, which he wrote and then produced. And when we recorded it we played the guitar part together, plus Paul added a thigh slap all through the song and played ukulele.
Record Collector, 1988
On Goodbye Hopkin sang and performed acoustic guitar, while McCartney played bass guitar, an acoustic guitar introduction and solo, thigh-slapping percussion, ukulele and drums. Backing vocals, horns and strings, arranged by Richard Hewson, were also added.
The b-side, Sparrow, was written by Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle, a songwriting duo signed to Apple Publishing who found fame as Gallagher And Lyle in the 1970s. Hopkin sang and played guitar, McCartney added maracas, a session musician played upright bass, and Hewson arranged a choir part.
Although I’m flattered that Paul wrote Goodbye especially for me, it was, I believe, a step in the wrong direction for me. I’m so grateful that he chose Those Were The Days as my first single. I think Those Were The Days, being originally a Ukrainian folk song, has a timeless quality, but Goodbye is set firmly in the sixties pop era.
Goldmine magazine, 2007
The session was filmed by Apple’s Tony Bramwell for a promotional clip. In the footage, Hopkin is seen miming to the song inside the studio, and there are shots of her and McCartney in the control room listening to a playback.
This was the first of two sessions for the songs; the second was on the following day, 2 March 1969. Morgan Studios was situated at 169-171 High Road in Willesden Green, London.
Also on this day...
- 2015: Ringo Starr live at Planetario Galileo Galilei, Buenos Aires, Argentina
- 1969: Ringo Starr begins filming The Magic Christian
- 1968: Ringo Starr leaves India
- 1967: Recording: A Day In The Life, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
- 1966: The Beatles At Shea Stadium is premièred on BBC 1
- 1965: Filming: Help!, the Bahamas
- 1964: Recording: I’m Happy Just To Dance With You, Long Tall Sally, I Call Your Name
- 1963: Live: Odeon Cinema, Southport
- 1962: Live: Storyville Jazz Club, Liverpool
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1961: Live: Aintree Institute, Liverpool
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.