Morgan Studios, London
Producer: George Martin
This, the penultimate session for Ringo Starr’s debut solo album Sentimental Journey, saw two songs recorded: Whispering Grass and Bye Bye Blackbird.
A 36-piece orchestra was used on both songs, conducted by the arranger of each song. Firstly, Ron Goodwin led the musicians through his version of Whispering Grass, which Starr had demoed on 9 February 1970.
Maurice Gibb of The Bee Gees had arranged a new version of Bye Bye Blackbird. Gibb conducted the orchestra, after which Starr overdubbed his lead vocals. The day’s work was complete by 1pm.
Maurice came over one day, and I was playing him the tracks and asked if he would like to do one, because he’s the arranger for the Bee Gees, the others don’t really arrange much. Anyway, it just happened that, the night before, he had been to some pub where they had some traditional jazz band and so, if you listen to it, you can hear what he thought of the band. It’s got a plonkety-plonk banjo. The hard bit was trying to keep it to songs that mean something to me. You know, I’d say, ‘I’m going to do this,’ and you’d get people saying, ‘Why don’t you do Button Up Your Over Coat, and why don’t you do such and such, and I’d say, ‘Yes, it’s a lovely song. But for me, personally, it’s no memory lane.’
Also on this day...
- 2009: Release date for The Beatles: Rock Band announced
- 2009: Paul McCartney to headline meditation benefit concert
- 1965: Filming: Help!, the Bahamas
- 1964: Filming: A Hard Day’s Night
- 1963: Recording: From Me To You, Thank You Girl, One After 909
- 1963: Photo session in London
- 1962: Live: Kingsway Club, Southport
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1961: Live: Casbah Coffee Club, Liverpool
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.