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A Shot of Rhythm and Blues
26 January 2015
8.42pm
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chrisredditch
Redditch
Royal Command Performance
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This Terry Thompson classic deserves a wider audience and I wonder how it didn't end up on Beatles For Sale or With the Beatles.

There's a great version on one of the BBC CD's but would have loved it in place of one of their inferior covers. The song has a great hook and veers off the normal 3 chord rock of the time. I believe it was very popular in their early live sets and must have been considered for recording.

Any more info available or thoughts?

The Beatles are English - They have influences from all over - but they are English

26 January 2015
8.54pm
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Joe
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It's a very good song. They also did Arthur Alexander's Where Have You Been live - there's a version on the Star-Club album, plus Soldier Of Love and Anna (Go To Him) of course. AA made some fabulous records but I believe he fell on hard times later in life. Shame.

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6 February 2015
7.27pm
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Billy Rhythm
Shea Stadium
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Joe said
It's a very good song. They also did Arthur Alexander's Where Have You Been live - there's a version on the Star-Club album, plus Soldier Of Love and Anna (Go To Him) of course. AA made some fabulous records but I believe he fell on hard times later in life. Shame.

For those who've yet to enjoy the Lost Classic mentioned by Joe above known as 'Where Have You Been (All My Life)', here it is:

 

 

Arthur Alexander's influence on The Beatles (John Lennon in particular) is very underrated, in my opinion.  Should they have released a "tribute E.P." to this relatively "unknown" Master from the Southern United States with 'Where Have You Been (All My Life)', 'A Shot Of Rhythm & Blues', 'Anna (Go To Him)' & 'Soldier Of Love', one would be hard pressed to find a Beatles' E.P. (or any other E.P. by anybody else for that matter) which surpasses it in pure unadulterated Rock 'N' Roll brilliance, outstanding work from both Arthur & The Beatles.

 

John Lennon likely unearthed Alexander's works from the now famous "Sailors bringing in 45's from the States upon their return to Liverpool" stories which also counts for a "very underrated" influence on The Beatles' legacy.  I see a certain Arthur Alexander finish to many of their earlier originals, such as 'I'll Get You ', or 'All I've Got To Do ' (note the similarities in Ringo's excellent drumming to 'Anna' on 'All I've Got To Do '), where the "heaviness" of Rock 'N' Roll is well rounded by an intimate emotional "flare" which made for an excellent balance that produced Beatles' magic prevalent amongst virtually ALL of their work, and Arthur Alexander doesn't get near enough Credit as others such as Chuck Berry did, not to undermine Chuck's inspirations behind their music as well.  You'd have to think that if John were still doing interviews today, Arthur's name would most certainly crack his Top 5 if questioned about those who pushed him to new Creative Heights...:-)

6 February 2015
9.01pm
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Ron Nasty
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@Billy Rhythm The story of the sailors is largely exaggerated. John most likely found Arthur in their regular trawls of NEMS after they'd signed with Brian. All four songs were featured on three singles released in 1962 on London Records in the UK. A Shot of Rhythm and Blues was the b-side of You Better Move On [HLD 9523] in March. Where Have You Been backed by Soldiers [sic] of Love [HLD 9566] was released 15 June. Anna [HLD 9641] (backed by I Hang My Head and Cry) came out in December.

I think it's interesting to consider that the song was still relatively new to John when they recorded Anna for Please Please Me  roughly two months later.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty

 

The Beatles Non-Canon Poll List

7 February 2015
12.30am
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Billy Rhythm
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Ron Nasty said
@Billy Rhythm The story of the sailors is largely exaggerated.

"exaggerated"?  Many of those who were part of the Liverpool "scene" that have been interviewed over the years speak of the competitiveness amongst the Liverpool groups to add new material to the repertoire, and numerous mentions have been made to the practice of relying heavily on Liverpool Sailors to expose them to the American Records of the day for their songs simply weren't being played on the radio there.  Radio Luxembourg's reception in Liverpool was of poor quality and many great American Artists' music wasn't in regular rotation at the BBC just yet.  I have no doubt that Brian gave John a good deal on Arthur Alexander Records at NEMS, but he very likely first heard of him and many others through this "Black Market" outlet at the Liverpool Docks which of course, you're not going to find any documentation (which is just as prone to human error as the memories of those who were actually there anyway) to prove or disprove your theories.  Those who've recounted "The story of the sailors" are credible sources and I have no reason to disbelieve their claims just because Mark Lewisohn hasn't turned up any receipts yet...:-)

7 February 2015
12.51pm
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Zig
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Billy Rhythm said

John Lennon likely unearthed Alexander's works from the now famous "Sailors bringing in 45's from the States upon their return to Liverpool" stories which also counts for a "very underrated" influence on The Beatles' legacy. 

Ron Nasty said

The story of the sailors is largely exaggerated.

Whether or not the sailors were the source or the discs is irrelevant. Even if it were true - and I'm not taking either side because I was not there - I can't imagine John or any of the Beatles standing at the docks or at a black market poring over albums or 45's looking for gold. They were too damn lazy (their words, not mine). From everything I've read quoting the Beatles themselves they either bought the discs or, more often, stole them from house parties. How the records got to the original owners is certainly debatable. Just don't do in this thread, please.

stay-on-topic

Thanks to Billy Rhythm for posting the video upthread.

The following people thank Zig for this post:

meanmistermustard, chrisredditch

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