The song was written by Joe Morris and originally performed by Faye Adams. Her 1953 recording topped the US Billboard R&B chart for nine weeks.
Little Richard’s 1958 version was the one that hooked McCartney, who heard it as a teenager in Hamburg, Germany.
I have this image of being in Hamburg; there was one bar that had a pool table and a great jukebox. And that was the only place I ever heard ‘Shake A Hand’. Every time we went there, I put it on. I never had the record, but I know I wanted to do it. It always takes me back to that bar.
Run Devil Run liner notes
There was one jukebox in Hamburg, when we were working in Hamburg with The Beatles, that a few of the guys used to go to. This pool hall, I think it was, a pool table there. And there was one jukebox there, that had a couple of records there the other jukeboxes didn’t have. So you’d visit that jukebox. There was one where we never went, but it had ‘Now Or Never’ by Elvis… and it had ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes’ by the Platters, which was gorgeous, love that.
But my favourite on that jukebox was ‘Shake A Hand’ by Little Richard. And I never had the record, I haven’t to this day, I haven’t got the record. But I remembered it. And I just thought, I love that so much, I love to do that one. So we did it, and it’s kind of, it’s like a gospelly song. So I did that pretty much like Richard did it. He taught me everything I knew. ‘Paul, you know I taught you everything…’ It’s true, it’s true, Richard.
Run Devil Run Best Buy bonus interview disc