Later given to Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, the early Lennon-McCartney song ‘I’ll Be On My Way’ was recorded by The Beatles just once, during a 1963 radio session.
Clearly inspired by Buddy Holly, The Beatles’ ‘I’ll Be On My Way’ is believed to date from around 1961. The song’s touchingly naive lyrics rhyme “June light” with “moonlight”, and speaks of a place “where the winds don’t blow and golden rivers flow”.
That’s Paul, through and through. Doesn’t it sound like him? Tra la la la la [laughs]. Yeah, that’s Paul on the voids of driving through the country.
Although a part of the group’s early live repertoire, ‘I’ll Be On My Way’ wasn’t performed at either The Beatles’ audition at Decca or their first EMI session, suggesting it had largely fallen out of favour by 1962.
Nevertheless, the Beatles performed ‘I’ll Be On My Way’ on 4 April 1963, for the BBC Light Programme series Side By Side. The Beatles recorded five songs that day at the BBC Paris Studio in London, which were first broadcast on 24 June.
It’s a little bit too June-moon for me, but these were very early songs and they worked out quite well.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
The BBC version is the only known recording of the song by The Beatles, and was released in 1994 on the Live At The BBC collection. Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas released their version as the b-side to their debut single – ‘Do You Want To Know A Secret’, another Lennon-McCartney song.
The Dakotas were, like The Beatles, managed by Brian Epstein and signed to Parlophone. They recorded ‘I’ll Be On My Way’ at Abbey Road Studios on 14 March 1963, with George Martin producing. The single was released on 26 April, and reached number two in the UK singles chart.