A brief snippet of The Beatles performing the 1914 song ‘St Louis Blues’ was recorded during the White Album sessions in July 1968, and released half a century later.

Paul McCartney led the rendition during the second session for ‘Hey Jude’ at London’s Trident Studios on 30 July 1968. Although the track lasts 52 seconds, the actual performance amounts to less than 30 seconds.

Although George Harrison played guitar during the early part of the ‘Hey Jude’ session, by the time of ‘St Louis Blues’ he had relocated to the studio’s control room, where he chatted to the rest of the band via talkback. Other songs played during the session included Ray Charles’ ‘Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Cryin’’.

‘St Louis Blues’ made a return on day five of the Get Back/Let It Be sessions, on 8 January 1969. That version was even briefer: Harrison suggested the song as a possibility, followed by John Lennon playing the melody on an electric guitar.

‘St Louis Blues’ was written by WC Handy, and published in September 1914. It was one of the first blues songs to achieve mainstream success, and quickly became a staple part of jazz repertoires. It was recorded by musicians including Louis Armstrong, Glenn Miller, Bessie Smith, Bing Crosby, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Cab Calloway, Dizzy Gillespie, Chet Atkins, Dave Brubeck, and Django Reinhardt.

The song has twice been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Bessie Smith’s 1925 version was included in 1993, followed by Louis Armstrong’s in 2008.


Well no I hate to see
The evening sun go
I hate to see the evening sun go down

Yeah I hate to see
The evening sun go,
I hate to see the evening sun go down

My baby and me
I hate to see the
Yeah yeah yeah yeah

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