Saturday, June 16, 2012

"Sweet Georgia Brown"/"Swanee River"

The Beatles conducted one last recording session for Bert Kaempfert Productions (as they were contracted with him until the end of June 1962). The contract would be nulled with the condition that the Beatles perform this last recording on this day. It's still not clear to me why the Beatles were in the studio - it has been said that they were there to complete an LP with Tony Sheridan. Interestly, Mr. Sheridan did not attend this session and only two titles were recorded (one which remaims unreleased) !!
"Sweet Georgia Brown" was arranged by Paul McCartney with the line-up of John, Paul, George and Pete as well as pianist Roy Young. The backing tracks were completed on this day and the Tony Sheridan vocals were added on June 07 1962 (all at Rahlstedt Studios in Hamburg, Germany).
A second version of "Sweet Georgia Brown" was recorded on January 03 1964 with a new lead vocal once again over dubbed by Tony Sheridan which alluded to The Beatles Fan Club, their hair, etc.
The first version was issued in mono on the German EP "Ya Ya" in 1962 and not released in stereo until the EP "Hambug Twist" in 1997 !!
The second version with the new lead vocal was first released on a French EP "Ain't She Sweet" in mono in 1964. The stereo version was issued on a 10 inch French LP entitled "Les Beatles".
All of the above "Sweet Georgia Brown" versions can be found on the CD - "Beatles Bop - Hamburg Days" along with the book on Bear Records.
As for the second recording "Swanee River", the tapes has somehow been destroyed or misplaces through time. A different version of the song with Tony Sheridan but not featuring the Beatles backing track has been released unde the moniker "The Beat Brothers".

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