The Beatles -- ‘Misery’

Misery (1.50)

John Lennon: Lead vocal, rhythm guitar; Paul McCartney: Lead vocal, bass guitar; George Harrison: Lead guitar; Ringo Starr: Drums; Piano: George Martin

They started writing this just before the Helen Shapiro tour in 1963. The youthful singer was a big star at the time and John and Paul wrote it with her in mind, but her manager turned it down – apparently without even letting her have a listen. “They certainly offered it to me,” she said, “but I didn’t know anything about it until I met them on the first day of the tour.”

Kenny Lynch was also on the tour and fancied giving it a go himself, so he became the first non-Beatle to record a Lennon/McCartney song.

When Kenny played his version to John he said, “Who’s that playing the telephone?“ (That was his way of blasting the guitarist.) “I was going to do ‘You Could Never Stop Me Loving You’,” said Kenny, “but I gave it to Johnny Tillotson and recorded ‘Misery’ instead. …

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