The Beatles – “Kansas City” Live
Gonna Get My Baby Back Home!
“Kansas City” was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and originally recorded by Little Willie Littlefield. In 1959, this rhythm and blues song was recorded by Wilbert Harrison which eventually became a number one hit. It has been covered several times, in fact, it has over three hundred versions!
There was an initial disagreement between the two writers over the song’s melody: Leiber (who wrote the lyrics) preferred a traditional blues song, while Stoller wanted a more distinctive vocal line; Stoller ultimately prevailed.
The Beatles’ version, which has a little variation in the lyrics, was released on December 4, 1964 for their fourth studio album. During the recording, George Martin played the piano. When they performed this live, they would often do a medley along with “Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!”
Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey! became one of The Beatles’ most successful cover versions. Perfected in just one take, it was one of the first songs to be recorded during a mammoth session on 18 October 1964. The Beatles did record a second take of the medley, although this remained unissued until 1995, when it was the final song on Anthology 1.
Awesome, awesome tune!