Posted on | February 18, 2013 | 2 Comments
The Beatles had their first recording sessions as his backup band during their formative Hamburg phase. He has died at age 72:
In the spring of 1961, the German producer and composer Bert Kaempfert offered recording contracts to both Mr. Sheridan and the Beatles, with the intention of using the Beatles as Mr. Sheridan’s backup band, but with the option of recording them separately as well.
During sessions in Hamburg in 1961 and 1962, Mr. Sheridan and the Beatles recorded nine songs together. Mr. Sheridan sang seven of them – “My Bonnie,” “The Saints,” “Why (Can’t You Love Me Again),” “Nobody’s Child,” “Take Out Some Insurance On Me, Baby,” “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “Swanee River.” The other two were purely Beatles performances: “Cry for a Shadow,” an instrumental by Lennon and Harrison, and “Ain’t She Sweet,” with Lennon singing.
When the first single from the sessions, “My Bonnie” – a rocked-up version of the folk ballad, “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean” – was released in Germany on the Polydor label in October 1961, Beatles’ fans in Liverpool flooded local record shops with requests for the disc. One shop manager, Brian Epstein, decided to see what all the fuss was about, and caught a performance by the group at the Cavern, a club not far from his store. He quickly persuaded the Beatles to hire him as their manager, and within a year, he got them a recording contract of their own with EMI. They recorded their first album, “Please Please Me,” 50 years ago this month.
Here are two cuts from the Sheridan/Beatles sessions, the second featuring classic photos of the Beatles in Hamburg: