Bob Lefsetz: Welcome To My World - "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby"
I just heard this on Sirius XM.
It's getting to be that time of year again. When the days get shorter, and colder, and you hole up with your favorite fourth quarter album releases.
At the end of 1964, it was hard to believe the Beatles had just broken in January. "I Want To Hold Your Hand" exploded out of car radios, transferred to the transistor and became imprinted upon baby boomers' brains when the band performed on the Ed Sullivan show. What was most incredible about that telecast is that it was really them. Fifty years ago, stars were not real people. We had almost no access. You could go to the show, but concerts didn't really become big until the Beatles broke. So to dial up your black and white set and actually see the Liverpool lads inside...was positively staggering.
And the hits were followed up by the movie.
And in November, there was yet another new album, "Beatles '65."
Oh, I know it was different in the U.K. There it was entitled "Beatles For Sale" and it includes my favorite Beatle track of all time, "Every Little Thing," but we had to wait for "Beatles VI" to get that on an album in the U.S.
And what drove the sales of "Beatles '65" was "I Feel Fine," which wasn't even on "Beatles For Sale." To hear that feedback on the radio was like watching Neil Armstrong step down on the moon, it was an even more giant step for mankind, at least music.
So, people bought "Beatles '65" in droves. And the opening cut...
The breathless John Lennon vocal of "No Reply."
That's the difference between the Beatles and the wannabes. The delivery. We had no doubt that Lennon had lived the story. It was directly from his lips to your ears. The track took off like a shot and you were instantly hooked.
And what came next, "I'm A Loser," was equally good, in what we'd now call a Mumford-influenced style, but fifty years ago the Beatles delivered a better song.
And "Beatles '65" did not have the incredible hit "Eight Days A Week" featured on "Beatles For Sale," but both albums concluded with the Carl Perkins cover "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby." Which meant there was not a baby boomer alive who did not know the cut, that's how pervasive Beatle albums were.
Not that Mr. Perkins truly originated the song, listen to Rex Griffin's song of the same title from 1936.
Even closer is Roy Newman & His Boys' 1938 take.
And that's just the point. "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" was an album cut, from 1957. But back then musicians were not so much wannabe fame-mongers, but musical fanatics. The average person might not have been familiar with the Perkins track, but the Beatles sure were.
They played it in Hamburg. Even played it at Shea Stadium.
It was sung by George Harrison and bathed in reverb and it was purely magical.
That's the power of a hit act, they can shine the light on the progenitors.
Now we knew "Blue Suede Shoes." I don't know how, classics just permeate through the ether. But it was the Beatles who illustrated Carl Perkins, the Sun star whose light had already dimmed by this point, was a rock and roll titan.
And when you listen to Carl's original take, there's a swing and some sex and it's so infectious, you just want to get up and jitterbug, twist and smile.
That's the power of rock and roll. Back when it was new.
It was a sound.
But still song-based.
We're going back in the tunnel again. November is beyond nascent. And what gets us through the long dark season is numbers like "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby," which inspire us, that illustrate the possibilities of life!Rex Griffin Roy Newman & His Boys Beatles