There Was a Time When The Beatles Could've Just Been Songwriters

Friday, May 25, 2018

In the earliest days of The Beatles, the fact that John Lennon and Paul McCartney began composing their own material as opposed to using songs provided by other songwriters was highly unusual. In fact, at the time — the early 1960s — it simply wasn't done. Undoubtedly in the beginning it was probably seen more as an oddity rather than an indication of the duo ultimately being credited as one of the great songwriting teams of all time.

"It wasn't the norm," Bill Harry, editor of Liverpool's Mersey Beat, the first and most recognized newspaper devoted to the local music scene, and lifelong friend of The Beatles, explains in an exclusive interview. "In America you have the Brill Building and things like that, with professional songwriters like Carole King and different people. That was the situation. The songwriters wrote the songs and the artists were given songs by the songwriters. It was similar in Britain with the A&R men. For instance, [producer] George Martin virtually insisted that The Beatles do 'How Do You Do It' by Mitch Murray for their first single, and they eventually had to talk him out of it. He finally agreed. When they first said they wanted to do their original numbers, he said, 'When you do a number as good as this, I'll let you record your own stuff.'

Source: By Ed Gross/


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