The Quick 10: 10 Songs From John Lennon's Jukebox


Hi guys! You may have noticed the Quick 10s have been a bit sporadic since the end of May. I've been slightly busy with a new project:

But I think I've gotten it together enough to resume daily Q10s. I may sneak gratuitous baby pictures into them for a while (that's a Beatles shirt she has on, but it's a bit big so the logo is hard to see), but don't worry, I think that will eventually fade.

Anyway, on to the Quick 10. Did you know it's been proven that when music is played for babies in the womb, they recognize it once they're on the outside? It's supposed to be calming since they're familiar with it. If that's the case, then Lydia should feel pretty soothed by the subject of today's post. John Lennon's personal jukebox, which he purchased in 1965, was sold at an auction at Christie's in 1989. I think the contents of your iPod -


of songs - says a lot about a person, and paring that down to a scant 40 songs is even more revealing. Here are 10 of them (and a link to the rest).


1.  "Long Tall Sally," Little Richard.

That John liked this one should come as no surprise since the Beatles released their official cover of the song in 1964.

2.  "Positively 4th Street," Bob Dylan.  This song about a bitter friendship breakup could have foretold the split between Lennon and McCartney. They may have recognized this fact, because they covered this song during recording sessions for Let It Be.  It was never officially released, so don't go looking for it on iTunes (you know"¦ if the Beatles' catalog ever hits iTunes).

3.   "Slippin' and Slidin'." This one is noteworthy because Lennon included two versions of it on his jukebox, neither of them the original. The original was recorded by Eddie Bo in 1956 and was released under a different name; when Little Richard covered it on his first album the following year, he retitled it Slippin' and Slidin'.  Both the Little Richard version and the later Buddy Holly version slid right onto Lennon's favorite list - he covered the song himself during his solo career.

4.  "Rescue Me," Fontella Bass. The sole contribution from a female on the jukebox, Fontella Bass' "Rescue Me" was released in 1965.  A lot of people give Aretha Franklin credit for this song, and she did later record a version of it for an American Express commercial. But Fontella did it first, and Lennon loved it.

5.  "Some Other Guy," The Big Three.  There's a little Liverpudlian loyalty going on here "“ The Big Three was a Merseybeat group from Liverpool signed to Brian Epstein, just like The Beatles were. "Some Other Guy" was their only big hit "“ the band had pretty much fizzled out by 1964.  The Beatles' version of it is on their Live at the BBC album.

6.  "The Tracks of My Tears," Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. This is one of five songs by the Miracles Lennon had on tap.

7.   "My Girl," Otis Redding. It's nice to know that even John Lennon had a soft spot for this classic.  Originally done by the Temptations in 1964, the Redding cover came a year later and gave the song more of a bluesy feel.

8.  "Be-Bop-A-Lula," Gene Vincent.

This one was a huge influence on all of the Beatles "“ not only did they play the song when they were still the Fab Four, Lennon and McCartney both did versions of it during their solo careers, and George Harrison paid homage to it by painting "Bebopalula" on his famous "Rocky" Stratocaster guitar. It's not the only Gene Vincent song on the jukebox "“ the lesser-known "Woman Love" was also included.

9.   "Short Fat Fannie," Larry Williams. This is perhaps an example of John's sense of humor "“ Short Fat Fannie came just before Long Tall Sally on the jukebox. This is another one that the Beatles recorded during the Let It Be sessions; it often shows up as a bootleg.

10.  "Hey! Baby," Bruce Channel.  This one might have invoked fond memories for John.  He met the legendary harmonica player Delbert McClinton, who can be heard on Hey! Baby, back when they were both touring the U.K. in 1962. Delbert offered Lennon some harmonica tips, which John immediately used on Love Me Do.  Despite this, John never released an official cover "“ but Ringo did. In 1976, Mr. Starr's version charted at #74.
You can check out the full list of 45s that were housed in the jukebox here. And just in case you aren't satisfied by one picture of our newest _flosser, you can find plenty more on my blog.