Review: The Songs The Beatles Gave Away

A capacity audience at Otley Courthouse on Saturday night heard the story of “The Songs The Beatles Gave Away”.

This was presented by “Whispering Bob Harris”, Radio 2 DJ, well known for hosting The Old Grey Whistle Test, and Colin Hall from Liverpool who for many years was the custodian of “Mendips” the house where John Lennon lived as a boy and who has written the book of these songs given away by The Beatles. In the early 2000s, this was turned into a radio broadcast put together by Bob and the BBC and featured interviews with Paul McCartney, Cilla Black, George Harrison, and many of the artists who had benefited by being able to record songs written by Paul, John & George.

Bob Harris and Colin Hall talked about the various songs that had been given away and played excerpts from these along with snippets from the interviews with Paul, Cilla, and George. Many of the songs were Top Ten or even number one hits for a number of these artists. They included Like Dreamers Do by The Applejacks, Hello Little Girl by The Foremost, Bad To Me & I’ll Keep You Satisfied by Billy J Kramer, Step Inside Love, Love of the Loved and It’s For You by Cilla Black, A World Without Love by Peter and Gordon, Goodbye by Mary Hopkin, Tip of my Tongue by Tommy Quigly and Cat Call by the Chris Barber Band. Bob Harris revealed that he lived over the road from Mary Hopkin when he was a boy living in South Wales and went to school with her.

One of the clips that was played was the original demo tape of Step Inside Love by Cilla, with Paul playing acoustic guitar to accompany Cilla’s vocals. This has never been released before and it was a pleasure to listen to this totally different rendition of this particular song.

There was much banter throughout the evening by these two raconteurs with tales, particularly from Colin, of life in Liverpool in the late 50s and early 60s when The Beatles were first starting out.

A very entertaining two and a half hours which was thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.