The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 6, 1966

Cavendish Ave. London

The Granada Television documentary "The Music Of Lennon & Paul McCartney" had been a celebration of the pair's songwriting, a number of their compositions being performed by a range of artists in the TV studio. Now, nine months later, John and Paul were involved in a similar production for BBC radio, a one-hour programme entitled "The Lennon and McCartney Songbook", the only difference between this and the TV show being that the two Beatles cast their critical eye over 15 recorded and already released versions of their handiwork, by such artists as Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, the Mamas and the Papas and, remarkably, the Band of the Irish Guards (which had issued "She Loves You").

Although set to have been recorded at John's house in Weybridge, Surrey, the location was switched beforehand to Paul's in St. John's Wood, north London, to where BBC producer Derek Chinnery and the interviewer Keith Fordyce traveled. Taping took place from 4:00 to 6:00 pm, interrupted only by the arrival of tea and the whining of Paul's newly acquired sheepdog puppy, Martha. The production was broadcast by the Light Programme between 4:30 and 5:30 pm on "bank holiday", Monday, August 29th, while the Beatles were in America about to give their last concert performance.

The programme was also pressed onto disc and distributed to subscribing overseas radio stations by the BBC's Transcription Service. Here, without the music, it lasted just 13 minutes and was renamed Songwriters Extraordinary - Lennon And McCartney.

Source: The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

Leave your comment