60 Years Ago: First Beatles Album Released

First Beatles Album Released on March 22, 1963, during Roe/Montez Tour

The Beatles continued their participation in the Tommy Roe & Chris Montez tour during the week of March 18, 1963. It started with a pair of regal performances: a Monday night show at the Regal Cinema in Gloucester and a Tuesday night show at the Regal Cinema in Cambridge. Next, it was easy as A, B, C, with the tour hitting the ABC Cinema in Romford, Essex on Wednesday and the ABC Cinema in West Croydon, Surrey on Thursday. The Beatles managed to sneak in a recording session at the BBC’s Picadilly Studios on Thursday afternoon, performing three songs for March 28, 1963, broadcast on the radio program On The Scene. The group performed their hit single Please Please Me, as well as two songs from their debut album, which was set for release on Friday, March 22. (The ad below is from the tour program. Notice that the layout of the text on the album cover had been completed, but EMI’s art department had yet to select a font for the text.)


On the day their first album went on sale, the Beatles performed an evening show at the Gaumont Cinema in Doncaster. On Saturday, the tour played City Hall in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northcumberland. The following day, the Beatles were at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool, their first performance in Liverpool in over a month.

Meanwhile, across the pond, the Please Please Me single had run its course on Chicago’s WLS, peaking at number 35 the previous week, its final week on the chart. The single received air play for about a month. Program directors in a few other markets would chose to play the single in April.

Today’s trivia questions pertain to the Beatles March 21, 1963, recording session for the BBC, which was used to promote songs from their upcoming album.

  1. In addition to their hit single Please Please Me, what two songs did the Beatles record for the BBC on March 21, 1963, to promote their debut album? Hint: The two songs were the first Lennon-McCartney songs to be recorded by other artists.
  2. Who were the recording artists who recorded the songs referred to above?
  3. How did these cover versions do on the U.K. charts?

  1. In addition to Please Please Me, the Beatles recorded Misery and Do You Want To Know A Secret.
  2. Misery was recorded by Kenny Lynch, a black British singer who became the first non-Beatle to record a Lennon-McCartney song. Do You Want To Know A Secret was recorded by Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas.
  3. Misery, which was released as a single on the same day as the Beatles first album on March 22, 1963, failed to chart. Do You Want To Know A Secret was recorded at Abbey Road Studios the day before the album’s release, with George Martin serving as producer. Kramer’s single peaked at number two, unable to get by the Beatles From Me To You.

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