June 6, 2012, marked the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first visit to Abbey Road Studios. The group, consisting of John Lennon, Paul McCartney George Harrison and Pete Best, arrived at what was then called EMI Studios on June 6, 1962, for a commercial test (an evaluation of a signed artist). Two days earlier, the band had signed a recording contract with “The Parlophone Company Limited of Hayes in the County of Middlesex.” The group was paid Musicians Union rates for the June 6 session, indicating that the Beatles were in fact EMI recording artists by the time they arrived at Abbey Road.
The following four songs were recording that day: Besame Mucho, P.S. I Love You, Ask Me Why and Love Me Do. The latter three songs were Lennon-McCartney originals that would later be re-recorded for commercial release, with Love Me Do and P.S. I Love You issued as the Beatles first single and Ask Me Why appearing as the B-side to the group’s second single.
TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION:
Who initially served as producer for the Beatles first recording session at Abbey Road Studios on June 6, 1962?
Although George Martin set up the Beatles first recording session at Abbey Road, Martin’s assistant, Ron Richards, initially served as producer because he was more familiar with pop and rock ’n’ roll than Martin, whose background encompassed classical and comedy recordings. Memories differ as to when Martin appeared at the session, but all agree he was there for Love Me Do. He was also there for most of the Beatles other recording sessions through January 3, 1970. As for Ron Richards, he signed the Hollies to EMI’s Parlophone label in 1963 and produced most of the Hollies music for the next 16 years. Richards died on April 30, 2009.
George Martin with the Beatles, late 1963.