Tony Sheridan & The Beat Brothers: “My Bonnie” (1961)

Tony Sheridan and some fab fellows named The Beat Brothers rock out to a 19th century Scottish folk tune.

Kronomyth x.x: Bedrock and roll music.

Such was the state of rock & roll in 1961 that you singers like Tony Sheridan could sweeten up a couple of moldy oldies with some Chuck Berry rhythm & blues and have a legitimate shot at a hit. My Bonnie (yes, that “My Bonnie”) starts out like a ballad before turning into a rocking little number with the soon-to-be legendary Beatles appearing as The Beat Brothers. The single was re-issued in 1962 in the UK with The Beat Brothers now appearing as the re-christened Beatles, and in 1964 in the US with The Beatles getting top billing. This latter version finally charted, with the caveat that a recording of Ringo Starr beating a dead cat probably would have charted at that point (while purists argued that it clearly sounded like Pete Best beating the cat).

The B side was The Saints (yes, that Saints), which, for the record, Fred Flintstone beat them to one year earlier. Bah, and you thought The Simpsons predicting President Trump was impressive! There appear to some versions of this single with a German intro to “My Bonnie,” and I’m sure there are more versions of this than I’ve recorded here. Feel free to add any discographical detail I may have missed, although I have to imagine there are more than a few meticulously annotated Beatles sites where you can read about every version of this ever pressed on plastic. Because those people really don’t have anything better to yabba-dabba-do with their time.

Original 7-inch single

A1. My Bonnie (My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean) (H.J. Fuller) (2:06)
B1. The Saints (When the Saints Go Marching In) (3:14)

Some versions credit Tony Sheridan with the arrangements.

The Players

Tony Sheridan (vocals, guitar), Pete Best (drums), George Harrison (guitar, backing vocals), John Lennon (guitar, backing vocals), Paul McCartney (bass, backing vocals).

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single in August 1961 in Germany (Polydor, 24 673) with picture sleeve.

  1. Re-issued on 7-inch single in January 1962 in the UK (Polydor, NH24-673), in April 1962 in the US (Decca, 31382) and in 1962 in Chile (Polydor, 64055).
  2. Re-issued on 7-inch single in February 1964 in the US (MGM, K13213) with picture sleeve. Reached #26 on the US charts (charted on February 15, 1964 for 6 weeks).
  3. Re-issued on 7-inch single in Japan (Polydor, DP-1351) with picture sleeve.
  4. Re-issued on 7-inch single in Japan (Polydor, DPQ 6903) with picture sleeve.
My Bonnie US 45 rpm sleeve
US 1964 MGM K13213 picture sleeve

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