Ask "Mr. Music"
December 28, 2009
"A Hard Day's Night - Beatles"
Let's continue our feature here at DigitalDreamDoor: Ask "Mr. Music." Now in its 25th year of syndication (1986-2011), Jerry Osborne's weekly Q&A feature will be a regular post every Monday from now on.
Be sure to stop by Jerry's site www.jerryosborne.com for more Mr. Music archives, record price guides, anything Elvis, buy & sell collectibles, record appraisals and much more. We thank Jerry for allowing the reprints.
More Mr. Music Articles
Ask "Mr. Music"
December 28, 2009 - "A Hard Day's Night" The Beatles
In the summer of 1964, when I heard "A Hard Day's Night" on the radio for the first time, I was struck by both its title and distinctive opening.
The dynamic power chord open speaks for itself, so my question is about the title.
Unless it's the answer to a question about itself, "A Hard Day's Night" isn't even a complete sentence. Very strange wording indeed.
What is its origin? Was "A Hard Day's Night" a hit record first and then a film title later, or was it the other way around?
- Beatle Bob in Buffalo
"A Hard Day's Night"
These are great questions for our anniversary column. This week we begin our 24th year in syndication.
Fortunately, I have a recorded interview with "A Hard Day's Night" producer Walter Shenson, and I will transcribe for you the segments in which he discusses the topics prompting your letter:
"At first our picture was called "Beatles Number One" because we didn't yet have a title, and it was their first movie. Meanwhile I was getting these phone calls from United Artists' publicity people in New York asking what we were going to call this film. They were putting together the advertising and needed a title. I said I didn't know, but assured them we'd come up with something."
"Then John Lennon and I were just chatting on the set and he asked if I'd ever heard Ringo misuse the English language. I asked him to give me an example. He said if they were working hard at a recording session all night, the next day Ringo would say something about us really having a hard day's night.
"When you think about it, it really is a very interesting statement. Right then I told John "A Hard Day's Night" would be a good title for our movie. Fortunately, he agreed."
"So we went over and asked the director [Richard Lester] how he felt about it, and then the other three Beatles, and they all said it was fine and would be a great title. I think they were just relieved to not to have to think any longer about a title."
"I telephoned New York, and the publicity people at United Artists, saying here's your title: "A Hard Day's Night." They said 'What?'.
"I told them not to give me an answer right then, but to ask the secretaries their opinion and call me the next day."
"The following day they called to report that everyone at the New York office loved it."
"Now we had a title, but then it dawned on me that we didn't have a title song - and we had already recorded everything [written especially for the film]. In filmmaking, the songs are pre-recorded and then you just photograph the singers singing to their own tracks.
"So I mentioned to John one night that we needed to have another song, one titled "A Hard Day's Night."
"His reaction was to ask what I was talking about."
"I explained by asking what kind of a producer would I be to have a film called "A Hard Day's Night," starring the Beatles, and then NOT have a Beatles song called "A Hard Day's Night." I asked him to please write this new song."
"The next morning, he and Paul called me into their dressing room - we were still shooting - and they played and sang to me their new song, "A Hard Day's Night."
"Now, think about this: I got a hit song on demand! That's almost impossible. And it was one of their biggest hits ever."
IZ ZAT SO?
The United Artists soundtrack album, "A Hard Day's Night," is the only one of the Beatles albums on which every track is written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, either individually or collectively.
MORE: Ask "Mr. Music" -
"Songs: Just for a Thrill, and Cool Yule"
"Number 1 Christmas Songs through the years"
"Song in VW commercial, and Jerry Lee Lewis Christmas song"
"Shake, Rattle and Roll", plus Pete Best album "Haymans Green"
"Single releases originally issued with picture sleeves"
"Ronnie Dawson - Hazel"
"Curtis Mayfield - accident, album, death"
"Who was the Masked Marvel"
"Davy Jones Presents, record label"
"Al Green & Johnny Nash"
"Tamouré, Tahitian dance"
"Jo Ann Campbell - Wolverton Mountain"
"Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On & Highway Man"
"Hawaiian musics Frank Ferera"
"Paul Revere and the Raiders instrumentals & Song from Hair"
"Beatles 14 tunes in the Top 100, & The last mono-only albums"
"Connie Francis early years, and Names of states in hit titles"
"Gene Pitney, and David Janssen"
"Payola scandals, and Chubby Checker dance hits"
"Why vinyl sounds richer, Elvis and Beatles on Cash Box, Big Bad John answer songs"
"Vinyl Record Day - 'Mad Men' song"
"Cast Your Fate to the Wind, two versions"
"RFD Songs" and "Your Hit Parade"
"Hit Songs as both Vocal and Instrumental"
"Robert David Hall of CSI, plus the Belmonts without Dion"
"Cal Stewart's Uncle Josh Songs, & Andrews Sisters"
"The Collector's Edition T.A.M.I. Show"
"The Girl from the Next Farm Over" & "Tangerine Dream"
"Paul & Paula's "Hey Paula"
"'50s Rockers Ages" - "Songwriters Hall of Fame"
"Lyrics or Music" and "Billy Squier"
"Connie Francis, Neil Diamond, and David Gates"
"The High Numbers and Grading Vinyl"
"Willie Nelson duets"
"Don't Do It" by "Little Charlie and the Nightcats"
"Frank Sinatra Spectacular, with Johnny Carson"
"Sam & Dave Medley" and the knife in "Moody River"
"Love Will Keep Us Together" and "Same Old Fool"
"Tony Orlando or Bertell Dache?"
"Foreign language hit songs in the U.S."
"The Overlanders" and "All-male Top 10"
"Songs with a bullet" and the name "Browning"
"Yesterday and Today, Beatles - Song: Submarine Race"
"Elvis Presley songs based on classical pieces."
"Introducing the Beatles" album value
"Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique" & "I Belong to You" by Peggy Lee
"A Lovers Hymn" and Songs naming the 12 months
"This Old House," by Rosemary Clooney
"The Beverly Hillbillies" and "Petticoat Junction"
"Deana Martin", "Buchanan and Goodman"
"A Hard Day's Night" - Beatles
"British Christmas tunes" and "Fingertips Part 1"
"Backward tape technology" and "Rock Era Christmas tunes"
"Red Velvet Slippers" and "A Christmas Gift for You"
"Jerry Lee Lewis" and "See See Rider"
"Bonanza Theme Song"
"Come Softly to Me" by the Fleetwoods
Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column.
Jerry's Question page: Ask your question here.
Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368
Visit his Web site: www.jerryosborne.com.
All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.
Copyright 2009 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Permission
More DigitalDreamDoor Song Lists
DigitalDreamDoor Top 100 Songs by Year Lists
- - For Links to - -
Rock, R&B, Hip-Hop, Blues, Jazz, Reggae, Folk, Classical, and more,
Click "Main Music Page" below.
DigitalDreamDoor.com is to be used for
entertainment, educational, or research purposes only.
Copyright © 2009 - DigitalDreamDoor.com
All photos are property and copyright of their owners and are provided for educational purposes only.
This Ask "Mr. Music" page is only a part of DigitalDreamDoor.com. To view the Home page click