|"Long Tall Sally"|
|Single by Little Richard|
|from the album Here's Little Richard|
|"Slippin' and Slidin'"|
|Recorded||February 10, 1956|
|Studio||J&M, New Orleans, US|
|Genre||Rock and roll|
|Little Richard singles chronology|
"Long Tall Sally" is a rock and roll 12-bar blues song written by Robert "Bumps" Blackwell, Enotris Johnson, and Little Richard; recorded by Little Richard; and released in March 1956 on the Specialty Records label.
The flip side was "Slippin' and Slidin'". Both songs were subsequently released in the LP Here's Little Richard (Specialty, March 1957). The single reached number one on the Billboard rhythm and blues chart, staying at the top for six of 19 weeks, while peaking at number six on the pop chart. It received the Cash Box Triple Crown Award in 1956. The song as sung by Little Richard is #55 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
"Tutti Frutti" had been a big hit for Little Richard and Specialty in early 1956, reaching No. 2 in the R&B charts. Pat Boone's cover version of the song reached No. 12 in the pop charts. Although this meant an unexpected cash income for the Specialty publishing firm, A&R man and producer "Bumps" Blackwell and a proud Richard decided to write a song that was so up-tempo and the lyrics so fast that Boone would not be able to handle it (Boone eventually did record his own version, however, getting it to No. 18).
According to Blackwell, he was introduced to a little girl by Honey Chile, a popular disc-jockey. Apparently, the girl had written a song for Little Richard to record so she could pay the treatment for her ailing aunt Mary. The song, actually a few lines on a piece of paper, went like this:
Saw Uncle John with Long Tall Sally
They saw Aunt Mary comin'
So they ducked back in the alley
Not wishing to upset an influential disc-jockey, Blackwell accepted the offer and took the idea to Richard, who was reluctant at first. Nevertheless, the line "ducked back in the alley" was exactly what they were looking for, and Richard kept practicing until he could sing it as fast as possible. They worked on the song, adding verses and a chorus, until they got the hit they wanted. The credit to Enotris Johnson, Richard's adoptive father, was added, probably as an act of benevolence. Featuring a tenor saxophone solo by Lee Allen (as did "Tutti Frutti"), "Long Tall Sally" was the best-selling 45 of the history of Specialty Records.
The recording session took place on February 10, 1956 at J&M Studio in New Orleans, the legendary studio owned by Cosimo Matassa on the corner of Rampart and Dumaine where Fats Domino and many other New Orleans luminaries recorded. "Long Tall Sally", as well as many other Little Richard sides, was also recorded there.
The music was a fast uptempo number with Little Richard's hammering, boogie piano. Richard plays staccato eighth notes while Palmer plays a fast shuffle. The shuffle was the most common rhythm and blues beat; Richard added the eighth notes, much less common in that time, although now standard for rock music. Together this created an ambiguity in the ride rhythm--known to musicians as "playing in the crack" that came to characterize New Orleans rock and roll. In typical Little Richard style, he sang in the key of F, in a raw, aggressive, exhilarating style with lyrics being about self-centered fun.
Well, Long Tall Sally
She's built for speed
She's got everything that Uncle John needs
Although the lyrics are light-weight, Little Richard's style triumphs over content and provides a wonderful vehicle for his enthusiastic exhibitionism.
|"Long Tall Sally"|
Cover of the song's sheet music
|Song by the Beatles|
|from the EP Long Tall Sally|
|Released||June 19, 1964|
|Recorded||March 1, 1964|
|Genre||Rock and roll|
|Long Tall Sally|
The Beatles were great admirers of Little Richard, and recorded many of his songs during their career. "Long Tall Sally" was the most durable song in their live repertoire, lasting from their earliest days as the Quarrymen in 1957 through to their last public concert in August 1966. As with the majority of their Little Richard remakes, Paul McCartney sang lead vocals, as he could most closely imitate Richard's vocal style.
The group recorded "Long Tall Sally" at EMI Studios in London on 1 March 1964, during sessions for A Hard Day's Night, although it was ultimately not included on that album. The recording was produced by the Beatles' regular producer, George Martin, who also played piano on the track. Given the group's familiarity with the song, the recording was completed in a single take.
In the United Kingdom, the track was released on the Long Tall Sally EP on 19 June 1964; however, it had been released earlier on two overseas albums, The Beatles' Second Album in the United States on 10 April, and The Beatles' Long Tall Sally in Canada on 11 May. Released as a single in Sweden, the song topped the Kvällstoppen Chart in July and August.
One of my annoyances about the film Backbeat is that they've actually taken my rock 'n' rollness off me. They give John "Long Tall Sally" to sing and he never sang it in his life. But now it's set in cement. ['Paul' sang Long Tall Sally in the Glasgow stage version]. It's like the Buddy Holly and Glenn Miller stories. The Buddy Holly Story does not even mention Norman Petty, and The Glenn Miller Story is a sugarcoated version of his life. Now Backbeat has done the same thing to the story of the Beatles. I was quite taken, however, with Stephen Dorff's astonishing performance as Stu.
In addition to their studio recording of the song, the Beatles recorded "Long Tall Sally" for BBC radio broadcasts on seven occasions during 1963 and 1964. Two of these versions have been officially released, on the compilation albums Live at the BBC (1994) and On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2 (2013). In addition, a studio version prerecorded specially from the 1964 television special Around the Beatles was included on the Anthology 1 compilation (1995). The live album The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl (1977) includes a 1964 concert recording of the song.
"Long Tall Sally" was the last song The Beatles ever performed live in front of a paying audience. The song was a frequent set closer during their 1966 world tour - which would turn out to be their last - and they used it to close out their final show at San Francisco's Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966. The band asked their press officer, Tony Barrow, to make an audio cassette recording of the concert for posterity (the recording has since circulated heavily among bootleggers), but the 30-minute tape ran out at the end of the second verse of "Long Tall Sally" - making the last moments of The Beatles' final live show lost to history. 
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|1956||Eddie Cochran||Never to Be Forgotten||Recorded in May or June 1956, posthumously released in 1962|
|1958||Wanda Jackson||(single b/w "Party")|
|1961||Buzz Clifford||Baby Sittin' with Buzz Clifford|
|1962||The Rivingtons||Doin' the Bird||One of two Little Richard remakes on this debut Liberty album.|
|1963||Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps|
|1964||The Kinks||(single)||Their first single, produced by Shel Talmy|
|1964||The Beatles||Long Tall Sally (EP)||Released again in 1988 on the Past Masters compilation|
|1964||The Swinging Blue Jeans||Blue Jeans a'Swinging||One of two Little Richard remakes on this debut HMV album.|
|1965||Sam The Sham And The Pharaohs||Wooly Bully||Their first MGM release.|
|1971||Cactus||One Way...Or Another||Their second Atco release.|
|1973||Elvis Presley||Aloha From Hawaii||First ever satellite worldwide telecast concert|
|1977||James Booker||Manchester '77||Recorded as part of a medley with "Rip It Up" in October 1977, posthumously released in 2007|
|1981||Molly Hatchet||Take No Prisoners|