From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey single label.jpg
Single by Little Richard
A-side"Good Golly, Miss Molly"
ReleasedJanuary 1958 (1958-01)
Format7" 45 rpm record
RecordedNew Orleans, Louisiana, May 9, 1956
GenreR&B, rock and roll
LabelSpecialty (Cat. no. 624)
Songwriter(s)Richard Penniman
Producer(s)Bumps Blackwell
Little Richard singles chronology
"Jenny Jenny/Miss Ann"
"Ooh! My Soul/True Fine Mama"

The song "Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey", also known as "Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey! (Goin' Back to Birmingham)", was written by Little Richard and recorded in May 9, 1956 at J&M Studio, New Orleans, Louisiana (supervised by Bumps Blackwell).


In 1955, Little Richard recorded two different versions of "Kansas City" by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller: one on September, 13 (supervised by Bumps Blackwell), and one on November, 29 (with five vocalists, supervised by Art Rupe).[1] The first version, which adheres closely to the original 1952 recording by Little Willie Littlefield for the first two verses, was not released until November 1970, on the compilation album Well Alright! The second version, which had been substantially re-worked by Little Richard (in particular, it featured a new refrain starting with words, "Hey, hey, hey, hey; Hey baby, hey child, hey now") was released in March 1959 on The Fabulous Little Richard and in April 1959 as single[2] after the success of the Wilbert Harrison hit.[3]

"Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey" was recorded six months after the second version of "Kansas City", incorporating the same refrain. However, as "Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey" was released in 1958—with the writing credited solely to Richard Wayne Penniman (Little Richard)—the public perceived it as an earlier recording than "Kansas City".

In 1964, The Beatles released the albums Beatles for Sale (in the UK) and Beatles VI (in the US) featuring an arrangement of "Kansas City" based on the issued Little Richard version. (They had performed it as early as September 5, 1962 at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, and in December of that year at the Star-Club in Hamburg.[4]) Attorneys representing Little Richard's publisher, Venice Music, issued a complaint, claiming the Beatles' recording also included "Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey". As a result, the record label was revised to read: "Medley: (a) Kansas City (Leiber/Stoller) (P)1964 Macmelodies Ltd./KPM; (b) Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey (Penniman) Venice Mus. Ltd. (P)1964."[citation needed] This was despite the fact that, when Little Richard recorded "Kansas City" in November 1955, "Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey" had not yet been written or recorded.



It was released in January 1958 as B-side of Specialty single 624 Good Golly, Miss Molly and in July 1958 on Little Richard.[6]


"Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey"
Cover of the song's sheet music
Song by the Beatles
from the album Beatles for Sale
ReleasedDecember 4, 1964 (1964-12-04) (mono and stereo)
RecordedOctober 18, 1964
GenreRock and roll
Length2:33 (mono version)
2:38 (stereo version)
Songwriter(s)Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller/Richard Penniman
Producer(s)George Martin

"Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey" was covered as "Going Back to Birmingham" by Ten Years After on their 1974 album Positive Vibrations. Bob Seger recorded a version of the song in the same session that produced his cover of Fats Domino's "Blue Monday" for the 1989 Road House soundtrack album. Seger's take remained unreleased until 2011, when it was released as the lead single on the retrospective album Ultimate Hits: Rock and Roll Never Forgets.[7][8] Seger stated that the track hit number one on classic rock radio, less than two months after its release.[9] The song was covered by The Libertines in a one-off Radio 1 Live set in September 2003. The Jim Jones Revue recorded it for their 2008 debut album and performed it as a staple of their live shows.


  1. ^ Little Richard – The Specialty Sessions – 8 Album Set (booklet). London: Ace Records Ltd. 1989. p. 29. ABOXLP 1 (set), ABOXBK1 (booklet).
  2. ^ White, Charles (1994). The Life and Times of Little Richard: The Quasar of Rock. Da Capo Press. p. 259. ISBN 0-306-80552-9.
  3. ^ "'Kansas City' Keeps Trade Fever Rising". Billboard: 4. April 6, 1959. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  4. ^ Unterberger, Richie (November 15, 2006). The Unreleased Beatles: Music & Film. Backbeat Books. pp. 34, 36–41. ISBN 978-0879308926. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  5. ^ Little Richard – The Specialty Sessions – 8 Album Set (booklet). London: Ace Records Ltd. 1989. p. 29. ABOXLP 1 (set), ABOXBK1 (booklet).
  6. ^ White, Charles (1994). The Life and Times of Little Richard: The Quasar of Rock. Da Capo Press. p. 259. ISBN 0-306-80552-9.
  7. ^ "Recorded but Unreleased". The Seger File. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  8. ^ "Ultimate Hits". BobSeger.com. Archived from the original on 2012-09-10. Retrieved 2011-10-26.
  9. ^ Video on YouTube