Sweet Little Sixteen
|"Sweet Little Sixteen"|
|Single by Chuck Berry|
|from the album One Dozen Berrys|
|B-side||"Reelin' and Rockin'"|
|Recorded||December 29–30, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois|
|Genre||Rock and roll|
|Producer(s)||Leonard and Phil Chess|
|Chuck Berry singles chronology|
"Sweet Little Sixteen" is a rock and roll song written and first recorded by Chuck Berry, who released it as a single in January 1958. His performance of it at that year's Newport Jazz Festival was included in the documentary film Jazz on a Summer's Day. It reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100, one of two of Berry's second-highest positions—along with Johnny Rivers cover of "Memphis, Tennessee"—on that chart (surpassed only by his suggestive hit "My Ding-A-Ling", which reached number one in 1972). "Sweet Little Sixteen" also reached number one on the R&B Best Sellers chart. In the UK, it reached number 16 on the UK Official Charts. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song number 272 on its list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" in 2004. He used the same melody on an earlier song, "The Little Girl From Central" recorded on Checkmate in 1955.
Recorded December 29–30, 1957
The Beach Boys' 1963 song "Surfin' U.S.A." features lyrics by Brian Wilson set to the music of "Sweet Little Sixteen." Under pressure from Berry's publisher, Wilson's father and manager, Murry Wilson, gave the copyright, including Brian Wilson's lyrics, to Arc Music.
The Beatles' version
|"Sweet Little Sixteen"|
|Song by The Beatles|
|from the album Live at the BBC|
|Released||30 November 1994|
|Recorded||10 July 1963|
- John Lennon – vocals, rhythm guitar
- George Harrison – lead guitar
- Paul McCartney – bass
- Ringo Starr – drums
John Lennon version
John Lennon recorded a cover version of "Sweet Little Sixteen" for his 1975 album of cover versions, Rock 'n' Roll. His version was produced by Phil Spector, and was recorded between 17 October and 14 December 1973. Spector cut the tempo of the song and gave it the full Wall of Sound treatment, and Lennon turned in one of his most passionate vocal performances. While it has a running time of 3:01, it has fewer verses than Berry's original version, being slower and more bluesy than the original.
- 20th Century Masters — The Millennium Collection: The Best of Chuck Berry (CD). Chuck Berry. MCA Records. 1999. MCAD-11944.CS1 maint: others (link)
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 55.
- "Official Charts - Chuck Berry". Retrieved October 28, 2017.
- Pegg, Bruce (2002). Brown Eyed Handsome Man. pp. 162–163.
- "Sweet Little Sixteen". The Beatles Bible. Retrieved 2018-02-10.