Sweet Little Sixteen

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"Sweet Little Sixteen"
Single by Chuck Berry
from the album One Dozen Berrys
B-side"Reelin' and Rockin'"
ReleasedJanuary 1958
FormatGramophone record
RecordedDecember 29–30, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois[1]
GenreRock and roll
Length3:03
LabelChess 1683
Songwriter(s)Chuck Berry
Producer(s)Leonard and Phil Chess
Chuck Berry singles chronology
"Rock and Roll Music"
(1957)
"Sweet Little Sixteen"
(1958)
"Johnny B. Goode"
(1958)

"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, Berry's second-highest position ever 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.[2] In the UK, it reached number 16 on the UK Official Charts.[3] Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song number 272 on its list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" in 2004.

Personnel[edit]

Recorded December 29–30, 1957

"Surfin' U.S.A."[edit]

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.[4]

The Beatles' version[edit]

"Sweet Little Sixteen"
Song by The Beatles
from the album Live at the BBC
Released30 November 1994
Recorded10 July 1963
Length2:21
LabelApple
Songwriter(s)Chuck Berry
Producer(s)Terry Henebery

The Beatles recorded the song once for the Pop Go The Beatles radio show on 10 July 1963 at the Aeolian Hall, London. It remained unreleased until Live at the BBC in 1994.[5]

Personnel[edit]

John Lennon version[edit]

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.[6] While it has a running time of 3:01, it has fewer verses than Chuck's original version, being slower and more bluesy than the original.

References[edit]

  1. ^ 20th Century Masters — The Millennium Collection: The Best of Chuck Berry (CD). Chuck Berry. MCA Records. 1999. MCAD-11944.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942–2004. Record Research. p. 55.
  3. ^ "Official Charts - Chuck Berry". Retrieved October 28, 2017.
  4. ^ Pegg, Bruce (2002). Brown Eyed Handsome Man. pp. 162–163.
  5. ^ a b "Sweet Little Sixteen | The Beatles Bible". www.beatlesbible.com. Retrieved 2016-08-28.
  6. ^ "Sweet Little Sixteen | The Beatles Bible". www.beatlesbible.com. Retrieved 2018-02-10.

External links[edit]