Ya Ya

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"Ya Ya"
1 ya ya dorsey.jpg
Single by Lee Dorsey
from the album Ya Ya
GenreSoul, rock and roll
Songwriter(s)Lee Dorsey, Clarence Lewis, Morgan Robinson, and Morris Levy

"Ya Ya" is a song by Lee Dorsey. The song was written by Dorsey, Clarence Lewis, Morgan Robinson, and Morris Levy. Levy's participation in the writing has been previously called into question. In fact, the Flashback release of the single (image) lists only Dorsey and Lewis as writers, as do the liner notes to the American Graffiti soundtrack.[1]

The track includes session guitar player Jimmy Spruill on it.[2] The song was inspired by a children's nursery rhyme.

Chart performance[edit]

The song reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the R&B singles chart in 1961.[3]

The Beatles version[edit]

According to author Mark Lewisohn in The Complete Beatles Chronicles" (p. 365), the Beatles performed "Ya Ya" regularly live from 1961 to 1962 (in Hamburg and Liverpool and elsewhere). The lead vocal was always by John Lennon. No recorded version is known to survive. However immediately after the Beatles left Polydor Records their close associates Tony Sheridan and Roy Young cut a version of it for that studio. Much later (1974) John Lennon cut a version for his Rock 'n' Roll album.

Johnny Hallyday version (in French)[edit]

"Ya ya twist"
Single by Johnny Hallyday
from the album Retiens la nuit
Released1962 (1962)
Songwriter(s)French adaptation: Lucien Morisse, Georges Aber
Johnny Hallyday singles chronology
"Viens danser le twist"
"Retiens la nuit" / "Ya ya twist"
"Serre la main d'un fou"

French singer Johnny Hallyday covered the song in French. His version, titled "Ya ya twist", reached no. 1 in Wallonia (French speaking part of Belgium) in 1962.[4]

Track listing[edit]

7" EP Philips 432.739 BE (1962, France etc.)

A1. "Retiens la nuit" (2:54)
A2. "Sam'di soir" (3:00)
B1. "Ya ya twist" (2:27)
B2. "La faute au twist" (1:50)[5][6]


Chart (1962) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[4] 1

Other covers[edit]


  1. ^ 41 Original Hits from the Soundtrack of American Graffiti (CD Booklet). MCA. 1973.
  2. ^ Spruill, Jimmy, Scratchin’ the Wild Jimmy Spruill Story, Great Voices of the Century (GVC) Recordings, Surrey, UK, 2014, liner notes
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 169.
  4. ^ a b "Ultratop.be – Johnny Hallyday – Ya Ya Twist" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  5. ^ "ultratop.be - Serge Lama - Chez moi". Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  6. ^ "Johnny Hallyday - Retiens La Nuit at Discogs". Retrieved 2017-11-11.
  7. ^ "Petula Clark in the French charts". Petulaclark.net. Retrieved 2012-05-21.
  8. ^ Walls and Bridges (Booklet). John Lennon. Apple Records. 1974.CS1 maint: others (link)

External links[edit]