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Till There Was You by The Beatles

Album: With The BeatlesReleased: 1963
  • This was written in 1957 for the Broadway musical The Music Man. It was written by songwriter Meredith Willson, who also wrote "76 Trombones" for the same musical as well as the seasonal favorite "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas."
  • Paul McCartney loved show tunes and wanted to cover this. His favorite version was Peggy Lee's.
  • The Beatles played this song, along with "She Loves You" and "Twist And Shout," at the Royal Command Performance of 1963. Paul credited it to their "Favorite American group, Sophie Tucker." (thanks, don - rapid city, SD)
  • The Beatles performed this on their first Ed Sullivan Show appearance, February 9, 1964. This was a huge event, as Beatlemania had just come to America. This was the only song they played that night that was not one of their hits - they put it in to appeal to the older audience that was tuned in. As they played, the camera zoomed in on each Beatle and superimposed their first name. When it got to Lennon, it read, "Sorry girls, he's married."
  • This was also performed during the Beatles appearance on the Royal Variety Show on November 4, 1963. It was probably also appealing to the older audience and it provided a break between the up-tempo numbers, "She Loves You" and "Twist and Shout." (thanks, Adrian - Wilmington, DE)
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Comments: 36

On June 23rd 1959, "Till There Was You" by Anita Bryant Amboy Dukes entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, eventually it peaked at #30 and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
Between 1959 and 1964 she had eleven Top 100 records; two made the Top 10, "Paper Roses" (peaked at #5 in 1960) and "In My Little Corner of the World" (reached #10 in 1960)...
Ms. Bryant celebrated her 74th birthday three months ago on March 25th, 2014.
Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
i was in this play last year. when i played this my brother, who is a hardcore beatle-hater, said that he loved this version of till there was you. you should have seen his face when he saw paulie singing.Julia - Milton, Pa
yet another teen beatlemaniac to continue the string. im thirteen. the fourth fact on this page always makes me laugh- girls all over the country were heartbroken. hahaha...Chloe - St. Louis, Mo
When I recently heard Peggy Lee's record from the early 60's with Jack Marshall's arrangement, I realized it was this version they were doing.Steve Dotstar - Los Angeles, Ca
paul is so versatile. all beatles r as imaginative fun and clevr as each other and will live forver!Catherine - Essex, United Kingdom
Paul has occasionally done this song in his most recent concert tours.Ken - Louisville, Ky
And sorry, the second part of your question--it was never released as a single. I think your husband wins this one.Dirk - Nashville, Tn
Susan of Ann Arbor, Yes, the Beatles recorded a beautiful studio version of Till There Was You. It is on the CD "With the Beatles" in 1963. (It's the one with the famous dark cover featuring the lads in black turtlenecks, which was also used as the cover for "Meet the Beatles," their "first" American LP.) This is the point I was making below: That this 1963 studio recording is probably the best version ever made of that song. Lots of good versions exist. The Beatles get the blue ribbon, I believe. A live version of the song appears on their Anthology 1 CD, recorded in concert in November 1963. They manage to make it through the jazzy guitar solo, proving that George Harrison was quite capable of playing it. My earlier point was that the solo is actually much simpler to play than it first sounds.Dirk - Nashville, Tn
Can someone tell me if the Beatles recorded 'Til There was You?? If they only sang it in concerts or on TV, I will win the bet with my husband. It is a lovely song and the jazzy version is different. If it was a single, did it go anywhere on the charts? Thanks. SusanSusan - Ann Arbor, Mi
I have trouble believing that Harrison or McCartney played lead guitar on this track; I know Lennon didn't, but the guitar solo seems too jazzified and unbeatlish for me to trust that it was one of them. So who knows?
- Jason, Austin, TX

You can watch the Beatles performance on the Ed Sullivan show and learn pretty quickly that George Harrisson is indeed playing the solo. And pretty damn well too
Jeff - Austin, Tx
My girlfriend and I danced to this song when we were inside a hotel room..John - Manila, Other
Regarding the Beatles covering ho-hum pop songs (Till There was You, A Taste of Honey), who would agree with this statement--that EVERY song the Beatles ever recorded is the best available version of that song. No one has ever covered a Beatle song that sounds better than the Beatles at it. And every song the Beatles ever covered is better than the original. Twist and Shout, for example. Money. Roll Over Beethoven....etc... All clearly better. Till There was You--definitely the best version. But the ONLY exception to this rule I can think of is A Taste of Honey. I think Herb Alpert actually topped them on that one... by a good couple of feet or so.Dirk - Nashville, Tn
I love hearing comments from younger music lovers. I was 14 when the "Meet the Beatles" album and this song blew everyone away. Our jazz band played a "Music Man" medley in the high school auditorium one day, and when the "Till There Was You" baritone solo began, the entire student body started singing along. The teachers freaked. It was incredible!!John - Gainesville, Fl
Sorry, kids, but this is one of the worst Beatles' songs. I understand trying to appeal to the older crowd, but how in the world could anyone expect those over the age of 30 at the time to like the Beatles? Their "long hair" alone made parents cringe.David - Youngstown, Oh
To continue the tradition I'm 15. I agree that George was good but I would go further to say he's one of the most under-rated guitarists of his era. Try to play a solo over a Beatles song and you'll find that without George's contirbutions, however small, the song does'nt sound the same. Also, his work with a slide post-Beatles is another overlooked gem, as Eric Clapton and others have often mentioned.Axe - Singleton, Australia
Anita Bryant's version reached #30 on Billboard's Hot 100 in 1959.Joe - Lethbridge, Canada
I think McCartney's vocal is a bit stilted, but Harrison's solo is sublime.Fyodor - Denver, Co
This cover version by the Beatles is better than Taste Of Honey, but thats about it.

I hate both.
Tom Mccafferty - Burnaby, Canada
Just to continue this string im 16. i can imagine that the fellow beatles were a little less than enthusiastic in recording this simple Paul novelty song. While it definitely wasn't the last time the fellow beatles weren't happy with a song by paul (see "Obladiblada" and "Maxwell's Silver Hammer") it wasn't the first either.The first would have to be Paul's decision to cover "A Taste Of Honey" on the LP "Please Please Me", which by some lack of consideration is not on this websiteJohn - Woburn, Ma
Hey, I'm 15 and we're playing this along with all the Music Man pieces in Band this year, and I can't play cause when i get to this part of the song I can't help but smile, and i have to stop playing, It's sooooo beautiful and The Beatles are the best in the world!! Peace and Love!! *Wink*Michelle - Antigonish, Canada
Yeah George is definitely the guitar whiz of the group. I'm 17, and the Beatles are my favorite band.Kyle - Detroit Rock City, Mi
Harrison not only played this guitar, he wrote the solo. Thanks very much. I'm 14, which means here's another teen who likes the Beatles!Sally - Dublin, Ireland
It is sort of ignorant to believe that he didn't play the solo just because it sounded jazzy. Harrison and the others weren't limited to what they played, and most people aren't, especially with old rock and rollers. That's a gigantic misconception. The Beatles even finger picked Bach on guitar in the early days. Also, listen to songs like Cry For a Shadow they did.

Yes, he most definitely did it. I have several live recordings. I have seen several times the Ed Sullivan show recording of Harrison playing it (along with hundreds of millions of other people).

The solo is decently hard, but most of it comes from memorization.
Keith - Warren, Mi
Without George's lead piece in this song, it wouldn't have been worth recording. Come on, Sophie Tucker sang this. It was from the musical, "The Music Man." George played a beautiful guitar to this. It shows his genius even in the very early days. I agree that it is very easy to play on the guitar, but it was George who came up with the arrangement.Lee - Clearwater, Fl
FUnny thing about that guitar solo. It's typical of other Beatle guitar solos in that it is a melodic construction--not just random notes improvised over the chord structure. (Same thing with the solos in Something, Fixing a Hole, Old Brown Shoe, Real Love...) And here's the cool part--once you learn to play it on the guitar, it's quite easy.Dirk - Nashville, Tn
About the guitar solo, I've just watched The Ed Sullivan show and it's George.Rhedyn Williams - Bristol, England
It's Willson, not Wilson.Thomas - Knoxville, Tn
I love the guitar solo in this, I don't know why. I'm learning the guitar and want to be able to play it!Rhedyn Williams - Bristol, England
Jason, I always wondered the same thing. I'd say it would be Paul, if it's any of the Beatles. Either that or they cadged the solo from someone else who wrote it.Nessie - Sapporo, Japan
I have trouble believing that Harrison or McCartney played lead guitar on this track; I know Lennon didn't, but the guitar solo seems too jazzified and unbeatlish for me to trust that it was one of them. So who knows?Jason - Austin, Tx
My 5 year old daughter LOVES the Beatles...At the age of 3 she could pick them out of photos and tell me who they were by first and last namesChristopher - Greenfield Center, Ny
what a great version of that great song. i agree that the beatles version is by far the best, but Robert Preston and Shirley Jones in the '62 film sing it beautifully also. what a great musical. (by the way, liliana, i'm 15 as well...)Jackson - Waycross, Ga
i agree, i heard it the first time from Paul and immeadiately fell in love with it...not to mention him too...
anyways, i'm 15, other teens that like the beatles?
Liliana - Huntley, Il
This is a great love song and Paul only does it justice.Shirley - Ocean, Nj
A beautiful and romantic song that can only be sung by Paul McCartney. Aw, c'mon guys, you know it! :winks:Mia - Elk River, Mn
Was also performed in the movie "The Wedding Singer" starring Adam Sandler. His only voice student, an old lady by the name of Rose, sang it to her husband during their 50th Anniversary Reception.Patrick - Conyers, Ga