Album: Tony Sheridan With The Beatles (1962)
Charted: 48 26

Songfacts®:

  • This is a rocked-up rendition of the traditional Scottish song "My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean," notable as the first release featuring The Beatles, who backed the English singer Tony Sheridan on the track.

    Sheridan recorded it with The Beatles in Hamburg, Germany in 1961 at a time when the group was less-than-fab, honing their chops with marathon sets in German clubs. Pete Best was still their drummer (Ringo joined later), and most of their material was cover songs - "My Bonnie" was part of their live repertoire.

    Released in Germany in 1961, the single was credited to "Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers." Paul McCartney said in a radio interview on Anthology 1 that it got to #5 on the German Hit Parade.

    On January 5, 1962, the single was released in the UK, this time credited to "Tony Sheridan and The Beatles." When The Beatles' career took off, the song was pulled from the pile and re-released to satisfy demand for anything Beatles. By this time, they were much more refined, and "My Bonnie" had little to offer even their biggest fans. Still, it charted in the UK at #48 in December 1963 and went to #26 in the US in March 1964. The original single is a rare collector's item.
  • The Beatles came to the attention of Brian Epstein in 1961 when 18-year-old Raymond Jones came into his record store and asked for this single, which was a German import. Jones told Epstein about The Beatles and how they played at The Cavern Club, which was near the store. Epstein eventually became their manager and helped lead them to stardom.
  • Pete Best earned some royalties for this track when it was released on The Beatles Anthology album in 1995.

Comments: 24

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 22, 1959, Duane Eddy performed "Bonnie Came Back" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV weekday-afternoon program, 'American Bandstand'...
    Six days later on December 28th it entered Billboard's Top 100 chart at position #83, three weeks later it peaked at #26 {for 1 week} and it spent nine weeks on the Top 100...
    Between 1958 and 1986 he had twenty-eight Top 100 records; three made the Top 10, his biggest hit was "Because They're Young", it reached #4 {for 2 weeks} on July 4th, 1960...
    Besides "Because They're Young", his two other Top 10 records were "Rebel-'Rouser" {#6 in 1958} and "Forty Miles of Bad Road" {#9 in 1959}...
    His last charted record was a re-mix of "Peter Gunn"* with the British trio the Art of Noise; it peaked at #50 in 1986 on the Top 100 {reached #8 in the U.K.}...
    Duane Eddy will celebrate his 80th birthday come next April 26th {2018}...
    * His original covered version of "Peter Gunn" peaked at #27 in 1960.
  • Greg Paul Hewitt from Pompano Beach, FlaHey Allyson, I'll be happy to smack ya if it makes you feel better!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 9th 1964, "My Bonnie" by the Beatles, with Tony Sheridan, entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #67; and four weeks later on March 8th, 1964 it peaked at #26 {for 1 week} and spent 6 weeks on the Top 100...
    The week it peaked at #26 the 'Fab Four' held the top three spots on the Top 100 chart; #1 was "I Want to Hold Your Hand", at #2 "She Loves You", and #3 "Please Please Me"...
    And way down at #55 the Beatles' covered version of "Twist and Shout" entered the Top 100 chart...
    R.I.P. John and George.
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjAllison, like others have said, this is a traditional Scottish folk song, and is sung in many different places by many different singers/musicians, including in schools or churches. The Beatles didn't write it.
  • Allyson from Waverly, NyOh my gosh...I have been signing this as a warm up in Chorus class for three years now, and I had NO IDEA it was by The Beatles!!! I feel like smacking myself and saying, "What kind of fan am I?!?!?!!?!"
  • George from Belleville, NjI believe we had the original single,the record now is scratched and in terrible shape.This song goes back a long way,at the start of the Beatles career.This is a rough sounding rocker with the Beatles developing an exciting sound.This is early rock and roll.They were great musicians
  • Chomper from Franjkin County, PaAt the time they were called the Silver Beatles, there were five members: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe, and Pete Best. ..From a picture taken at the time, they weren't wearing the outfits John, Paul, George, and Ringo (Richard Starky)wore in 1962; they were wearing black leather jackets, black leather pants, and looking more like street gangs. Later, Stu told the other four that he decided to leave the Beatles and stay in Hamburg (Germany) to persue his art study. When they left to return to Liverpool, they got news that Stuart Sutcliffe collapsed and died of brain haemmorage. Later, John and Paul decided to ban Pete Best from the band and hired Richard Starky (Ringo Starr) to become their drummer. According to the one book I got, it was known that John Lennon and Pete Best were sentenced to court for setting fire to the wallpaper in a room of the hotel they were staying in; and George Harrison was asked to leave, because he was seventeen and under the legal age for performing on stage (the age at the time was eighteen).
  • Chomper from Franjkin County, PaThe Beatles at one time were known as "The Silver Beatles" before changing their name to just "The Beatles".
  • Nick from London, United Kingdom"Polydor Recording Artists" was added in late 1961 to the band's posters and publicity material following the October 31st release of their first single, My Bonnie. They were signed by label manager, Bert Kaempfert to back English guitarist, Tony Sheridan on five numbers at a session held on 22nd June 1961, when they committed their first commercial recordings to tape, My Bonnie, Saints, Why, Nobody's Child and the Jimmy Reed song, Take Out Some Insurance For Me Baby, the first song they played in the Chicago R&B style. My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean is a traditional Scottish folk tune whose origins are thought to lie in the story of Scotland's Bonny Prince Charlie. The Beatles started to play the song live and influential local DJ Bob Wooler began to plug the record, ultimately bringing them to the attention of their future manager, Brian Epstein. It was a hit in Germany reaching #5 but its subsequent UK release on January 5th 1962 did not see chart success. Bert Kaempfert was also a successful songwriter, composing classics such as Strangers In The Night, Spanish Eyes and Wooden Heart, which the Beatles also included in their live set in 1961.
    Nick Duckett
    http://www.rhythmandbluesrecords.co.uk/
  • John from Brooklyn, InI had a copy of that 45...the other side was "the saints come marching in"...the sleeve was green...the one i owned had a BB sized hole through the record's label and the sleeve...
  • David from Liverpool, United KingdomRay Jones and I were good mates when this song was recorded and both the same age(20).We played guitars in a pub in L'pool(1961/6),and Ray was always doing the 'My Bonnie' song, which I'd not heard when he first started playing it. He decided to see if he could get a copy so went into NEMS and asked for the record by 'The Beatles' They'd not got it or heard of them, and so the story began. I've seen the signed copy of Brian Epsteins book that he sent to Ray, and the accompanying covering letter. Unfortunately Rays' copy of the book has been mislaid, but he still has the letter sent with it.
    Dave C. Liverpool UK
  • Liuzhou from Liuzhou, ChinaMy Bonnie is a very old Scottish folk song, probably about Charles Edward Stuart, commonly known as Bonnie Prince Charlie.
  • Richard from Liverpool, EnglandI'm pretty sure that the story about Raymond Jones was made up. As has been pointed out in various places, Brian Epstein's shop was about a two minute walk from the Cavern and the likiehood that someone who owned a record shop and didn't know who the Beatles were at that time is remote to say the least! The Beatles were HUGE in Liverpool/Wirral a long time before they made in famous worldwide!
  • Hugh from Bristol, CtIn my comment earlier I said tht the flip side had Rockin'Mountain . I just dug the record out of my collection and it is The Saints (when the saints go marching in) on the flip side
  • Hugh from Bristol, CtBought a copy of this song when I lived in Bristol, UK, in 1962, after I saw the Beatles as a warm-up act for Acker Bilk, at the Bristol Hippodrome. It was released on Polydor Records. I also had a playbill from the show but have since mislaid in my many moves. I still have the single in it original sleeve.Still play it occasionally to remind me of my youth. Still sounds good. The flip side is called Rockin' Mountain.
  • Kc from Chicagpland, IlGreetings all. Newbie here. Wasn't the instrumental, "Cry For A Shadow"? I lost my turntable years ago, but I'm thinking of doing a version of it and recall having a re-issue of the Album. Out of curiosity, how can ATCO (Atlantic Records Co.) own the rights if it's a traditional song? Did EMI sell the recording or am I missing something somehow (ie was Sheridan signed by ATCO?) I'm only asking before I do a release and get my butt sued off. Thanks....KC Taylor
  • Joey from Nowhere Land, Capaul's voice is always evident, he's not loud, but I think he gets to close to the microphone.
  • Hank from Huntington, NyMy dad was an artist who worked for a printer that printed the sales literature for Atlantic Records. Atlantic had the rights to this song, but could not use the Beatles faces on the record sleeve. So my dad did a representation of the beatles hair "mop top" hairstyles and that was the art on the sleeve of My Bonnie. Unfortunatly the originasl and any copis of the sleeve were lost long ago.
  • Barry from New York, NyMcCartney's vocal is clearly evident in the background voices.
  • Christopher from Greenfield Center, NyMatt...I notice you are from Mass. NOT England. Were you friends with The Beatles:I am going to go out on a limb and say NO. How do YOU know the story was made up. I have heard that Epstien had no idea about good music. He was a good business man that managed his parents record store. Am I from England , No...Was I friends with The Beatles well, no. But My father and my uncle both saw them at the cavern and my father still writes and talks to Sir James Paul McCartney every once in a while.
  • Rick De Hartog from Springfield, United Statesthey sounded really good back then!!! this sound better than some of their early only-beatles albums!! it's really good! love the guitar solo
  • Matt from Saugus, MaThat story about Brian Epstein discovering the Beatles isn't true. I'm not sure where I've read it, but that was just made up for his book "A Cellarful of Noise" by the ghostwriter he hired and he didn't check it. The true story is that he had stocked up on the record before because he had such a good ear for successful music, and he had already visited the Cavern.
  • Kelvyn from Hastings, New Zealandthis was released about the time of 'the swinging blue jeans ' most would have picked them to become bigger than the beatles at that time.....i think there was an instrumental on the flip side of 'my bonnie'
  • Mary from North Fort Myers, FlThe song itself is not about a woman, it's a woman singing about her loved one, her "bonnie". which is old Scots dialect. Performed as a folk song, it should be sung slowly, as if heart-broken.
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