Long Tall Sally

Album: Long Tall Sally EP (1964)
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This was originally recorded by Little Richard, who was one of The Beatles' inspirations. The Beatles met Little Richard at the Star Club in Hamburg when they were performing there in 1962. They also met Billy Preston there, who was Little Richard's keyboard player. They didn't see him again until 1969 when George Harrison saw him at a concert and brought him in to play piano for The Beatles on "Don't Let Me Down" and "Get Back."
  • The Beatles recorded this in one take. Since they played it live so often, they had it down.
  • This was the last song The Beatles played at a paid concert. Their last show was at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on August 29, 1966. They played a meager bit of "In My Life" after it, but gave up and left the stage.
  • The Beatles frequently ended live sets with this.
  • This was the first song Paul McCartney ever played on stage. He was 11 years old and brought his brother up to play it with him. In the early Beatles days, it was his showcase song, and when he toured with his band Wings in 1973, he didn't play any Beatles songs, but did include a version of "Long Tall Sally."
  • This was The Kinks' first single. They decided to record it after seeing the reaction The Beatles got when they played it.
  • The Beatles also covered Little Richard's "Lucille" at early concerts. A version can be found on the Live At The BBC album.
  • Larry Williams makes a reference to "Long Tall Sally" in his opening lyrics to the song "Short Fat Fannie." The first verse in the song starts out with the lyrics, "I was slippin' and slidin' with a long tall Sally; Peekin' and a hidin',duck back in the alley." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Zeb - Charlotte, NC
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 28

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaRingo just ROCKS this tune. It's a great toe tapper.
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, Caor was it the other way around...it's been a few years since I saw that concert!
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, CaI loved the fact that the Beatles opened with this tune on thier 1966 American tour and closed with another classic tune...Rock and Roll Music.....Just shows how reverant the Beatles were about american rock and roll!
  • George from Belleville, NjThis is a powerhouse rock performance by Paul.What a great rocker.The Beatles version is the best,even better than Elvis' version,although Elvis was young when he sang this song and he did improve years later,but still this song fit Paul's style like a glove.This is what real rock and roll should sound like.
  • Dnnz from Aqp, PeruThe song that got Mccartney into the Quarrymen was 20 Flight Rock.
  • Nick from London, United KingdomJohn Lennon : 'When I heard it, it was so great I couldn't speak... it blew our heads - we'd never heard anyone sing like that in our lives, and all those saxes playing like crazy.'' It came out in March 1956 in America, at the same time as Elvis' first hit record, Heartbreak Hotel, but it took London Records another 12 months to put it out in the UK eventually reaching #3 in the charts. In the Beatles UK EP version, Paul changes the line about 'bald headed Sally' to read 'long tall', yet he always sang the original line when they played it live or at the BBC. Is this a case of McCartney worrying about the sensibilities of the British record buying public with regards to an encounter with a follically-challenged woman?
    Nick Duckett
    http://www.rhythmandbluesrecords.co.uk/
  • Brad from Flint, MiMark from Vancouver: You were told right...John plays the 1st lead, George the 2nd, but as was evident in some bootleg rehearsals in the studio, the two of them clashed while backing Paul's vocal, so George Martin 'pulled back' George's guitar during the 1st verse and in John's solo, then instantly 'pulled back' John's guitar for the 2nd verse and 'pushed George's guitar into the mix for the 2nd verse (and George's [2nd] solo), and kept this mix thru to the end of the song, although you can still hear the other's guitar faintly in the mix (depending on who is 'pushed forward' at any given time. George Martin played piano on an overdubbed mix.
  • Brad from Flint, MiMark from Vancouver: You were told right...John plays the 1st lead, George the 2nd, but as was evident in some bootleg rehearsals in the studio, the two of them clashed while backing Paul's vocal, so George Martin 'pulled back' George's guitar during the 1st verse and in John's solo, then instantly 'pulled back' John's guitar for the 2nd verse and 'pushed George's guitar into the mix for the 2nd verse (and George's [2nd] solo), and kept this mix thru to the end of the song, although you can still hear the other's guitar faintly in the mix (depending on who is 'pushed forward' at any given time. George Martin played piano on an overdubbed mix.
  • Mark from Vancouver, BcI was recently told by the drummer in the Vancouver Beatles Tribute band "The Fab Fourever" that both John and George have a bash at guitar solos. Listening to it again, I can hear John playing the first solo and George playing the second, after it sounds like somebody broke a guitar string. I love how they and George Martin kept things in, as oppose to most of the big names acts today, who try to hide everything under effects and processors, making things sound too synthetic and almost robotic.
  • Kayla from Nashville, Tni like The Beatles version of this song they put so much energy into it
  • Mr. B from Doon Bish, EnglandThe version of this on The Beatles Anthology is without doubt the best version of this song ever ever ever recorded! little Richards' is better than The Beatles on Past Masters or Live at the BBC but it doesnt even come close to the Anthology version.
  • Allen from Bethel, AkThis is a nice cover, but it doesn't touch the original.
  • Andre from PurmerendFor me, this version by The Beatles is the best recorded Rock & Roll song ever. The vocals and driving guitars are great.
    In Paul's early 'Wings' days in the 1970's, I saw him performing it and it was absolutely fab.
    André, Purmerend, Netherlands
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScKelly from Burbank, I was going to say the same thing, but I think you said it best. The Beatles did a lot of great covers, this among them, but Little Richard's version is just as good if not better. I never doubted his was great, even though I am also biased towards the Beatles. After all, Little Richard is a very unique individual and performer.
  • Kevin from Quebec, Canadai think paul overshot his vocal for this song if you listen to it his voice cracks a little hes singing a little too high little richards vocal is better even though its less audible then pauls
  • Joe from Lethbridge, CanadaAn excellent cover version, but as much as I love the Beatles and the Kinks, neither version outshines the original. Little Richard recorded the most energetic, frenentic rock 'n' roll the world has ever known. Anybody else is going to seem a little anemic in comparison.
  • Michelle from Antigonish, CanadaWell Marina from Seattle, I'm deffinatly not dead inside cause I love this song!!! you can't not listen to this song and play air guitare, I also jump on my bed and SCREAM, SCREAM, SCREAM Mia from Elk River!!!
  • Kelly from Burbank, CaNow hold on a minute. For people who haven't heard the Little Richard original, or aren't aware of what he sounds like, don't automatically assume The Beatles version is much better than his. Little Richard was an incredibly energetic vocalist, and Paul took right off on that in his version and it is pretty close to the original, albheit missing a few instruments. However, Paul seems VERY enthusiastic to be covering this and it shows, so I couldn't rate one version over the other without seeming incredibly biased to The Beatles (which I am). This is defintely one of the best cover versions The Beatles did, along with Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey (featuring Paul again), Please Mr. Postman, and You Really Got A Hold On Me, among others.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScWell I can understand some of the words, but not all of them and I just looked at the lyrics.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScThis song is awesome, but has anyone noticed you can't understand the words very well on the anthology version. That's the one I have. Are there any others? I'm not crazy for not understanding the words, am I?
  • George from Itaberaba, BrazilThe best Beatles' cover version, isn't it?
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI've heard this song, done by the beatles, and It's awesome, but I would love to hear the original. I'm sure it's the best. You can tell Paul was influenced by Little Richard on this one.
  • Nathan from Defiance, OhApparently Little Richard was given the oppurtunity to write for and co-manage Beatles before they got famous but declined, something that he never forgave himself for.
  • Jude from Thomasville, GaI enjoy both Little Richard's original version and the Beatles' cover. I think it's Paul's tribute to Richard, who was a great influence. Georgia boys ROCK!
  • Marina from Seattle, WaYou have to be dead inside if you don't absolutely love this song.
  • Mark from Chicago, IlI love the Beatles, but come listlen to Little Richard for a moment. Paul is not flawless; and in that why not just listen to the original. It is a cover song at best. Fun, yes, a very fun recording of the original. But, it is no where as good as Little Richard. And shame on you both for thinking that it surpasses the original. Try listening for once how good L.R. is when he sings. I think most Beatles fans get jadded by their overt love of the band and don't see the truth. You need to be music lovers and Beatles fans second. Then you will see what is what. M
  • Mia from Elk River, MnNobody can sing this song as great as Paul does! Little Richard may be good....but I think Paul is better! I hear this song and I jump onto my bed and scream to this song...lol ITS AWESOME!!
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DePaul's Little Richard impression on this song is flawless
see more comments

Director Wes Edwards ("Drunk on a Plane")Song Writing

Wes Edwards takes us behind the scenes of videos he shot for Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Chase Bryant. The train was real - the airplane was not.

Emmylou HarrisSongwriter Interviews

She thinks of herself as a "song interpreter," but back in the '80s another country star convinced Emmylou to take a crack at songwriting.

Oliver LeiberSongwriter Interviews

Long before she was judging contestants on American Idol, Oliver was producing Paula Abdul. Here's how he helped turn this unknown choreographer into a star.

Gilby ClarkeSongwriter Interviews

The Guns N' Roses rhythm guitarist in the early '90s, Gilby talks about the band's implosion and the side projects it spawned.

Philip CodySongwriter Interviews

A talented lyricist, Philip helped revive Neil Sedaka's career with the words to "Laughter In The Rain" and "Bad Blood."

Matthew Wilder - "Break My Stride"They're Playing My Song

Wilder's hit "Break My Stride" had an unlikely inspiration: a famous record mogul who rejected it.