Matchbox

Album: Long Tall Sally EP (1964)
Charted: 17
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Songfacts®:

  • This was first recorded as "Match Box Blues" by Blind Lemon Jefferson in 1927. It was reworked by several Blues musicians afterwards. The Beatles' version is influenced by Carl Perkins recording of the song. The Beatles also covered Perkins' "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby" and "Honey Don't."
  • The original first line in the song is "Sittin' here wonderin' will a matchbox hold my clothes," a reference to being poor. Perkins uses this line in his version, but Ringo sings both this line and "Sittin' here watchin', matchbox hole in my clothes," which are erroneously assumed by many to be the real lyrics. There are also verses present which do not exist in Perkins' original, suggesting the group had heard other interpretations.
  • Pete Best, The Beatles original drummer, sang lead on this until he was fired. John Lennon sang it at their Hamburg shows, and Ringo did the lead vocals on the recorded version. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for all above
  • Carl Perkins was at this session in early June 1964. In a letter Perkins wrote before he died, he mentioned that he and the Beatles (at their request) played a few of his songs together on this date, but these jams were not taped. The only song he absolutely remembered was "Your True Love," which George Harrison did with Perkins on his cable special. Harrison also sang it at Perkins' memorial service. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Barry Kesten - Bellmore, United States
  • Ringo sang this on the 2014 CBS tribute special The Beatles: The Night That Changed America, which aired exactly 50 years after the group made their first Ed Sullivan Show appearance.

Comments: 12

  • Jens Krabbe from Copenhagen, DenmarkI'm pretty sure he sings:"Matchbox holdin' my clothes" in line 2 and 4. And "watching" in line 3 ;-)
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 10, 1964, the theme of the 'American Bandstand' program on that Saturday afternoon broadcast was 'A Salute to the Beatles'...
    At the time the Fab Four had three records on Billboard's Top 100 chart, at #18 was "Matchbox", at #25 "Slow Down", and down at #50 was "A Hard Day's Night"...
    During the program scenes from the movie 'A Hard Day's Night' were shown, the movie had it's U.S.A. premier two months earlier on August 11th, 1964 in New York City...
    Also played on the show was Casey Kasem's spoken record, "A Letter From Elaina", it reached #103 on Billboard's Bubbling Under the Top 100 chart {and of course it's available on You Tube}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 25th 1964* there were no Beatles' records on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart for the first time since January 12th, 1964, on that date their debut charted record, "I Want to Hold Your Hand", had entered the chart at position #45...
    They would re-enter the Top 100 on November 30th, 1964 with "I Feel Fine" at position #22...
    * On the Billboard Top 100 chart for the week ending October 24th, 1964 the Beatles were at #52 with "Matchbox"; and that was the record’s last day on the Top 100.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 30th 1964, the Beatles' "Matchbox" and the flip-side, "Slow Down", both entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, "Matchbox" at position #81 and "Slow Down" at #99...
    "Matchbox" would peak at #17 {for 1 week} on October 11th, 1964, while "Slow Down" reached its highest position at #25 {for 1 week} on October 4th, 1964...
    Sun Records released Carl Perkins' version of "Matchbox" in February of 1957, it didn't make the national charts...
    R.I.P. John, George, and Mr. Perkins {1932 - 1998}.
  • Bocknobby from Toronto, OnCarl Perkins' version on his Greatest Hits album is one of the classic rock'n'roll songs -- not the original Perkins' versions but one done much later in his career. I believe the 6:23 version is on 'Best of Carl Perkins'. Interesting evolution of the song . . . one version has it that Perkins' original taping came when there was some studio time left and his father mentioned the original Blind Lemon Jefferson tune; Perkins could recall only a couple of lines from the original and improvised. Over his long career, Perkins refined the lyrics and added his astonishing assortment of guitar techniques.
  • Nick from London, United KingdomMatchbox was originally recorded by Blind Lemon Jefferson in 1928 but Carl got his version from listening to western swing band Roy Newman & His Boys, who recorded the song back in the 1930s. Blind Lemon Jefferson's version has an underlying ragtime beat, but the boogie riff during the middle of the song takes it into another direction. The Beatles learned it from the Perkins' version, which was released in the UK on the London label in April 1957. It was first given an outing by the band on a number of demos they recorded at Paul McCartney's house at some point between late 1959 and mid 1960. Pete Best sang it when it first made its appearance in their live set the following year but after Best was replaced by Ringo, Lennon briefly took over the vocals before palming it off onto the new drummer. Matchbox never made it on to an actual Beatles album, although it was included on the Long Tall Sally Parlophone EP in 1964. This song has the distinction of having been sung by no less than five Beatles on different occasions: Ringo on the 1964 EP, John at the Star Club, Paul on his 1990 album, George live in Los Angeles in 1987 and Pete Best, who always sang it at the Cavern Club.
    Nick Duckett
    http://www.rhythmandbluesrecords.co.uk/
  • Nick from Seattle, Albaniaits about drugs! lol jk :)
  • Brettt from Voodoo Lounge, TxBob Dylan covered this song on CBS Sessions with George Harrison
  • Jon from Danville, CaThe Long Tall Sally EP came out June 19, 1964 in Britain.
  • Melissa from Fairborn, OhGeorge Martin plays boogie-woogie piano on this track.
  • Jack from St. Paul, Mnive never heard of this EP. when did it come out?
  • Randy from Beaumont, TxPerkins was actually in the studios at Abbey Road for the sessions which included "Honey Don't"..He was touring England at the time
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