The Beatles are not thought of as a country band but there are a couple of examples where they wandered musically below the Mason-Dixon Line. “Matchbox”, “Honey Don’t”, “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby” and “Act Naturally” were all covered by the lads and mostly sung by Ringo.
Ringo was a big fan of all things Nashville. In 1970 about a month after the announcement of the band breaking up he recorded an entire country album with pedal steel player Pete Drake producing. Back in 1965 the closest he could get to recording country tunes was with his pals and one of those was “What Goes On”.
John wrote it in 1960 for for his first band “The Quarrymen” and buried it away until pressure for new material during the “Rubber Soul” sessions inspired John to dig it out. Paul added a bridge section and Ringo aquirred his first writing credit by adding some of the lyrics.
Carl Perkins was a massive influence on George’s guitar playing. The sound of his guitar on this recording is super-clean and very loud. Unfortunately George’s chops are not really 100% and although he does his best, this performance would not have got him a job as a picker in Nashville.
Where I live in New York City there is a great loathing for the southern states in general and country music in particular. Several of my southern friends tone down their delightful accents when they come north as they are treated as though they are idiots should they talk in in a Southern Drawl . There is no country radio in NYC since WYNY closed down years ago. When I drove through the south last September several New Yorkers told me to be careful as the south is a “dark place”
I’ve never understood this northern bigotry. The Civil War ended almost 150 years ago.
Get over it New York.
Country music is the only place where stories are told about working people and the quality of narrative lyric writing in present day country music better than it has ever been.
As I write the #1 Country Album is “This Is Country Music” by Brad Paisley. The subject matter covered in the title song include – cancer, Jesus Christ, tractors, trucks, small town life, alcohol, love, forgiveness, a boring job, a cruel boss, love of one’s brother, the wars in the Middle East and loss of a family member. That is a lot of information for a pop song to convey, and it does it with a beautiful melody and a killer guitar solo.
The Ukulele version of “What Goes On” is not as multi-layered piece as that but it does rock. It is probably what Ringo would like to have sung over in 1965. The harmonies are altered slightly and there is a more manic bar-room feel to the whole affair.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Frankie Moran is an award winning songwriter who has logged many hours on the road performing up and down the East Coast.
While recording music for The A&E Network series “Random1” , Frankie met the owner and lead engineer of Studio Unknown and PopMark Media, Kevin Hill. He was then introduced to Seth Hurwitz, producer of "Swarm of the Snakehead" and the three created the songwriting team, Moran/Hill/Hurwitz.
Moran/Hill/Hurwitz have been writing contemporary country songs together since 2007. Since Frankie sang on all the demos it has culminated into the self-titled release CD, "Frankie Moran". This album will be available for purchase June 7th, 2011. Ask any of Frankie’s childhood friends about his collection of music and they will tell you it was the Beatles all the way. "I would buy their tapes even though CDs were the new thing, I could get two for price of one CD… it took me a long time to understand what it was I was hearing but I just loved it. I am amazed to this day at how they went about it when you think of what we are able to do in studios now… just amazing.
It was an honor and a real pleasure to get to re-do a Beatles song. I researched their actual studio session with the banter and all the different things that happened during their recording session of that one take; very interesting; then I learned all the guitar parts and bass and really tried to stay true to the original while giving it even more of a country sound and a little of my own flavor. I hope Paul and Ringo someday hear this version and know that because of the Beatles I wanted to learn an E chord, and have never looked back".
Look for Frankie’s CD and upcoming show dates at
Tags: Brad Paisley, Country Music, George Harrison, Nashville, Ringo Starr, The Beatles, Ukulele
from Rubber Soul,
released August 14, 2012
Ukulele Version #125 recorded February – April, 2011
Frankie Moran – Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Ukulele
Produced by Moran Hill Hurwitz
Engineer: Kevin Hill
Assistant Engineer: Seth Hurwitz
Recorded at Studio Unknown/Popmark Media
Baltimore, Maryland, Feb-April, 2011