Monday, August 16, 2010

The Beatles and musical history: "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise"

"The World is Waiting for the Sunrise" is another older song, first published in 1919, and of course recorded by The Beatles in 1960. Unfortunately, I can't find a version on YouTube. In the meantime, have a listen to the most recent and popular version by Les Paul and Mary Ford, from 1949:

Les Paul, as many people know, is the namesake for the world famous Gibson Les Paul guitar. He's truly one of the those pioneers of popular music, having a hand in inventing and developing the solidbody electric guitar, defining the role that the electric guitar had as a solo instrument, and being the first to use multitrack recording. His style was a speedy and perky jazz, twangy yet vastly smoother and more refined than his contemporaries, influencing the first rockabilly guitarists and many a rock 'n' roll guitarist beyond that, including Jimmy Page.

I'm not so sure how much of an influence Les Paul had on the Beatles, seeing as his playing was highly technical and often incoporated overdubbed harmonies, runs played at twice their original speed, and your usual (or perhaps idiosyncratic) jazz melodies. He did influence guitarists The Beatles admired, though, so I assume then that his influence was indirect.

George wouldn't forget this song, and sung some words quietly along with Carl Perkins as he gazed admiringly at Carl's fingers as he played a fingerpicking version from A Rockabilly Session:

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