Not only was it number one hit in Britain and the US, it was the first non-Beatles related British invasion record to place in the number one spot in 1964 – which it did for three weeks in September. Although Peter & Gordon had a number one with “World Without Love” in June, Lennon and McCartney wrote the tune.
Only one other UK act placed in the #1 slot in 1964 – Manfred Mann with “Do Wah Diddy Diddy.” The Beatles were in the #1 slot for 18 weeks during the year and if you add “World Without Love,” that number becomes 19 weeks in the top slot. Only one other group had multiple number one records that year – The Supremes with “Baby Love” and “Come See About Me.”
While the song was about a brothel in New Orleans, musicologists believe it originated with a 16th century English ballad about brothel in Soho, London. It was suggested that when the song crossed the Atlantic, the location changed to “The Big Easy.”