Friday, March 15, 2013

Rock Goes Country: Act Naturally

Today’s Rock Goes Country feature takes us back to 1965 when The Beatles recorded the Buck Owens hit “Act Naturally.” The band recorded this song to give Ringo a vocal track on the UK version of the “Help” album. In the US, “Help” had a different configuration that featured not only The Beatles recordings, but also the film score by George Martin. “Act Naturally” made it to the contrived American release of “Yesterday and Today.”

While it was a “B” side to the #1 hit “Yesterday,” “Act Naturally” was able to make it to the charts as well. The song peaked at #47 on the Hot 100. It was not the first country influenced song by The Beatles, it probably is the most “countrified” song they recorded. It also was the last cover song originally released by the band; however, they recorded numerous covers during the “Let it Be” sessions.

Buck Owens Original

Helping to propel Buck Owens and the Buckaroos to stardom, their 1963 recording of Johnny Russell’s “Act Naturally” was a #1 country record. Voni Morrison is listed as co-writer of “Act Naturally”; however, she received the credit for her influence in Buck Owens recording the song.

Buck Owens and Ringo Starr’s Duet

In 1989, Buck Owens and Ringo Starr teamed up to record a duet of “Act Naturally.” Their new version placed at #27 on the country charts. All three versions were issued on Capitol Records.

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