September in the Rain

My favorite Beatles song of all time is “September in the Rain”, a song which was never officially released by The Beatles. It was performed by the band during their famous unsuccessful audition for Decca Records at Decca Studios in North London on January 1, 1962. Of course, the songs performed on the audition have long lived on in the bootleg world; five of the songs – “Searchin’”, “Three Cool Cats”, “The Sheik of Araby”, “Like Dreamers Do”, and “Hello Little Girl” – were officially released for the first time in 1995 on Anthology 1. As was noted in the media at the time, the release of these five songs from the Decca sessions, along with five other tracks, represented the first official Beatles releases with Pete Best on drums, and hence the first time that Best made financial gain as a Beatle albeit more than thirty years later. Well deserved! As is well known, almost nine months after the ill-fated Decca audition, on August 16, 1962, drummer Pete Best was fired from the band and replaced with Ringo Starr. Starr had been the drummer with rival Liverpool band Rory Storm & The Hurricanes, who almost two years before had simultaneously played in the same Hamburg club, the Kaiserkeller, with The Beatles. On the occasions that Pete Best would not show up for the gigs for whatever reasons, Ringo Starr would be forced to do double duty and stay on stage when his sets with Rory Storm were over and sit in with The Beatles for their entire sets. He fit in cohesively with the three lads in terms of personality, something that Pete Best did not exactly achieve.

“September in the Rain” was written by Harry Warren and Al Dubin. Warren (1893-1981), born Salvatore Antonio Guaranga, is noted as the first major American songwriter to have written primarily for film. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song eleven times and won three Oscars for “Lullaby of Broadway”, “You’ll Never Know” and “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe.” Harry Warren wrote over 800 songs in his career, and many hits. Some of his hit songs were “I Only Have Eyes for You”, “You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby”, “Jeepers Creepers”, “The Gold Diggers’ Song (We’re in the Money)”, “That’s Amore”, “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, and countless other hits. “Chattanooga Choo Choo” was the first song to be awarded “gold record” distinction in the music industry.

“September in the Rain” was introduced by James Melton in the 1937 film Melody for Two, an American musical starring Melton, Patricia Ellis and Marie Willis. It would go on to be recorded by many and varied artists over the decades. Among the extensive list of artists who have recorded the song are Guy Lombardo, Julie London, Teresa Brewer, Lionel Hampton, Joe Williams, Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Bing Crosby, and Jools Holland.

Both John and Paul were big fans of show tunes. “September in the Rain” was a favorite of Paul’s, and he certainly did a great job of belting out the lead vocals.

Beatlemania trickles down to plots of U.S. sitcoms

We recently commemorated the 60th anniversary of The Beatles famous debut on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and how it launched Beatlemania in the U.S. Well, it wasn’t only young people who were affected. Writers of sitcoms in the U.S. jumped on the bandwagon as three shows wrote in Beatles-like scenarios into episodes.

Almost a year to the day after the appearance with Ed Sullivan, the highly rated sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show” ran episode titled “The Redcoats Are Coming” on February 10, 1965 which played into the Beatles hysteria reminiscent from “The Ed Sullivan Show”. The 30 minute show centered upon Rob Petrie, the character played by Dick Van Dyke who is the head writer of the popular show “The Alan Brady Show” which is a weekly show somewhat similar to “The Ed Sullivan Show”, who has to hide a popular British pop duo at his home for a night before they appear on “The Alan Brady Show”. However, the “catch” was that Rob Petrie and his wife Laura, played by Mary Tyler Moore, were sworn to secrecy and could not tell anyone for fear that it could set off a Beatlemania-like frenzy.

The British pop duo was the fictitious “Fred & Ernie”, who were played by the real life Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde who performed under the name “Chad & Jeremy”. Fans of modern day British television know Jeremy Clyde for his high-profile acting roles on series like “Downton Abbey” and “Inspector Morse”. It made for an interesting episode of the famous “Dick Van Dyke Show” and was obviously inspired by recent events of Beatlemania.

On December 9, 1965, the CBS show “Gilligan’s Island” followed suit with an episode titled “Don’t Bug the Mosquitoes” when a popular American British Invasion-like band called The Mosquitoes, a name obviously taken to emulate The Beatles, wash up on the desert island in the show’s second season. The members of the rock group are Bingo, Bango, Bongo and Irving. They perform their hit songs “Don’t Bug Me” and “He’s a Loser”, complete with the Beatle-esque format of two guitarists and a bass player upfront and a drummer in back, as well as shaking their heads of hair like The Beatles. The goal of the castaways is to make life miserable on the island for the band members so they will want to leave, and hence take the castaways with them back to the mainland.

The Mosquitoes were played by Les Brown, Jr. and the folk group The Wellingtons. Later in the episode, the three women castaways on the island – Ginger, Mary Ann, and Mrs. Howell – form their own pop trio called The Honey Bees and perform their original song “You Need Us”. As was the case in every episode of “Gilligan’s Island” when a visitor or visitors come to the island, The Mosquitoes leave the inhabitants on the island without rescuing them.

Only a week after appearing on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” as fictitious British Invasion stars, Chad & Jeremy appeared on “The Patty Duke Show” as the duo “Nigel & Patrick” in the episode title “Patty Pits Wits, Two Brits Hits”. Cathy Lane, one of the two “identical cousins” characters played by Patty Duke, was doing a classical musical show on a local radio station and meets up with the struggling duo Nigel & Patrick. She becomes determined to help get them signed to a contract to make a record. She finds them and agent and a record is made en route to success. The duo sings the Chad & Jeremy hits “A Summer Song” and “Yesterday’s Gone” on the show, and of course there is a happy sitcom ending.

In all three of these sitcom episodes, Beatlemania was the undisputed undercurrent. Needless to say, while these shows aired, television executives were already in the planning stages of a thirty minute sitcom entirely based on The Beatles and Beatlemania. “The Monkees” debuted on September 12, 1966

“Never Been to Spain” by Three Dog Night Prominently Mentions The Beatles

Of course, there have been many songs in the Top 40 that have mentioned The Beatles. In the early days of Beatlemania, there were several novelty songs, the most famous of which was “We Love You Beatles”, the 1964 novelty song by The Carefrees.

Countless other mentions of The Fab Four have been noteworthy. Some of them have been Mott The Hoople’s “All the Young Dudes” with the lyrics “….and my brother back at home with his Beatles and his Stones.” Another memorable mention can be found in the 1970 Temptations’ song “Ball of Confusion (That’s What the World is Today)” with the lyrics “Unemployment rising fast, the Beatles’ new record’s a gas”. Other prominent mentions can be found in the 1985 hit “Life in a Northern Town” by Dream Academy, and in the 1989 number one hit “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel. There are many more examples.

“Never Been to Spain” was a # 5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 for Three Dog Night in 1971, appearing on their album Harmony. It was released after their top ten hit “An Old Fashioned Love Song” and before their single “Family of Man”. Prior to “Never Been to Spain”, Three Dog Night had two number one hits under their belt, “Mama Told Me (Not to Come) in 1970 and “Joy to The World” in 1971. Their third and final number one, “Black and White”, would top the charts in 1972. Between 1969 and 1975, Three Dog Night had twenty Top 40 hits and eleven Top Ten hits.

“Never Been to Spain” was written by Hoyt Axton,and picked up by Three Dog Night. The lyrics go: “Well, I never been to England/ But I kinda like the Beatles”.

The song consists of Axton citing places he has never visited with commentary on the speculative cultural highlights of those locales. He discusses his own travels, making comparisons to more worldly venues.
The final verse is:

Well, I’ve never been to heaven
But I’ve been to Oklahoma
Well, they tell me I was born there
But I really don’t remember

Hoyt Axton also wrote Three Dog Night’s biggest hit, “Joy to the World”, which topped the Billboard charts for six weeks in April and May 1971. Axton has songwriting in his genetics because he was the son of famed songwriter Mae Boren Axton, who was famously known as the “Queen Mother of Nashville”. Mae Boren Axton’s most famous song writing credit is the wildly popular song “Heartbreak Hotel” which she wrote for a young Elvis Presley. She also had the distinction of strategically introducing an unknown Elvis Presley to Colonel Tom Parker. Hoyt Axton also had a famous first cousin, David Boren. David Boren served as Governor of Oklahoma from 1974 to 1974, and then served three terms in the U.S. Senate from 1979 to 1994.

Ironically, the two other number one songs scored by Three Dog Night were also written by songwriters who have famous relatives. Their first number one hit, “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)” was written by Randy Newman. It stayed on top for two weeks in July 1970. The song has the unique distinction of being the number one song on the very first edition of Casey Kasem’s “American Top 40” on the weekend of July 40, 1970. Randy Newman, an accomplished singer/songwriter himself, is the nephew of famed composers Alfred, Emil and Lionel Newman; all three worked on film scores in Hollywood. Alfred Newman won nine Academy Awards, more than any composer in Oscar history. Emil Newman worked on over 200 films and tv shows, earning an Oscar nomination in 1941. Lionel Newman’s career with 20th Century Fox spanned 46 years and 200 movies. He wrote several classic tv themes such as “Dobie Gillis” and “Daniel Boone”. It is no surprise that since the 1980’s Randy Newman has concentrated on writing film scores.

The third and final chart-topper for the band was “Black and White”, which stayed in the top position for one week in September 1972. It was co-written by David Arkin in the 1950’s. David Arkin is the father of actor Alan Arkin and the grandfather of actor Adam Arkin. Alan Arkin received two Oscar nominations for Best Actor, and one for Best Supporting Actor. He won his first and only Oscar for the 2006 movie Little Miss Sunshine for Best Supporting Actor.

Hoyt Axton also wrote the Ringo Starr hit “No No Song” which reached # 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1974, giving the Fab Four drummer his seventh top ten hit in the U.S. In his acclaimed 1991 biography Ringo Starr: Straight Man or Joker, author Alan Clayson wrote of Axton: “To Ringo, he gave a Jamaican-flavoured litany that warned of the horrors of whiskey, cocaine and so forth against the oaradise of total abstinence. Unreleased as a British 45 for fear of Radio One programmers getting the wrong – or right – end of the stick. “No No Song” came within an ace of duplicating the feat of ‘You’re Sixteen’ in the States.”

Wonderful Christmastime!

As is the case each year during the holiday season, Paul’s Christmas song “Wonderful Christmastime” is in heavy rotation on the airwaves. This McCartney solo song was recorded in 1979 during the recording of McCartney II, with Paul laying down all the tracks himself at the home studio on his farm. Though not a Wings single, all of the members of the final configuration of Wings appeared in the video which was filmed at The Fountain Inn in Ashurst, West Sussex.

To say that it is a McCartney “solo” song is an understatement. He both wrote and produced the song in addition to providing vocals, keyboards, synthesizers, guitars, bass, and drums.

“Wonderful Christmastime” reached # 6 on the UK Singles Chart, but did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. Since its debut during the 1979 holiday season, it was estimated by Forbes magazine that the song has earned Paul $30 million dollars. Each holiday season the song rakes him in excess of $500,000.

Beatles fans will remember that McCartney performed “Wonderful Christmastime” on Saturday Night Live on December 15, 2012.

In addition, Beatles fans will remember that there was never an official Christmas song released by the Fab Four. However, members of the official Beatles Fan Club received a record of Christmas song in 1967 that was not released commercially. “Christmas Time Is Here Again” lived on in bootleg records and became more accessible with the advent of

Ironically, Paul can be heard on Side B of the monstrously successful 1984 charity single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid. This song knocked out Wings’ “Mull of Kintyre” from having the distinction of being the biggest selling single in the history of the UK. It was on top of the UK Singles Charts in Christmas 1977. For whatever reason, “Mull of Kintyre” was a flop in the U.S., only reaching # 33 on the Billboard Hot 100 and cracking the Top 40 for only that one week. “Mull of Kintyre” was a massive international hit that topped the charts in countless countries. Paul has never performed the song in a concert in the U.S. due to its bad performance there; however, there have been instances over the years in which he does a concert one night in the U.S. without performing “Mull of Kintyre” and then two nights later adds it to the playlist for a concert in Canada. “Mull of Kintyre” still remains the biggest selling non-charity single in UK history. In 1984 people were urged to buy multiple copies of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” to support African famine relief, so “Mull of Kintyre” retains its unique place in history.

Check out the songs below…….

Of Course The Beatles Had No Connection to the Kennedy Assassination, But …..


We recently passed the 60th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy last November 22. While there is no connection between the JFK assassination and The Beatles, there is one remote coincidence with someone in the Beatles’ history. Trini Lopez, a person in Beatles history, had a strange relationship with Jack Ruby.

Trini Lopez is not well known in Beatles history, but his intriguing connection to The Fab Four is most unique.

Trinidad “Trini” Lopez III was born in Dallas to Mexican immigrant parents. Despite his sophomore class in high school voting him “The most likely to succeed”, he was forced to drop out of school during his senior year to go to work to help his family economically. However, the “Most likely to succeed” moniker certainly came true during his career.

His 1963 song “If I Had a Hammer” reached number one in 36 different countries and peaked at number three in the U.S. He charted 13 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including “Lemon Tree”, which reached number 20. Two other songs, “Kansas City” and “I’m Comin’ Home, Cindy”, also scored in the Top 40.

“If I Had a Hammer” was written by Pete Seeger, the American folk singer and social activist who was a 1936 graduate of Avon Old Farms School in Avon, Connecticut. Peter, Paul and Mary would also score a number ten hit with “If I Had a Hammer” in 1962, a year before Lopez’ different and distinctive version of the song.

In 1959 producer Snuff Garrett tried to hire Lopez to front a post-Buddy Holly version of The Crickets, but Lopez was determined to make it on his own. After singing with a label, his 1963 live album Trini Lopez at P.J.’s bolted him onto the radar screen with commercial success and critical acclaim, with the album’s most popular song being “If I Had a Hammer.” The singer also had a minor role in the 1967 cult classic movie The Dirty Dozen, which is famous for its all-star cast.

Lopez’ connection to The Beatles is amazing. From January 16, 1964 to February 4, 1964, Lopez played on a bill with The Beatles at The Olympia Theatre in Paris, along with French singer Sylvie Vartan. The three acts played two shows each night during the week and three shows on weekends. Lopez received top billing for this engagement and The Beatles actually opened for him. After this stand at the Olympia Theatre ended on February 4th with The Beatles opening for Lopez, the four boys made their live U.S. television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show only four days later on February 8. Needless to say, the world of the four lads from Liverpool changed drastically in those four days.

In an interview with Gary James on, Lopez elaborated on The Beatles opening for him for almost a month in Paris:

“What happened was, we got booked into the Olympic Theatre, right before they came to America. We were there for a whole month in Paris. Two shows a night, three on Saturday. I used to steal the show from them every night! The French newspapers would say “Bravo Trini Lopez! Who are The Beatles?” Can you believe that? They didn’t have much of an act. They used to just stand there and shake their heads with the hair. The girls loved that hair. We were there in January ’64 for a whole month. In fact, when we finished doing the shows, the last night we were there, reporters came to my dressing room. My dressing room was next to theirs and they said “Mr. Lopez, The Beatles are leaving tomorrow for New York. Do you think they’ll be a hit?” I said “I don’t think so.” I whispered ’cause I didn’t want them to hear me. They said “Why not?” I said “Because in America there’s a group I like much better than these guys called The Beach Boys.” And I really liked ’em much better. Little did I know…(laughs) Unbelievable. But, it was a great experience being with them.”

In this same interview, the famed Mexican-American performer acknowledges that he got his start working for a few years performing at Jack Ruby’s Carousel Club in his native Dallas. The Carousel Club was a night club owned and operated by Ruby, and had obvious connections to crime syndicates. Lopez stresses in the interview that contrary to popular belief, Ruby did not help him secure his first record deal and did not advance his career at all. By the time Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald on November 24, 1963, Trini Lopez was already an established international star with “If I Had a Hammer” a number one hit throughout the globe in 36 countries, in addition to the many other nations where it placed high on the charts.

Ironically, one odd coincidence between the Kennedy assassination and pop music is not well known. There have been conspiracy theorists who spin that so many important people coincidentally happened to be in Dallas on the day of the assassination such as former Vice President Richard Nixon flying out of Love Field that morning; also, theories abound that the primary architects of Operation Mongoose, the CIA plot to assassinate Fidel Castro, were in the city as well. Many other important names can be found in these unsubstantiated stories and conspiracy theories.

However, what are the odds that the artists with the number song on the Billboard Hot 100 on that very day were in Dallas on November 22, 1963? The number one song on that fateful day was “I’m Leaving It All Up to You” by Dale and Grace. This duo with the top song in the land was in Dallas on that day as part of the “1963 Caravan of Stars” tour, organized by Dick Clark. They were scheduled to appear on the night of November 22 at the Dallas Memorial Auditorium in Dallas, which was only three blocks from Dealey Plaza. Needless to say, the concert was canceled. Dale and Grace, and the other performers, were staying at a hotel right near Dealey Plaza at the time of the assassination. Lists of the noteworthy people who were alleged to have been in Dallas on that day do not include Dale and Grace, who were in the midst of a two week run at the top of the charts.

There was a period of 79 days between the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963 and the wildly famous appearance of the four Liverpudlians on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 8, 1964 in which young people could sense the stagnancy in the morale of the country. Many children were forced to watch the unfolding drama in Dallas and the president’s funeral when they would have rather been outside playing with friends. This 79 day interim after the tragic assassination ended “Kennedy 1960’s” ushered in among the younger generation and even some adults a feeling of youth, fun, and positive energy that was conspicuously absent in the soul of the country during the dark 79 day period. The Beatles were obviously ready to move on after opening for Trini Lopez in Paris during that time period. The United States was ripe for their energetic live national television debut on The Ed Sullivan Show to say the least.

Clarence “Frogman” Henry opened for The Beatles at 18 concerts in 1964

Clarence Henry, better known as Clarence “Frogman” Henry, was born in Louisiana in 1937. An accomplished singer and pianist, his signature song is “Ain’t Got No Home” from 1956, and his other hit was “(I Don’t Know Why) But I Do” in 1961. “Ain’t Got a Home” hit number three on the R&B Chart.

What many people do not know is that Clarence Henry opened for the Beatles at 18 concerts in 1964. He was the opening act for the Fab Four for 21 days in the UK, and afterwards crossed the Atlantic with them to open for dates in both the U.S. and Canada. The opening line-up in the UK concerts were Clarence Henry, Jackie DeShannon, and the Bill Black Combo. These artists were all aboard the plane with The Beatles as they made their second trip to the U.S. in 1964.

The Great Burt Bacharach, R.I.P.

Upon the news of Burt Bacharach’s passing today, the New York Times posted a comprehensive obituary on their website, which was the basis for their front page article. While this obituary article detailed the amazing life and career of the incredibility talented songwriter, it made no mention of the fact that The Beatles recorded “Baby It’s You”, the 1961 hit for The Shirelles, which was written by Bacharach, Barney Williams, and Mack David. Mack David was the brother of Bacharach’s longtime writing partner and lyricist Hal David.

Reaching number eight on the Billboard Hot 100, “Baby It’s You” caught the attention of The Beatles, who included it in their stage act from 1961 – 1963. John Lennon did the lead vocals. Their recorded version was included on their first LP Please Please Me.

Awesome Beatles gift ideas for Christmas & Hanukkah

The holidays are almost here. There are many cool Beatles-related items that I find to be great gifts for people of all ages and for all occasions. The links to these items are displayed at the bottom of this blog post.

December 15, 2017 saw the release of the new CD box set Happy Christmas Beatles People!, a compilation of the special Christmas recordings that the Beatles sent each year to dues-paying members of the official Beatles Fan Club. This new box set encompasses the Christmas records from 1963 to 1969. This innovative special Christmas box set was reviewed in major publications throughout the world. Rolling Stone published a comprehensive article on December on the Christmas recordings to coincide with the release of the box set. The article is entitled “Beatles’ Rare Fan-Club Christmas Records: A Complete Guide“. This is the Amazon link to Happy Christmas Beatles People!

A great gift for Hanukkah is A Shabbat in Liverpool by Lenny Solomon and Schlock Rock.

In recent years, I have found that I cannot go wrong in terms of a baby gift with giving a Beatles CD for babies. The parents of the babies tell me it turns out to be a gift that they use over and over again. I have given the CDs for other occasions, too. The ones that I have given have been Beatles for Babies of the “For Babies” series, Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of The Beatles, and Rockabye Baby! More Lullaby Renditions of The Beatles. In addition, Baby Road: The Beatles Lovely Songs for Babies also seems to be popular.

Not only does ordering these CD’s online from save time in terms of going out to shop for a gift at store, but also you can be assured that no one else will be giving this kind of gift.

In the same regard, I have found success in giving a different kind of Beatles CD as a gift to my family and friends. Some of these people I know have many Beatles CDs in their collections, if not all of them. I surprise them with a unique gift of a different style of Beatles CD. There are numerous tribute CDs with an ethnic flavor. For example, people have loved The Beatles in Bossa Nova by The Brazilian Tropical Orchestra. Also, I get great feedback when I give another CD, Tribute In Bossa Nova To The Beatles.

Beatles music in the Cuban style is also a great novelty gift that people will enjoy. Here Comes … el son – Songs of The Beatles with a Cuban Twist is a CD that I listen to sometimes in the car.

The widest selection of Beatles CDs in different flavors can be found in reggae. There are no shortage of titles. The ones that I have given as gifts have been thoroughly enjoyed by the recipients. They are Here Comes The Sun: A Reggae Tribute to The Beatles, Tribute to The Beatles Reggae Style, and Vol. 1 – Reggae Tribute to Beatles.

Another genre that provides for neat gifts is classical music. The 2009 CD Classical Beatles is one that has worked out well, as has Beatles for Orchestra, and Blackbird: Beatles for Orchestra. Naturally, Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops Play The Beatles, a digitally remastered CD released in 2000, is popular.

Two other titles that will intrigue your families and friends are Beatles in Classics: The 12 Cellists of the Berlin Philarmonic, and The Beatles Arranged for a String Quartet by Wihan Quartet and various artists.

If you have friends who love The Beatles, giving gifts of this type will prove to be something that they not only will use, but also will remember for sure. The links to these CDs are below. Also, if you like this blog, please use our Amazon box when ordering from Muchas gracias!

Today’s obituary section of the New York Times: Toshi Ichiyanagi (Yoko’s first husband) & Lee Minoff (screenwriter of Yellow Submarine)

In today’s Sunday edition of the New York Times there are ironically two Beatles-related people cited, one was an obituary article done by the Times and the other was a paid obituary notice by the family.

Toshi Ichiyanagi, an Avant-Garde Composer and Pianist, is Dead at 89” tells about the composer’s brilliant career and that he eloped with Yoko Ono in 1956.

Seven years ago I wrote a blog post about Yoko’s Japanese background, which mentioned Toshi Ichiyanagi. The post was titled “The Public Knows that Yoko Ono is Japanese, but Is Largely Unaware of Her Family Background

There was also the paid obituary notice of Lee Minoff, a graduate of Brooklyn College who had a fascinating career, he wrote the screenplay to Yellow Submarine.

Julian Lennon performed “Imagine”; Sean Lennon inspired a 1989 number one hit

The whole world knows that two weeks ago Julian Lennon broke a lifelong pledge and publicly sang his father’s international hit “Imagine”. His reason for going back on his longstanding statement was to aid the people in crisis in Ukraine. Every penny of royalties from the making of the song will go to Ukrainian relief. Believe it or not, the massive hit “Imagine” never reached number one in either the UK or the U.S., It reached number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was popular in the UK at the time although it was not officially released as a single until 1975. It was not until 1975 that John Lennon had his first number one hit with “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night”, which was his only number one hit during his lifetime as “Starting Over” topped the charts immediately following his December 1980 death.

An informative article at the time was “Julian Lennon reveals he was ‘dreading’ having to sing ‘Imagine'” in the 17 May 2022 edition of The Independent.

Everyone remembers Julian Lennon’s stunning 1984 debut album Valotte, which yielded three hit singles in the U.S. “Valotte” peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100; “Much Too Late for Goodbyes” peaked at No. 5; “Say You’re Wrong” stalled at No. 21.

However, Julian’s half-brother, Sean Lennon, was responsible for a number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100. In 1988 the teenage Sean Lennon was hanging out with Billy Joel and expressing to Joel his dismay over the state of the world. Sean then said to Joel, who was born in 1949, that he wished he had been born in the 1950’s because nothing happened then. Needless to say, Joel shot back at Lennon with all of the significant things that happened in the 1950’s.

After Lennon left, Joel started writing down a list of every significant thing t hat happened in the 1950’s. By the end of the day he was composing his future number one song “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, which is famous for rattling off important parts of history and culture from the 1950’s and 1960’s. Reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week in September 1989, it was Joel’s third and final number one hit. His two were “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” (1980) and “Tell Her About It” (1983).

The Rolling Stone article “Billy Joel Hits Number One with We Didn’t Start the Fire” explains how Sean Lennon inspired the number one song.

These are the lyrics to “We Didn’t Start the Fire“, which or course recounts a lot of history from the 1950’s. is a site that will give a unique part of Beatles history at least once per week. The articles cover Beatles topics that you will not find elsewhere.