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.

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