50 years ago today, The Beatles released their double (White) album, and the world first heard “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “Blackbird”, and “Birthday”. The official title, The Beatles, was embossed on the cover and the first 5 million copies were numbered, like artists’ prints, with serial numbers. A new 50th anniversary remastered version of the 30-song double album returned to the Top 10 Billboard chart this week with new versions of songs that Ringo Starr loves, because of the louder, more distinct, drum parts. CHECK out 6 trivia tidbits about the making of the iconic LP… (1968)
1) Coming on the successful heels of Sgt. Pepper’s, it was their ninth studio album, and Ringo received the first copy—marked with serial number 0000001. He sold it at auction in 2015 for $790,000 and donated the money to charities that support animal welfare and people dealing with substance abuse, cancer, cerebral palsy, domestic abuse.
2) Most of the songs were written during a Transcendental Meditation course with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India earlier in the year. Also in attendance was Mike Love of the Beach Boys—and the chorus and vocals on Back in the USSR were a nod to the famous Beach Boys’ sound.
3) Paul McCartney wrote “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road?” after seeing two monkeys mating right in the middle of a road while on the trip. He wondered why humans always carried so much shame about the act.
4) “Julia” is the only Beatles song on which Lennon performed alone, according to the Daily Mail, which was fitting because it was about his mother who was killed by a car when Lennon was just 17.
5) Lamenting tense relationships with band members, especially after John Lennon broke band policy bringing Yoko to all the rehearsals, Ringo left the band. Determined to record, Paul McCartney picked up the sticks and did the drumming on the first two songs. His performances were technically perfect, but Ringo returned after getting loving telegrams from his bandmates. George Harrison covered the studio with flowers to welcome him back.
6) Even though the feuds kept them distant during much of the recording, for one track, Yer Blues, the four came together in a 10×10 foot room and nailed it. In Ringo’s words, “It was so great.”
MORE Good News on this Date:
- Lebanon gained independence from France – Independence Day (1943)
- The UN General Assembly voted to grant the PLO observer status (1974)
- Wayne Gretzky was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and his number (99) permanently retired by the NHL (1999)
- The Orange Revolution began in Ukraine following a fraudulent and corrupt presidential election, which led to massive demonstrations and to new, fair elections (2004)
- Angela Merkel became the first female Chancellor of Germany (2005)
And, on this day in 1890, Charles de Gaulle was born in Lille, France. A general who had served in both world wars, he led the French resistance against Nazi German occupiers and later was elected president of France.
As a statesman, his economic policies of substantial state-directed control over a capitalist economy contributed to thirty years of unprecedented growth. Charles de Gaulle resigned in 1969, but his legacy continues to influence French politics.
And on this day in 1922, the Tomb of Tutankhamun was opened by archaeologist Howard Carter.
With the spotlight of international press, the discovery sparked a renewed interest in ancient Egypt. Called “King Tut”, a wealth of information about the pharaoh who ruled around 1332–1323 BC was provided by the intact mummy and the famous mask, which resides in the Egyptian Museum. CHECK OUT the other treasures uncovered…