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My Bonnie
My Bonnie (album).jpg
Studio album / live album by
Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers
Released June 1962
Recorded 22 June & 21 December 1961
Venue Friedrich-Ebert-Halle & Musikhalle, Hamburg, West Germany
Genre Rock and roll
Producer Bert Kaempfert
Tony Sheridan chronology
My Bonnie
Just a Little Bit
The Beat Brothers a.k.a. The Beatles chronology
My Bonnie
Please Please Me
Singles from {{{Name}}}

My Bonnie is a 1962 album by English rock and roll singer-songwriter and musician Tony Sheridan. Sheridan, then playing in clubs in Hamburg with the Beatles, was discovered by producer Bert Kaempfert and subsequently signed with him to record for Polydor. Sheridan recorded several songs with the Beatles, of which, only a single was released in 1961 and credited to Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers. While these two songs are included here, the remaining tracks contained in this album were credited again to the Beat Brothers but recorded without the Beatles.

Because of the later fame of the Beatles, the eight songs recorded in Hamburg with the then fledgling group have been issued in 1964 and repackaged several times through the years.

Background and recording

In June 1961, Sheridan and the Beatles (then consisting of guitarists John Lennon, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney, bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, and drummer Pete Best) were both playing in Hamburg's Top Ten Club, the two frequently performing together. German producer Bert Kaempfert visited the Top Ten on the recommendation of music publisher Alfred Schacht and singer Tommy Kent, and subsequently signed Sheridan and the Beatles to his company Bert Kaempfert Productions.

Kaempfert set a recording date for 22 June at Hamburg's Friedrich-Ebert-Halle. Engineered by Karl Hinze, the session featured Sheridan and the Beatles playing "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean", "The Saints", "Why", "Nobody's Child", and "Take Out Some Insurance". The Beatles performed "Ain't She Sweet" and an original song, "Beatle Bop" (later titled "Cry for a Shadow"). Sutcliffe attended the session, but did not play, leaving McCartney to play bass. From these sessions, "My Bonnie" was released as a single (with "The Saints" as the B-side) through Polydor Records (who had an exclusive deal with Kaempfert's company) credited to "Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers", as the Beatles' contract enabled the record company to use a pseudonym.

A single with "My Bonnie" backed by "The Saints" was released in Germany in October 1961 and was a moderate success, peaking at number 32 in the national chart published in Der Musikmarkt, number 11 in the national jukebox charts, and number four in a local Hamburg chart. Kaempfert and Sheridan conducted another session on 21 December 1961 at Musikhalle Hamburg, without the Beatles. Ten songs were recorded at this session, which along with "My Bonnie" and "The Saints" formed the My Bonnie LP, released 5 January 1962.

Track listing

Side one
  1. "My Bonnie" (Traditional, arr. by Tony Sheridan)
  2. "Skinny Minnie" (Bill Haley, Rusty Keefer, Milt Gabler, Catherine Cafra)
  3. "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On" (Dave Williams, Sonny David)
  4. "I Know Baby" (Sheridan)
  5. "You Are My Sunshine" (Jimmie Davis, Charles Mitchell)
  6. "Ready Teddy" (Robert Blackwell, John Marascalco)
Side two
  1. "The Saints" (Traditional, arr. by Tony Sheridan)
  2. "Hallelujah, I Love Her So" (Ray Charles)
  3. "Let's Twist Again" (Kal Mann, Dave Appell, Buchenkamp)
  4. "Sweet Georgia Brown" (Bernie, Pinkard, Casey)
  5. "Swanee River" (Stephen Foster)
  6. "Top Ten Twist" (Homsen, Bones, Sheridan, Lüth)

In 2001, The My Bonnie LP was issued on CD by Polydor, with 10 bonus tracks:

  1. "My Bonnie (German intro)" (Traditional, arr. by Sheridan)
  2. "Ich Lieb' Dich So" (Pomus, Spector, Lueth)
  3. "Der Kiss-Me Song" (Warren, Schwabach, Wallnau)
  4. "Madison Kid" (C. Thomas)
  5. "Let's Dance" (Sheridan, Lee)
  6. "Ruby Baby" (Leiber, Stoller)
  7. "What'd I Say" (Charles)
  8. "Veedeboom Slop Slop" (Johnny Sivo)
  9. "Let's Slop" (Sivo, Gleissner)
  10. "My Bonnie (No intro)" (Traditional, arr. by Sheridan)


"My Bonnie"
US picture sleeve
Single by Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers
from the album My Bonnie
B-side "The Saints"
Released 23 October 1961 (Germany)
5 January 1962 (UK)
Recorded 22 June 1961,
Venue Friedrich-Ebert-Halle, Hamburg, Germany
Genre Rock and roll
Length 2:42
Label Polydor (Germany)
Songwriter(s) Traditional, arranged by Tony Sheridan
Producer(s) Bert Kaempfert
Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers singles chronology
"My Bonnie"
"Sweet Georgia Brown"

"My Bonnie" (credited to Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers), with "The Saints" as the single's B-side, was first released in October 1961 in West Germany. The German import became popular in Liverpool, and Epstein secured a British release on 5 January 1962, credited to Tony Sheridan and the Beatles

After the Beatles gained fame several songs from their sessions together were released. "Sweet Georgia Brown", backed with "Take Out Some Insurance", was released as a single in 1964. Although "Take Out Some Insurance" was from the June 1961 sessions, the A-side was not. Backing tracks to "Sweet Georgia Brown" and "Swanee River" were recorded by the Beatles 24 May 1962. This session was arranged by Brian Epstein and Bert Kaempfert to free the Beatles from their contract with Kaempfert and Polydor. Sheridan's vocals to "Sweet Georgia Brown", referencing the Beatles' fame, were added later. These versions of "Sweet Georgia Brown" and "Swanee River" are not the recordings featured on My Bonnie. The version of "Swanee River" featuring the Beatles is considered lost.

"Ain't She Sweet" / "Nobody's Child" and "Why" / "Cry for a Shadow" were also released as singles.

Other releases

Polydor issued two EPs from the album sessions. The first, Ya Ya (October 1962, Polydor 21 485), contained "Ya Ya" / "Sweet Georgia Brown" / "Skinnie Minnie". The second, My Bonnie (July 1963, Polydor 21 610) contained "My Bonnie" / "Cry for a Shadow" / "The Saints" / "Why". This EP was previously released in France in January 1962 as "Mister Twist [fr]".

To capitalise on the Beatles' fame, their recordings with Sheridan have been rereleased multiple times by different record companies:

  • The Beatles with Tony Sheridan and Their Guests (1964)
  • Ain't She Sweet (1964)
  • The Beatles' First! (1964)
  • Very Together (1969)
  • In the Beginning (Circa 1960) (1970)
  • The Early Tapes of the Beatles (1984)
  • Beatles Bop – Hamburg Days (2001)
  • First Beat (2004)
  • I Saw Her Standing There (2013)
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