“Clarabella” is a Beatles’ song which is on their 1994 album, “Live At The BBC”.
Recorded: 2nd July, 1963
Genre: Blues, rock and roll
Track Duration: 2:40
Songwriter: Frank Pingatore
Producer: Terry Henebery
Written by Frank Pingatore and recorded by The Jodimars in 1956, the resulting single was a flop. The Jodimars were a group of ex-members of Bill Haley & His Comets but seemingly didn’t get too far together on the music scene. Be that as it may, they did have an impact with The Beatles as they recorded a cover version. However, there is a difference in styles.
Their version of “Clarabella” is slow and in the style similar to that of Gene Vincent and his “Be-Bop-A-Lula”. In contrast, The Beatles version is a bluesy rock and roll number. From time to time Paul McCartney would sing in the style of Little Richard and this number has his characteristics.
Of course, The Beatles had the knack of capturing old obscure songs and putting their own spin on them. Indeed, they were masters in the making and covering these songs gave them much more confidence.
Although they didn’t use the EMI Studios in Abbey road to record “Clarabella”, the quality is still quite good. They obviously made good use of the facilities offered by the BBC.
In the early 1960s, The Beatles performed in 52 programmes for BBC Radio shows. In effect, they took advantage of the free publicity. They recorded this song on the 2nd July, 1963, for the “Pop Go The Beatles” programme airing on the 16th. Because of this, it is commercially available now on their 1994 album, “Live At The BBC”. There it is on disc one, before track 20, “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)“.