“The Hippy Hippy Shake” is possibly more famous as being a hit single for The Swinging Blue Jeans. However, The Beatles also sang this for their BBC Radio appearances. Both groups are from Liverpool, of course. Be that as it may, the song was popular in the early 1960’s. The Beatles used this song regularly and they also recorded it a few times for their popular radio shows. Therefore, their two BBC albums feature two versions of their song.
Recorded: 10th July, 1963 (Live at the BBC), 10th September, 1963 (On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2)
Studio/Location: Aeolian Hall, London
Genre: Rock & roll
BBC Radio Show: Pop Go the Beatles, 30th July, 1963 (Live at the BBC), Pop Go the Beatles, 10th September, 1963 (On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2)
Track Duration: 1:50 (Live at the BBC), 1:46 (On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2)
Songwriter: Chan Romero
Producer: Terry Henebery
The Hippy Hippy Shake
In the early sixties, “The Hippy Hippy Shake”, was a popular song around Liverpool because the emerging Merseybeat bands were playing it regularly.
“There were millions of groups around at that time – The Blue Angels, The Running Scareds – but they were mostly lookalike groups; The Shadows and Roy Orbison had a lot of followers. Then there were groups like us, more into the blues and slightly obscure material. And because we had the unusual songs, we became the act you had to see, to copy…
We had too much material anyway. We couldn’t record it all when we did get a deal, so other groups took songs from our act and made hits out of them – like The Swinging Blue Jeans with The Hippy Hippy Shake, which was one of my big numbers.”
“Although not a hit, “The Hippy Hippy Shake” by Chan Romero became popular in Liverpool when DJ Bob Wooler played it at The Cavern Club. He recalled lending his copy of the UK Columbia single to Paul so the group could learn it. When The Beatles appeared on the BBC TV programme Juke Box Jury in December, 1963, they reviewed “The Hippy Shake” by their Mersey mates The Swinging Blue Jeans.
Their unanimous judgement that it would be a hit proved to be true, both in the UK and America. Chan Romero had recorded his song in 1959 at Gold Star studio in Los Angeles with the same musicians who played on “La Bamba” by his hero Ritchie Valens.”
On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2 footnotes
In total, The Beatles managed to record the song five times for BBC Radio shows:
16th March, 1963: The Saturday Club (live from Broadcasting House, London)
4th June, 1963: Pop Go The Beatles (recorded at the Aeolian Hall, London, on the 24th May)
30th July, 1963: Pop Go The Beatles (recorded on the 10th July) (Live At The BBC album)
10th September, 1963: Pop Go The Beatles (recorded on the 3rd September) (On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2 album)
15th February, 1964: The Saturday Club (recorded on the 7th January)