“Honey Don’t” is a Carl Perkins’ song but The Beatles made a cover version of it in 1964. Indeed, their version is on the album, “Beatles For Sale”. It also appears on a few more Beatles’ albums.
Recorded: 26th October, 1964
Studio: EMI Studios, London
Track Duration: 2:55
Record Label: Parlophone
Songwriter: Carl Perkins
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith
Carl Perkins released “Blue Suede Shoes” as a single on the 1st January, 1956, together with “Honey Don’t” as the B-side. Both songs are rockabilly numbers and the single went to number one in the American country charts.
While The Beatles were in their formative years and just learning the trade, they would often play songs coming over to the UK from the US. Just like in this case, they would take the B-side to a single and perform it at their gigs. Many of those never made it on the Fab Four’s albums but this one is on “Beatles For Sale”.
“We all knew Honey Don’t; it was one of those songs that every band in Liverpool played. I used to love country music and country rock. I’d had my own show with Rory Storm, when I would do five or six numbers. So singing and performing wasn’t new to me; it was a case of finding vehicles for me with The Beatles. That’s why we did it on Beatles For Sale. It was comfortable. And I was finally getting one track on a record: my little featured spot.”
The Beatles recorded “Honey Don’t” on the 26th October, 1964, in Studio Two of the EMI Studios, London, during the 4.30pm-6.30pm session. They recorded five takes with the final one being suitable as the master for the album.
In the early 1960s, The Beatles seldom missed an opportunity to promote themselves, of course. Furthermore, they would get even more publicity through their many appearances on BBC Radio shows. They recorded a version for the “Pop Go The Beatles” programme on the 1st August, 1963 for airing on the 3rd September and this recording is on the 1994 album, “Live At The BBC”. While it was a song for Ringo Starr, John Lennon sings this version.
Meanwhile, they recorded a version for the “Top Gear” radio show airing on the 26th November, 1964. This version which has Starr singing again is on their 2013 album, “On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2”.