Beatles Song History: Act Naturally

Thanks to everyone that came out to see Doctor Robert, The Colorado Beatles Tribute band in August. We enjoyed playing a variety of venues around Colorado. We started the month playing a private house party in Aspen, with many Aspen locals including Lance Armstrong in the audience. We had the honor of opening the music entertainment for the first annual Big Denver BBQ Block Party at Skyline Park in downtown Denver. What an amazing event this was, with international acts such as The Felice Brothers and Shaniqua Copeland as headliners. Be sure to catch it next summer when it returns to the Mile High City. We headlined the 40th annual Festival of the Arts in downtown Crested Butte, which included some great acts such as Bonnie and The Clydes from Lyons, Colorado and Bruce Hayes from Howard, Colorado. We finshed our August gigs with a return to The Ritz Grill in downtown Colorado Springs for a performance after the USA Pro Cycling Challenge finish just down the block.

September is going to be a great month for Doctor Robert, The Beatles Tribute band from way up in the mountains in Crested Butte, Colorado. Look for us to return to a few small town venues, starting September 13th at Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village. We’re very excited to play the night before Blues and Brews starts, we’ll play two 90-minute sets starting at 8:00.

Friday, September 14th brings us back to The Depot Saloon in Lake City, show starts at 8:00. This is the night before the Lake City Wine Festival begins, so it should be quite a memorable night of Beatles music for everyone involved. Last time we played here, the entire room was dancing and/or singing along to every song. We had a hard time saying “good night” as people just wanted more.

On Saturday, September 15th, we are excited to play our second show at Wildwood Sounds in Del Norte, with a showtime of 7:30. Stephen and Konnie have put together such an amazing little music venue, with great acoustics and awesome vintage theater seating. This is still one of the best “shows” we’ve played, as the audience is there to listen to every note played, melody sung, and story told. This small town in southern Colorado sure knows how to appreciate music, and we are grateful for the chance to play Wildwood again.

The 21st annual Octoberfest party in Gunnison will be held on Friday, September 28th from 3:30 to 6:30. We’re delighted to be asked to perform for this party, put on by The Gunnison Bank. Over 1000 people are in attendance each year, and the Gunnison Bank gives away free food and beer to anyone that comes. We love playing our home valley, and Gunnison is always a great town for The Doctor.

Meanwhile, back in the studio, Doc Rob has been busy working on a few new songs during our time off from the road. Look for a few heavy hitters to start appearing in the coming months, such as the #1 all-time Beatles composition “A Day in the Life” from the Sergeant Pepper album, and the hauntingly beautiful “Because” from the Abbey Road album. Though we’ve played “Act Naturally” a few times now, it is with great pleasure to announce that the lead vocals will be passed on to our drummer, Ben Wright, for his debut singing in Dr. Robert. Be sure to give Ben some encouragement as he may be more nervous than Ringo was when he first sang it on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1965.

Here’s a quick history of the song, as far as The Beatles is concerned. It was actually written by Johnny Russell and Voni Morrison, but made widely popular by The Beatles on the Help! album. This is all according to an amazing website full of Beatles songwriting facts, http://www.BeatlesEBooks.com:

” Country and Western is not usually the genre of music one thinks of whenever the music of The Beatles comes up in a conversation. Nonetheless, this type of music was always very highly respected by the group. “I heard country-and-western music in Liverpool before I heard rock’n’roll,” recalled John Lennon. “There were established folk, blues and country-and-western clubs in Liverpool before rock’n’roll…I started imitating Hark Williams when I was fifteen, before I could play the guitar.”

One member who especially loved this form of music was Ringo Starr. “I used to love country music and country rock,” Ringo relates. As related in his book “Ticket To Ride,” Larry Kane asked Ringo in 1965: “What were some of the influences on you as a musician?” Unhesitatingly he replied, “Well, been listening to American country songs since I was a kid, y’know. Think all of us loved the sound. Maybe John and Paul put a little of that in their sound, y’know.” In fact, both John and Paul have revealed in interviews that some of their songs were written with country music in mind, these including “I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party,” “I’m A Loser” and even “All My Loving.” Also, of course, The Beatles choice of covering three Carl Perkins songs shows a country leaning as well. “Carl Perkins was really country, just with more backbeat,” Lennon stated in 1973.

When asked to choose a song to sing on their fifth British album, it was only natural for Ringo to pick something from this genre. “I sang ‘Act Naturally’ in ‘Help!,’” Ringo explains. “I found it on a Buck Owens record and I said, ‘This is the one I am going to be doing,’ and they said ‘OK.’” This ended up being the very last cover song the Beatles ever officially released, with the exception of the short ad-libbed “Maggie Mae” that was haphazardly thrown onto the “Let It Be” album in 1970.”

We hope you’ll come and see us at a show nearby, thanks again for all the support!
Ben, Kevin, Karen, Casey

About Doctor Robert, The Beatles Tribute

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Posted on August 31, 2012, in Song History and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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