Some Other Guy

What I love about Brian Matthew’s Sounds of the 60s is that it’s not just a classic rock show—its playlist happily includes the decade’s cheese in addition to its masterpieces.

Here’s the playlist for the episode I listened to on my rides to and from work today. I was delighted to hear Ritchie Barrett’s original version of “Some Other Guy,” a song I knew only from the Beatles’ cover, which is on the Live at the BBC album and is famous for being on this surviving film of the boys playing at the Cavern Club in 1962:

The Beatles give it the chipper treatment they gave lots of R&B songs. Barrett’s original, on the other hand, is a hilariously shameless ripoff of Ray Charles, starting with the “What’d I Say”-ish keyboard intro, continuing on with the gruff main vocals backed by pseudo-Raelettes, and topped off with whistled S’s, which take a minor Charles idiosyncrasy beyond the point of parody.

How could you not love that?

There’s another YouTube video of Barrett’s version that includes commentary by John Lennon. He says you can hear an echo of Barrett’s intro at the beginning of “Instant Karma.” True, but just those first two drawn-out notes. Still, it gives me a reason to include this:

Possibly my favorite Lennon solo song, with great vocals, clever drum fills, and stellar tambourine work by Mal Evans.

A sly addition near the end of Sounds of the 60s is a true cover of “What’d I Say” by Jerry Lee Lewis. It’s such a perfect fit for the Killer, you’d think it was written for him. (The recording level is very low, turn up your volume before hitting Play.)