I Want to Hold Your Hand

On January 17, 1964 The Beatles charted the first of their 13 number one hits on the WKNR Music Guide, launching the British invasion and changing rock and roll forever.

By one account, it was written at the behest of manager  Brian Epstein who wanted a song that would appeal to American audiences, although producer George Martin disputes this. In a 1980 Playboy interview, John Lennon said that “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was created side by side as he and Paul McCartney sat at a piano in the basement of Paul’s girlfriend’s house, “I remember when we got the chord that made the song. We were in  Jane Asher‘s house, downstairs in the cellar playing on the piano at the same time. And we had, ‘Oh you-u-u/ got that something…’ And Paul hits this chord [E minor] and I turn to him and say, ‘That’s it!’ I said, ‘Do that again!’ In those days, we really used to absolutely write like that — both playing into each other’s noses.”

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” was recorded toward the end of their Second EMI album (With the Beatles) which was recorded over  about 3 months of sessions squeezed into their touring schedule. The track was part of their 1st Capitol album “Meet the Beatles”.  “Want to Hold Your Hand” was one of only two Beatle hits, “She Loves You” was the other,  to be released in German. The lads hated the idea and initially refused to record “Komm, Gib Mir Deine Hand“.

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” marked the start of the British Invasion both on Keener and across America. It was part of a string of 6 Beatle hits to chart on WKNR in 1964, all of which went to number one. And when Bob Green and Paul Cannon tallied the data at year end, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was rated the most popular record of the year.

Thanks to Mike Piesik for hisassistance with this post.

Jan 17th, 2012 | Posted in Beatles, Keener
  1. Mike Piesik
    Jan 19th, 2012 at 08:09 | #1

    Scott:
    Thanks for the credit! Always glad to help.
    Neglected to mention how much I appreciate the website. Listening to Keener was a big part of my childhood. I know you aren’t able to update frequently, but it’s always a treat when you do.
    Thanks!

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