FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesToday marks the 50th anniversary of the U.K. release of The Beatles' first single, "Love Me Do." The track was recorded on September 4, 1962, at London's Abbey Road Studios and was laid down during Ringo Starr's first session with the Fab Four.
Another version of "Love Me Do" was recorded a week later with session drummer Andy White keeping the beat and Starr playing tambourine. The session also yielded a rendition of "P.S. I Love You" featuring White on drums and Starr on maracas. But it's the version of "Love Me Do" with Ringo keeping the beat that was chosen for the A-side of The Beatles' official debut single -- with "P.S. I Love You" on the flip side -- which was issued on producer George Martin's Parlophone label, an imprint of EMI.
"Love Me Do" was only a modest hit, peaking on the U.K. charts at #17, but according to Beatles expert and author Bruce Spizer, the tune certainly helped paved the way for the band's impending mega-success.
"I think…it did what it needed to do, which was have respectable sales so that EMI would let them record another single," Spizer explains to ABC News Radio. "That single ["Please Please Me"] went to #1 on most of the British charts, and that led to The Beatles being able to put out…the Please Please Me album, which ultimately topped the charts and really got everything going."
The Beatles' hometown of Liverpool, England, has a variety of events planned to celebrate the milestone. A three-day initiative dubbed the Love Me Do Weekend kicks off on Friday. As part of the festivities, the city is hoping to get thousands of fans to join in on what it hopes will be a world-record-breaking sing-along of the Fab Four tune. Participants will gather in the morning at Liverpool's Albert Dock and the attempt is scheduled to take place at 11:50 a.m. local time.
More than 1,000 members of various Liverpool choirs have committed to taking part in the event. The Love Me Do Weekend, which is being organized by the Fab Four-themed Beatles Story museum, also will include a variety of musical performances, plus special food and drink offers, at bars and restaurants throughout the city.
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