George Harrison claimed it was difficult to write a rockabilly song. He grew up with the genre, which helped shape his style in The Beatles. However, after playing rock ‘n’ roll for years, George found he couldn’t write a rockabilly song.
Every day after school George turned on the radio and listened to songs by Jimmie Rodgers, Big Bill Broonzy, Slim Whitman and various English music hall numbers.
In 1992, George told Timothy White (per George Harrison on George Harrison: Interviews and Encounters), “I think the first person that really got me interested in guitar was Jimmie Rodgers – ‘The Singing Brakeman’.
“And my father had some records, and he used to go to sea a lot, and he brought this big wind-up gramophone and Jimmie Rodgers records. It was “Waiting for a train” and “Blue Jodel”. And so I always remember when I was a little kid of about eight or seven.
“Later on, when I was a bit older, there was this guy from Florida who was a huge hit in England in the ’50s and his name was Slim Whitman. Again there was a singer with a guitar. And then it became Bill Haley. And then we had this big trend in the UK called skiffle music, which grew out of a traditional jazz, which is a kind of Dixieland jazz.”
Rock ‘n’ roll songs hit the radio when George was 13 years old. The genre entered the life of the future musician with Fat Domino’s “I’m in Love Again”, Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” and Little Richard’s “Tutti Frutti”. ”
Elvis and other rockabilly artists like Buddy Holly and Carl Perkins inspired George immensely.
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During an interview with Guitar Player in 1987, George stated that he was thinking of starting a rockabilly band and making an album. However, George realized that writing a rockabilly song was difficult.
“I don’t know if there are enough rockabilly people to make a record,” George said. “You know, I thought of that and a lot of people said that to me. Years ago Leon Russell used to say over and over again: “Just do it! You are doing really well.”
“jing jinga Rhythm – all those “okay mom” tunes. But I know Paul McCartney used to say years ago, “In a way, it’s easier to write ‘Yesterday’ than it is to write ‘A-wop-bop-a-lubop-a-wop-bam-boom.’ It’s true.
“It’s one thing to sing ‘Blue Suede Shoes,’ but it’s another to write it.”
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George may have found it difficult to write a rockabilly song. However, he wanted to support the genre by producing a Carl Perkins album.
“I said to Carl Perkins, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if there were songs like this now?’ And he sat down and rattled off about 10 tunes that he wrote that are just brilliant how that,” said George. “All he needs is someone to produce him and get him a record deal.
“Oh sure, we’ll help Carl. I would like to do some tracks with him.”
George and Perkins remained friends, but the former Beatle never got around to bringing out his idol. Writing a rockabilly song was difficult, but George continued to play his favorite songs of the genre often.
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