The Paul McCartney Project

Sweet Little Sixteen

Written by Chuck Berry

Album This song officially appears on the Live At The BBC Official live.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1994

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions

Related interviews

You Gave Me The Answer - 'Choba B CCCP'

Jun 13, 2019 • From

Paul McCartney unaccompanied

Mar 10, 2001 • From The Telegraph

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Sweet Little Sixteen” is a rock and roll song written and first recorded by Chuck Berry, who released it as a single in January 1958. His performance of it is that year at the Newport Jazz Festival was included in the documentary film “Jazz on a Summer’s Day“. It reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100, Berry’s second-highest position ever on that chart (surpassed only by his suggestive hit “My Ding-A-Ling“, which reached number one in 1972). “Sweet Little Sixteen” also reached number one on the R&B Best Sellers chart. Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song number 272 on its list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” in 2004.

From The Beatles Bible:

Although a part of The Beatles’ live show for some time, they only recorded Chuck Berry’s Sweet Little Sixteen once – for a BBC radio show. […]

The group performed it for the sixth edition of the Pop Go The Beatles radio show, on 10 July 1963. It was recorded at the Aeolian Hall, London, and first broadcast on 23 July.

An earlier version, captured at the Star-Club in Hamburg in December 1962, also exists on Beatles bootlegs.

With Chuck Berry, I choose ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’ because it sums him up for me. To us, he was a magician making music that was exotic, yet normal, at the same time

Paul McCartney, in Desert Island Discs, 1982

Last updated on April 26, 2020


They're really rockin' in Boston
Philadelphia, PA
Deep in the heart of Texas
And down in Frisco Bay
All over St Louis
And down in New Orleans
All the cats wanna dance with
Sweet little sixteen

Sweet little sixteen
She's just got to have
About half a million
Framed autographs
Her wallet filled with pictures
She gets them one by one
Becomes so excited
Watch her, look at her run

Oh Mommy, Mommy
Please may I go
It's such a sight to see
Somebody steal the show
Oh Daddy, Daddy
I beg of you
Whisper to Mommy
It's alright with you

Sweet little sixteen
She got the grown up blues
Tight dresses and lipstick
She's sporting high heel shoes
Oh but tomorrow morning
She'll have to change her trend
Become sweet sixteen
And back in class again

Yeah 'cause they'll be rockin' in Boston
Philadelphia, PA
Deep in the heart of Texas
And down in Frisco Bay
All over St Louis
And down in New Orleans
All the cats wanna dance with
Sweet little sixteen

Officially appears on

Live At The BBC

Official live • Released in 1994

2:21 • Radio showL1 • ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’ was Chuck Berry’s first British Top 20 hit in June 1958.

Paul McCartney :
Ringo Starr :
John Lennon :
Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
Terry Henebery :

Concert From "Pop Go The Beatles" in London, United Kingdom on Jul 23, 1963


Star Club - Hamburg, Germany - December 1962

Unofficial live

3:55 • Live

The BBC Archives Volume 4

Unofficial album

2:25 • Radio show


Unofficial live

2:48 • Live

Backyard +

Unofficial album

2:56 • Studio rehearsal

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Vocals

Session Recording:
Aug 30, 1974
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

What A Mean Fiddler

Unofficial live • Released in 1992

4:16 • Live • Backyard Tape

Live performances

“Sweet Little Sixteen” has been played in 3 concerts.

Latest concerts where Sweet Little Sixteen has been played

Pop Go The Beatles

Jul 23, 1963 • Part of BBC Sessions

Pop Go The Beatles

Jul 16, 1963 • Part of BBC Sessions

Manchester • Oasis Club • United Kingdom

Feb 02, 1962 • United Kingdom • Manchester • Oasis Club


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