The Paul McCartney Project

That's All Right Mama

Written by Arthur Crudup

Album This song officially appears on the Choba B CCCP Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1988
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

That’s All Right” is a song written and originally performed by blues singer Arthur Crudup. It is best known as the first single recorded and released by Elvis Presley. Presley’s version was recorded on July 5, 1954, and released on July 19, 1954 with “Blue Moon of Kentucky” as the B-side. It is #113 on the 2010 Rolling Stone magazine list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time“.

In July 2004, exactly 50 years after its first issuing, the song was released as a single in the United Kingdom, where it debuted and peaked at Number 3.

History

The song was written by Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, and originally recorded by him in Chicago on September 6, 1946, as “That’s All Right“. Some of the lyrics are traditional blues verses first recorded by Blind Lemon Jefferson in 1926. Crudup’s recording was released as a single on RCA Victor 20-2205, but was less successful than some of his previous recordings. At the same session, he recorded a virtually identical tune with different lyrics, “I Don’t Know It“, which was also released as a single (RCA Victor 20-2307). In early March 1949, the song was rereleased under the title, “That’s All Right, Mama” (RCA Victor 50-0000), which was issued as RCA’s first rhythm and blues record on their new 45 rpm single format, on bright orange vinyl.

Elvis Presley’s version was recorded in July 1954. Its catalogue number was Sun 209. The label reads “That’s All Right” (omitting “Mama” from the original title), and names the performers as Elvis Presley, Scotty and Bill. Arthur Crudup was credited as the composer on the label of Presley’s single, but Crudup had to wait until the 1960s when he received an estimated $60,000 in back royalties. Crudup used lines in his song that had been present in earlier blues recordings, including Blind Lemon Jefferson’s 1926 song “That Black Snake Moan“.

A country music version by Marty Robbins peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart in 1955.

Presley’s recording

During an uneventful recording session at Sun Studios on the evening of July 5, 1954, Presley, Scotty Moore (guitar) and Bill Black (string bass) were taking a break between recordings when Presley started fooling around with an up-tempo version of Arthur Crudup’s song “That’s All Right, Mama“. Black began joining in on his upright bass, and soon they were joined by Moore on guitar. Producer Sam Phillips, taken aback by this sudden upbeat atmosphere, asked the three of them to start again so he could record it.

Black’s bass and guitars from Presley and Moore provided the instrumentation. The recording contains no drums or additional instruments. The song was produced in the style of a “live” recording (all parts performed at once and recorded on a single track). The following evening the trio recorded “Blue Moon of Kentucky” in a similar style, and it was selected as the B-side to “That’s All Right“.

The recording session was Presley’s fifth visit to the Sun Studio. His first two visits, the summer of 1953 and January 1954, had been private recordings, followed by two more visits in the summer of 1954.

Upon finishing the recording session, according to Scotty Moore, Bill Black remarked, “Damn. Get that on the radio and they’ll run us out of town.

Release

Sam Phillips gave copies of the record to local disc jockeys Dewey Phillips (no relation) of WHBQ, Uncle Richard of WMPS, and Sleepy Eyed John Lepley of WHHM. On July 7, 1954, Dewey Phillips played “That’s All Right” on his popular radio show “Red, Hot & Blue“. On hearing the news that Dewey was going to play his record, Presley went to the local movie theater to calm his nerves.

Interest in the record was so intense that Dewey reportedly played the record 14 times and received over 40 telephone calls. Presley was persuaded to go to the station for an on-air interview that night. Unaware that the microphone was live at the time, Presley answered Dewey’s questions, including one about which high school he attended: a roundabout way of informing the audience of Presley’s race without actually asking the question.

That’s All Right” was officially released on July 19, 1954, and sold around 20,000 copies. This number was not enough to chart nationally, but the single reached number four on the local Memphis charts.

In July 2004, exactly 50 years after its first release, the song was finally released as a single in the United Kingdom, and entered the UK Singles Chart at Number 3. It also became a minor hit outside the UK, debuting and peaking at Number 31 in Australia and Number 33 in Ireland.

The Beatles version

The Beatles recorded the song for the Pop Go The Beatles radio show on 2 July 1963 at Maida Vale Studios in London. Their recording went unreleased until 1994 when it was released on Live at the BBC as “That’s All Right (Mama)“.

Although the Beatles had performed about thirty of Presley’s songs in their early years, only three were officially recorded, “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)“, “I Forgot to Remember to Forget“, and “That’s All Right“; they all appear on Live at the BBC. […]

Paul McCartney recorded “That’s All Right (Mama)” in 1987 for his Choba B CCCP album. From the liner notes of this album:

That’s All Right Mama/Just Because

Paul sings Presley – and two songs from the birth of the legend when Elvis was signed to Memphis-based Sun Records. Owner/producer Sam C Phillips had insisted that if he could discover “a white man with the negro feel”, he’d become a millionaire. He felt that in 19-year-old Elvis Presley he had found such a person.

Paul’s ‘one-take sessions’ have much in common with how Phillips initially recorded Elvis live in the studio. As such, these two tracks come much closer to faithfully recreating the atmosphere synonymous with the legendary Sun Sound rather than concentrating on merely duplicating the sound and nothing else.

He recorded another version of it in 2000, along with Elvis Presley sideman / guitarist Scotty Moore, and drummer D.J. Fontana ; this version appeared on Good Rockin’ Tonight: The Legacy Of Sun Records.

Last updated on September 4, 2016

Lyrics

Well, that's all right Mama
That's all right for you
That's all right Mama, just anyway you do
That's all right, that's all right
That's all right my Mama, anyway you do.

Mama she don't told me
Papa don't told me too
Son, that gal you're foolin' with
She ain't no girl for you
That's all right, that's all right.
That's all right my Mama, anyway you do

I'm leaving town, baby
I'm leaving town for sure
Then you won't be bothered with
Me hanging 'round your door
Well, that's all right, that's all right.
That's all right my Mama, anyway you do

Mama she don't told me,
Papa don't told me too
Son, that gal you're foolin' with,
She ain't no girl for you
That's all right, that's all right.
That's all right my Mama, anyway you do

I'm leaving town, baby
I'm leaving town for sure
Then you won't be bothered with
Me hanging 'round your door
Well, that's all right, that's all right.
That's all right my Mama, anyway you do

I'm leaving town, baby
I'm leaving town for sure
Then you won't be bothered with
Me hanging 'round your door
Well, that's all right, that's all right
That's all right my Mama, anyway you do.

That's all right my Mama, anyway you do.

Officially appears on


Choba B CCCP

Official album • Released in 1991

3:48 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Producer, Vocal
Mick Green:
Guitar
Chris Whitten:
Drums
Mick Gallagher:
Piano
Peter Henderson:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jul 20, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Jul 22, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Live At The BBC

Official live • Released in 1994

2:54 • Radio showL1 • Written by Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup, it was Elvis Presley’s first American single and sung by Paul as early as the skiffle days of the Quarrymen.

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Lead guitar

Concert From "Pop Go The Beatles" in London, United Kingdom on Jul 16, 1963


Good Rockin' Tonight: The Legacy Of Sun Records

Official album • Released in 2001

3:13 • Studio versionB

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Scotty Moore:
Guitar
D.J. Fontana:
Drums
Frank Filipetti:
Engineer
Ahmet Ertegun:
Producer

Session Recording:
Mar 09, 2000
Studio:
Sear Sound Studio, New York City


Choba B CCCP (2019 remaster)

Official album • Released in 2019

3:48 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Producer, Vocal
Mick Green:
Guitar
Chris Whitten:
Drums
Mick Gallagher:
Piano
Peter Henderson:
Engineer
Alex Wharton:
Remastering

Session Recording:
Jul 20, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Jul 22, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Bootlegs


The BBC Archives Volume 4

Unofficial album

2:57 • Radio show


It's Now Or Never (The Complete Russian Sessions)

Unofficial album • Released in 1990

3:42 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Producer, Vocal
Mick Green:
Guitar
Chris Whitten:
Drums
Mick Gallagher:
Piano
Peter Henderson:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jul 20, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Jul 22, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Driving Rain... In The New Century

Unofficial album • Released in 2002

3:48 • Studio versionB • New York, Paul on vocals and bass with Elvis Presley's sidemen Scotty Moore on guitar ad D.J. Fontana on drums. Produced by Ahmet Ertegun. The song was released 01-12-10 on "Good Rockin' Tonight: The Legacy Of Sun Records" (Warner/Sire 4344-31165-2).

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Scotty Moore:
Guitar
D.J. Fontana:
Drums
Frank Filipetti:
Engineer
Ahmet Ertegun:
Producer

Session Recording:
Mar 09, 2000
Studio:
Sear Sound Studio, New York City


The Beatles At The Beeb - Volume 4

Unofficial live • Released in 2003

2:56 • Live

Concert From "Pop Go The Beatles" in London, United Kingdom on Jul 16, 1963


Let'Em Out Vol. 3 - Outtakes & Upgrades

Unofficial album • Released in 2010

Alternate takeA1 • Part of 1st "Choba B CCCP" medley used for promotional purposes.

Session Recording:
Jul 20, 1987
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Aug 20, 1987


Live performances

“That's All Right Mama” has been played in 1 concerts.

Latest concerts where “That's All Right Mama” has been played


Pop Go The Beatles

Jul 16, 1963 • Part of BBC Sessions


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