Artist Name: THE BEATLES

Song Author: Voni Morrison and Johnny Russell

Year Recorded: 1965


Act Naturally

Single by The Beatles from the album Help!
A-side Yesterday
Released September 13, 1965
Recorded June 17, 1965
EMI Studios, London
Genre Country
Length 2:29
Label Capitol (USA)
Parlophone/EMI (UK)
Writer(s) Voni Morrison and Johnny Russell
Producer George Martin

The Beatles covered the song in 1965 on the UK version of their album Help!.

It was released as the B-side of “Yesterday” in the U.S.

The Beatles’ version is sung by Ringo Starr.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic called it “an ideal showcase for Ringo’s amiable vocals.”

They performed the song during an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, which was taped on August 14, 1965 and broadcast on September 12, 1965.

It was also performed at the Beatles’ famous Shea Stadium concert on August 15, 1965 and played at some concerts throughout the Beatles’ 1965 U.S. tour (alternating with Ringo’s other “hit” song, “I Wanna Be Your Man”).

The Beatles recorded the song on June 17, 1965 in 13 takes.

The song features Ringo Starr on lead vocal, drums, and percussion, Paul McCartney on harmony vocals and bass guitar, John Lennon on acoustic guitar, and George Harrison on lead guitar, which is double-tracked, creating a chorus-like effect.

Single by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos
Released March 11, 1963
Format 7″
Recorded Capitol Studios, Hollywood, Calif., February 12, 1963
Genre Country
Length 2:19
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Russell/Morrison
Producer Ken Nelson

Russell, originally from Mississippi, was based in Fresno, California in the early 1960s. One night, some of his friends from Oklahoma planned to do a recording session in Los Angeles and asked him to join them.

In order to do so, Russell had to break a date with his then-girlfriend. “When she asked me why I was going to L.A., I answered, ‘They are going to put me in the movies and make a big star out of me.’ We both laughed.”

By 1963, Russell was writing with a woman named Voni Morrison, who also worked with a Bakersfield, California-based singer named Buck Owens. After Russell played “Act Naturally” for Morrison, she thought it would be a natural for Owens, and she told Russell that she could get him to record it.