Stories Behind the Music -- First Beatle to Hit #1 On His Own

Home Inspector with King of the House Home Inspection, Inc
I think that almost anyone, asked to predict the future back in the 1960's, would have speculated that the first Beatle to, on his own, have a #1 hit was bound to be either John Lennon or Paul McCartney. That pair of geniuses received so much publicity and adulation that conventional wisdom would have favored that premise.

So much for conventional wisdom. Surprise!  After the Beatles broke up in 1970, the first # 1 chart topper came from George Harrison. My Sweet Lord was a testament to the Hari Krishna faith and hit #1 in December 1970.

Despite the song going to #1, it was not a feat accomplished without some controversy. There were those who did not approve of the song when they learned that it was about the Hari Krishna faith. But, in the long run, that was a smaller problem. Ultimately the song proved an embarrassment to George. The songwriters of the earlier hit song He's So Fine, sued George claiming that he had plagiarized their tune. Five years later a judge determined that George had plagiarized the song but that it was not a deliberate action. George contended that he had not been aware of the similarities between his song, and the oldie, until people started commenting on the two on the radio. He wished that he had been aware of that situation prior to the release because he said that he could have changed a few notes, without really altering the song. Take a listen to the original and see what you think. Sound the same to you?


For more "Stories Behind the Music" click on the guitar

Steven L. Smith

Bellingham WA Home Inspections

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Check out "This Day In History" -- music and vintage television from the 1950's through the 1980's.  I enjoy writing these articles because they take me back to my days in radio broadcasting. Click on Elvis' gold record, below, to revisit those golden hits of yesteryear.



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Barbara S. Duncan
RE/MAX Advantage - Searcy, AR
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR
They don't sound alike to me but I know nothing about music. I do know beauty, though, and the Beatle looked better with a mop-top than with all that hare hair!
Mar 23, 2009 03:22 PM #1
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector
Barbara, That is what many people say, the songs have a similarity but not that much of one. I guess they are the same to a music expert. It is funny how much controversy was generated with their original long hair. Then they ended up like that. The original photos of the Beatles, hard to believe it was such a stunner that they had long hair.
Mar 23, 2009 05:47 PM #2
Jim Albano
Prudential Damiano Realty - Little Falls, NJ
Team - Jean-Marie Vantuno / Realtors North Jersey Real Estate
There are no similarities between the songs...but there is an eerie resemblance between Harrison's beard and Nutsy.
Mar 23, 2009 10:23 PM #3
Michael Thornton
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspector - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.0297

Steven, I did not think that they sounded alike but then what do I know...

Your building consultant for life in Brentwood, TN

Mar 24, 2009 03:29 AM #4
Dean Akey
Saint Charles, IL

Steven, thanks for the blog.  I love this stuff and enjoy your posts. 

Mar 24, 2009 09:20 AM #5
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Steve anyone can be sued for anything, real or imagined.  Ridiculous.

Mar 24, 2009 01:21 PM #6
Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

I marvel at musicians who have a good enough ear to disect all this stuff. Songs have to be pretty darn similar for me to notice at all.

Mar 24, 2009 01:48 PM #7
Steve Bush
Maxfield Real Estate - Moultonborough, NH
603.455.7428 - NH Lakes Region
Being a musician, music educator, and a collector of music primarily vinyl form, thank you for the blog on this. I do remember the controversy. I will pull out the Concert for Bangledesh albums this afternoon and re-listen.
Mar 25, 2009 11:13 AM #8
Jack Sterback
Coldwell Banker Select professionals, Lancaster , PA. - West Lancaster, PA
Relocation Specialist

Forgot about this.  Very interesting.  Not sure I agree with the verdict.

Feb 27, 2010 10:22 AM #9
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Bellingham WA Home Inspector
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