On this date 38 years ago in 1975 John Lennon released his cover of the Ben. E. King classic “Stand By Me.”
“Stand by Me” was written by King, Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller, inspired by the spiritual “Lord Stand by Me,” plus two lines rooted in Psalms 46:2–3. There have been over 400 recorded versions of the song. King had no intention of recording the song himself when he wrote it. King had written the song for The Drifters, who passed on the chance to record it. It was not until after the “Spanish Harlem” recording session that he had some studio time left over. The session’s producers, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, asked if he had any more songs and King played “Stand by Me” on the piano for them. They liked it and called the studio musicians back in to record it.
Here is Mr. Ben. E. King performing that same hit…many many years after his big hit with it in 1961.