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"Act Naturally" is a song written by Johnny Russell and Voni Morrison, originally recorded by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, whose version reached number 1 on the Billboard Country Singles chart in 1963. The song has been covered by many other artists, including Loretta Lynn and The Beatles. The Beatles covered the song in 1965 on their album Help! (in the United Kingdom) and as the B-side of the "Yesterday" single 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 first 12 takes were evidently used to work out the arrangement; the master was take 13, the only take with vocals. It was mixed the following day. The Beatles almost recorded a song by their engineer Norman Smith, but realized that Starr didn't yet have a vocal on Help!. They originally recorded the song "If You've Got Trouble" as Starr's intended song for the album, but were dissatisfied with the results and recorded "Act Naturally" to replace it. It was the last cover they recorded until the Get Back/Let It Be sessions in 1969. Because Capitol Records' version of the Help! album included only the songs that appeared in the movie, plus incidental music from the film, the label held back "Yesterday" and "Act Naturally" and issued them initially as a non-LP single. As the B-side of the U.S. single, "Act Naturally" peaked at #47 in October 1965. The two songs made their first American album appearance on Yesterday and Today, released in the U.S. on June 20, 1966. When the single was reissued on Apple Records in 1971, "Act Naturally" had the "full apple" side and "Yesterday" ended up on the "sliced apple" side. That is because "Act Naturally" was the intended A-side and has always been listed as such in Capitol's files. 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. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.
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