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Beatles' 'A Hard Day's Night' song mystery may be solved, thanks to radio show

Did Ringo's transister radio play the Beatles?
United Artists

A five-second music clip that everyone who has ever seen the Beatles film "A Hard Day's Night" has heard but that has never been officially attributed to the Beatles was played in its longer, full version for the first time June 22 on “Chris Carter's 'Breakfast With the Beatles'” on KLOS-FM in Los Angeles. And with the historic airing came possible proof that the song may indeed be an unreleased Beatles tune.

Known as “Train Music,” it's the song that is heard when Ringo turns on the transistor radio while the group is on the train in the early scenes in “A Hard Day's Night.” Dave Morrell, author of “Horse-Doggin': The Morrell Archives, Volume 1,” who was a guest on the show, said that the full song, about 30 seconds long, was found in a box called “The Beatles.”

That somewhat substantiated by an unconfirmed posting on “The Beatles Bible” describing what appears to have been a past auction on eBay. “The cardboard EMITAPE box is 5 inches in size, & has a piece of green colored Twickenham Film Studios paperwork partially attached to the back of the box, with several other torn off pieces of the old paperwork housed inside the box, this green paper is quite brittle from age, one can make out the words 'Hard Days Night' handwritten on the faded document.”

But the big question, of course, is the song by the Beatles? In the book “Way Beyond Compare,” author John C. Winn reports that film producer Walter Shenson verified in an interview that the song was done by the Beatles. According to Winn's book, the song is done in E major with John Lennon playing a Chuck Berry guitar pattern and George Harrison on lead guitar. It was reportedly recorded in soundtrack sessions before the first week of filming, Winn says.

However, Winn told Beatles Examiner this week he's not so sure after hearing the longer version since it doesn't sound completely Beatley. The film was reissued on DVD this week.

Host Chris Carter believes it's the Beatles. “I think it's 'them' for the following reasons: It sounds like them. The tape box said 'The Beatles.' If it was another group, that other group would have claimed it was them sometime in the last 50 years! It was found along with other music not used in the film by George Martin.

“And lastly I trust the sources Ron Furmanek and and Dave Morrell. The big question is why it's not noted in the Beatles recording history data. My guess is it might have been recorded during a George Martin Orchestra session. It was just recorded 'live' and did not have a track sheet.”

Or as Ron Furmanek told Beatles Examiner, "Why not? Until someone comes up with the 100% positive proof of who it actually is, why not believe?”

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