In redoing the 10-hour session Monday, the network featured reworked tracks from the original album as redone by the Stereophonics, Joss Stone, Ian Broudie, Difford, Tilbrook & Jones, The Merseybeats and Friends, Beverley Knight, Graham Coxon Paul Carrack and Gabrielle Aplin.
The involvement of the Merseybeats and friends was an effort to add a link to Beatles history, according to Mersey Beat founder and editor Bill Harry, who guided the BBC in how to keep the track they were involved in authentic.
Harry said the BBC's Jonathan Mayo had contacted him and said he'd like to get some musicians who knew the Beatles in the early years to perform one of the tracks from the album. Mayo said he'd read that on Feb. 3, 1963 at the Cavern, there was an eight-hour blues marathon featuring The Merseybeats, The Beatles, The Swinging Blue Jeans, The Fourmost, The Dominoes, Earl Preston and the TTs, The Roadrunners and the Hollies.
“What if members of those bands who are still playing, got together to perform a song from Please Please Me?,” Mayo said.
Harry said he made some suggestions for musicians, but not all were available. And the original BBC idea had included a keyboard player, but not a bass player, which Harry didn't agree with.
“The Mersey Sound was basically a four man outfit, three guitars (lead, rhythm,bass) and drums, as typified by the Beatles. Keyboards didn't even come into it,” he told the BBC.
The results will be heard in the TV documentary to be screened on BBC 4 this Friday at 9 p.m. in the UK. Clips from the sessions are available worldwide on the BBC site.
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