MAY 21, 2017
“I DREAMED I WAS A BEATLE” (WRITER: E. GRACE)
ARTIST: MURRY KELLUM
RELEASED 1964 ON 7” 45
This is just an adorable little record.
Murry Kellum was a country music artist who cut his teeth in bar bands in Mississippi. In 1963 he’d had a surprise hit with the novelty “Long Tall Texan,” written by his friend, bassist Henry Strzelecki. The Beach Boys later covered “Long Tall Texan” on a live album.
The following year, after a similar follow-up, “Red Ryder,” failed to chart, Kellum issued this, another ‘novelty.’
Many people released songs about the Beatles in 1964, but unlike most of the ones done by men, this one is lighthearted, has no snark or jealousy, and rocks convincingly. And it’s funny.
There I stood on a big bandstand with my hair hanging down in my face
While 37 acres of twistin’ little shakers were screamin’ all over the place.
The company that issued the record, M.O.C., was a subsidiary of Hi Records in Memphis, itself a sub-label of larger London Records. The publisher of "I Dreamed I Was A Beatle" was Lyn-Lou Music, which bore the same name as a well-known Memphis recording studio. It is not clear, however, where this song was recorded.
Nothing is known about the writer, an E. Grace, suggesting that it might be a pseudonym for someone. Could it be Glen Sutton, a friend and bandmate of Kellum’s, who produced some of his singles? Anyone know?
Like most great pop records, “I Dreamed I Was a Beatle” says its piece and gets out quickly. In just 2:12, Kellum charmingly drawls his funny, overstated dream over a rocking, Mersey-ish backing that features, oddly, an electric organ.
Sadly, “I Dreamed I Was a Beatle” received little radio play and essentially sank. It’s too bad; this is one of the very best Fab-related novelties. If Sirius XM’s new Beatles channel were to play stuff like this, it might be worth a subscription.