When was it recorded? Jul. 16, 1963
When was it first released, and on which album? Nov. 30, 1994 on “Live at the BBC”
Who wrote it? Howard Biggs & Joe Thomas
Have I heard this song before? One version of it, anyway
What my research dug up:
Howard Biggs and Joe Thomas wrote “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)” in 1953. Putting the pair under the microscope uncovered two musical powerhouses. The songwriting duo met Thomas was working to get a doo-wop band (either The Beavers or The Ravens, my sources didn’t agree) a record contract in 1949. The band brought in Biggs “as a combination pianist, arranger, and conductor on recording sessions” (All Music), and the two hit it off.
While not initially super popular, “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down” has become “something of a minor pop standard, largely due to several well-received versions of the song” (Wikipedia).
Now before teaming up with Biggs, Thomas worked as a backing musician for American Delta musician Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup. Referred to some as The Father of Rock and Roll, Crudup performed original soul, blues, and rock numbers through the 1940s. He toured primarily black establishments in the Deep South and was popular there but not widely known through the US. Guess who was a big-name fan of Crudup?
Elvis Presley, actually.
The King recorded three songs written by Crudup during the early 1950s. While none of those made the cut for his debut album, Elvis found some other tunes he enjoyed while combing through Crudup’s catalogue. His cover of “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down” appeared on 1956’s “Elvis Presley.”
Now who do we know were big-name fans of Elvis?
“I’m Gonna Sit Right Down” was part of the Beatles’ early live shows. Here’s a version recorded at the Star-Club in Hamburg (on Dec. 31, 1962, if Wikipedia is to be trusted).
More notably (and audibly), the Beatles recorded the tune for BBC radio’s “Pop Go the Beatles” on Jul. 16, 1963. This version was broadcast Aug. 6 and released on the album “Live at the BBC” in 1994.
If wrong in this case is liking the Beatles’ cover more than the original, then I don’t wanna be right! Based off the Star-Club bootleg I wasn’t sure, but the live version was excellent. I like their energy better than Elvis’s.
Jay Warner, American Singing Groups: A History from 1940s to Today