When was it recorded? Jan. 22, 1963
When was it first released, and on which album? Nov. 30, 1994 on “Live at the BBC”
Who wrote it? Gerry Goffin and Carole King
Have I heard this song before? No
What my research dug up:
Prolific songwriting duo Gerry Goffin and Carole King wrote “Keep Your Hands Off My Baby” sometime in the early 1960s. (I’ve written about Goffin & King before, particularly on Days 35 and 54, so I won’t go into details. [EDIT 7/2/14: Apparently I missed the memo that Goffin died nine days before I wrote this. Rest in peace.]) American pop singer Little Eva recorded and released “Keep Your Hands Off” as a single in 1962. Her version reached #12 on the American Billboard charts.
The Beatles covered “Keep Your Hands Off My Baby” for “Saturday Club” on Jan. 22, 1963. This version aired Jan. 26 and appeared on the compilation “Live at the BBC” in 1994. Quoth the Beatles Bible, “‘Keep Your Hands Off My Baby’ was the earliest recording to feature on 1994′s ‘Live At The BBC’ collection. For reasons unknown, the song was remixed to create a new drums-only introduction, which wasn’t present on the original tape.”
The Fab Four performed the song regularly during their first tour of Britain. Based on a comment from George, the band might have even considered recording the cover for “Please Please Me.”
“We might have run through ‘Keep Your Hands Off My Baby,’ Little Eva’s follow-up to ‘The Loco-Motion,’ at that session. Sometimes we learnt songs and did them once or twice and then gave them up.” — George Harrison (Anthology)
According to the Beatles Bible, “Although no record of an EMI version exists, on Feb. 22 the New Musical Express reported that the group had taped the song at the ‘Please Please Me’ session. Rumors of a studio version have existed ever since.”
I prefer Little Eva’s original, but it’s only slightly better than the Beatles’ cover. Both are sweet, but not cloying or so long they overstay their welcomes. I dig it; I dig it a lot.