When was it recorded? Aug. 14, 1964
When was it first released, and on which album? Nov. 20, 1994 on “Anthology 1”
Who wrote it? William E. John, James McDougal and Titus Turner
Have I heard this song before? No
What my research dug up:
First of all, I can’t believe this is a real song. Second, I can’t believe this is a real song that took three people to write. It’s basically the plot of a Looney Toons short (if you know who Marc Antony and Pussyfoot are, you know what I mean).
American R&B musicians William E. “Little Willie” John, James McDougal and Titus Turner wrote “Leave My Kitten Alone.” Little Willie John recorded the original version and released it as a single in June 1959.
American pop singer Johnny Preston covered the song in 1961; this was the version the Beatles listened to.
The Beatles performed “Leave My Kitten Alone” as part of their live shows in Hamburg.
“That was a Johnny Preston song that we’d rehearsed in Liverpool along with all our Cavern stuff and it was just in our repertoire. It wasn’t a big one that we used to do, we’d pull it out of the hat occasionally, and we also recorded it.” — Paul McCartney (Mark Lewisohn, The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions)
Indeed, the Fab Four recorded “Leave My Kitten Alone” during their sessions for the album “Beatles for Sale.” The band recorded five takes of the song on Aug. 14, 1964. The fifth and final take was deemed the best, and the Beatles dubbed extra vocals, guitars, a piano part, and a tambourine part to it. Through the track was never properly mixed during the Beatles’ career, it got the full treatment for the scrapped Sessions project and then again for the Anthology series. It appeared on “Anthology 1.” According to the Beatles Bible, “‘Leave My Kitten Alone’ was the group’s first complete, full-band song to be discarded since ‘How Do You Do It’ in September 1962.”
The Beatles Bible also noted, “Had the song been released on ‘Beatles For Sale,’ it would surely have been one of the highlights. Why it was rejected is unclear, although it has been suggested that it was dropped in favor of ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby,’ in order to give George Harrison a lead vocal.” It’s good, but I’m not sure it measures up to most of the Beatles’ other covers. I could have lived without this song, anyway.