When was it recorded? Mar. 5 & 13, 1963
When was it first released, and on which album? Apr. 11, 1963 as the B-side to “From Me to You”
Who wrote it? Lennon/McCartney
Have I heard this song before? No
What my research dug up:
John and Paul wrote “Thank You Girl” (originally “Thank You, Little Girl”) together; both eventually came to dislike it, calling it “silly” (John) and “a hack job” (Paul).
According to the Beatles Bible, “Like many of their early songs… the two songwriters used the trick of including ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘you’ in the title, to make it seem more personal.” Justifiably so – the song “was intended as a message of gratitude for the support from the group’s fans” (BB).
“We knew that if we wrote a song called ‘Thank You Girl’ that a lot of the girls who wrote us fan letters would take it as a genuine thank you. So a lot of our songs were directly addressed to the fans.” – Paul McCartney
The line “You’ve been good to me, you made me glad when I was blue” intrigued Alan Pollack. As he wrote in his Notes On series, “Against the backdrop of the other songs of theirs from this early period, in which romantic effusion is more than likely to be prompted by the physical attractions of youthful beauty and technical prowess on the dance floor or in the loving department, here the ‘girl’ in singled out for her having provided emotional support. In that sense the song looks ahead to the likes of ‘Help!’ and beyond.”
“Thank You Girl” was intended to be the Beatles’ third single until “From Me to You” (Day 70) came up.
The Beatles recorded 13 takes of “Thank You Girl” on Mar. 5, 1963. Eight days later, John overdubbed his harmonica part (recorded in 15 takes) and the song was complete.
“Thank You Girl” was released as the B-side to “From Me to You” in the UK but as the B-side to “Do You Want to Know a Secret” in the US. As such, it peaked at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964.
According to Wikipedia, “The stereo mix of the song (included on the Capitol LP ‘The Beatles’ Second Album’) is noticeably different from the original single mono mix… in the middle 8. In the stereo version, a couple of extra harmonica lines can be heard, as well as at the very end of the song. In addition, this stereo mix contained reverb added by Capitol. The unadulterated stereo mix was released for the first time on the 2009 re-mastered CD ‘Past Masters.’” Pollack definitely prefers the re-mastered version but suggests listening to both for comparison’s take.
I don’t know; I kind of dig the harmonica and reverb in the “Second Album” version.
A live version of “Thank You Girl” recorded Jun. 19, 1963 for “Easy Beat” (aired Jun. 23) appeared on “Live at the BBC.”
There’s some great pictures in that slideshow. I always enjoy the candid photos where the Fab Four are goofing off / look like they’re having fun.
It’s a cute number but I can’t say it’s my new favorite Beatles song (or in my Top Ten, really). It’s adequate.