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Rock N’ Roll Diary Extra: John Lennon Covers Ben E. King

John Lennon And Yoko Ono

Brenda Chase/Getty Images

On this week in 1975, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]John Lennon[/lastfm] released his cover of [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ben E. King[/lastfm]’s timeless classic “Stand By Me” as a single in the United States.

“Stand By Me” was released in 1961 as Ben E. King’s second solo single since leaving [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]The Drifters[/lastfm] and went as high as #4 on the charts, lasting 14 solid weeks.

Lennon was predisposed to do a cover of the song because he was very fond of the memories that came along with it. According to Lennon, “Stand By Me was one of my big ballads. I used to score a lot of groupies on that one.”

John brought that same passion into the studio as the Rock ‘N’ Roll album was deemed by many to be his best singing, peaking as high as #6 in both the US and UK charts. John’s voice on that track helped change the popular R&B song into a rock anthem.

Listen to John Lennon interviewed in 1975 during the release of his Rock ‘N’ Roll album.

Apple released “Stand By Me” as a single on March 10, 1975 and slipped into the charts 5 days later, debuting at #78 and reached as high as #20 during its run.

After the Rock ‘N’ Roll album, Lennon went on a five-year hiatus from recording to spend time with his family. “Stand By Me” was Lennon’s last single before the hiatus.

Read more from the Rock N’ Roll Diary!


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