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Who wrote Those Were the Days?

Even at the height of his fame, Paul McCartney enjoyed writing songs for other artists, especially female singers. Often, he did this unbidden, offering Cilla Black Step Inside Love for her first TV show, for example. He was also the most musically adventurous of The Beatles - and eclectic in his taste.  He first heard Those Were the Days in The Blue Angel club in London. The singer was Gene Raskin, a New York-based folk singer with Russian roots. McCartney liked the song and offered to produce a recording by Mary Hopkins, a young Welsh folk singer recently signed by the new Apple label.  Copyright McCartney assumed that  Those Were the Days  had been written by Raskin. In fact, the copyright situation was complex and would become the subject of a legal battle.  The tune is that of the  Russian romance song "Dorogoi dlinnoyu" [ ru ]("Дорогой длинною" Tr: "By the long road").  This may be considered tradtional, though it is sometimes credited to Boris Fom

Why did The Beatles turn down David Bowie?

David Bowie was heavily influenced by The Beatles  In 1968 David Bowie left the Deram label (a subsidiary of Decca) where his recording career had got off to an undistinguished start. He was keen to sign with Apple, a new record label set up by The Beatles to encourage new talent.

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