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YouTube Gold: Helen Shapiro Has Some Special Guests

Helen Shapiro With The Beatles On Ready Steady Go!
English singer Helen Shapiro with Ringo Starr (right) and John Lennon (1940 - 1980) of the Beatles, during rehearsals for the Associated Rediffusion music television show ‘Ready, Steady Go!’ at Television House, Kingsway, London, 4th October 1963.
Photo by David Redfern/Redferns/Getty Images

First question: who the heck is Helen Shapiro?

She was a British singer who was 17 when this was filmed. She had a string of hits in Great Britain in the early ‘60s and had an unusually mature and powerful voice for someone her age. At one point she toured with the Beatles and apparently they liked her as they agreed to perform in a somewhat hokey routine.

She sings her song “Look Who It Is” with John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison lined up with their backs to the cameras.

First John turns to face her, then Ringo puts his head on her shoulder before George falls to his knees to plead his case.

This was near the beginning of their extraordinary rise and Beatlemania and all the rest. Ringo had only joined the year before. They really knew how to turn on the charm in the early days and enjoyed doing it, and they pour it pretty thick here.

The amazing thing? She has just as much as they do. At 17, she handles three of the biggest pop stars in the history of the world with ease and panache. It’s really phenomenal.

Question #2: where was Paul McCartney? Apparently he was working in another studio.