In 1964 Peter and Gordon hit the top of the charts with their debut single, the Lennon-McCartney song “A World Without Love”

Paul McCartney notoriously gave many songs to other artists, including unknown local bands from all over during his time in The Beatles

In 1964 Peter and Gordon hit the top of the charts with their debut single, the Lennon-McCartney song “A World Without Love”

Written by Paul McCartney at age 16 and attributed to Lennon–McCartney, “A World Without Love” was first recorded by the British duo Peter and Gordon, released as their debut single on February 28, 1964 backed with a Peter and Gordon original “If I Were You”. McCartney, who always thought the song wasn’t good enough for The Beatles, gave the song to Peter Asher, the brother of his then girlfriend Jane Asher in 1963. At the time, McCartney was sharing a room with Peter at Jane Asher’s apartment in London. When Peter heard the song asked Paul if he could use it, as together with Gordon Waller, he had just landed a recording contract. Before giving the song to Asher, McCartney offered it to Billy J. Kramer, to be recorded by The Dakotas, the Mersey Beat band also managed by Brian Epstein, however, Kramer rejected it. As John Lennon later recalled ” “I think that was resurrected from the past.I think he had that whole song before the Beatles. That has the line ‘Please lock me away’ that we always used to crack up at.” McCartney recalls John Lennon’s reaction to the song: “The funny first line always used to please John. ‘Please lock me away –’ ‘Yes, okay.’ End of song.” But the song that McCartney thought it was not good enough for The Beatles, end up being a smash hit worldwide and hit No.1 both at the U.K singles charts and at U.S Hot 100 on June 27, 1964. It became one of two songs credited to Lennon-McCartney to reach No.1 in the U.S by an artist other than The Beatles, being the other one “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” covered by Elton John in 1974. “A World Without Love” was Peter and Gordon only No.1, however, the importance and influence of the song, made it into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Peter and Gordon released two more singles written by McCartney and credited to Lennon-McCartney, the follow up to “A World Without Love”, “Nobody I Know”, and “I Don’t Want to See You Again” both in 1964, but despite the prestige of the songwriters, failed to reach the top of the charts. A prolific songwriter, Paul McCartney was known to “give away” several songs to other artists, most of them not famous, during the 1960’s as a Beatle. As an example, in 1968 while on holidays in Algarve, Portugal, he jammed with a local Portuguese band, resulting in a song called “Penina” which he gave to the band who recorded it as a single.

Look back at Peter and Gordon performing “A World Without Love” in 1964

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