"Act Naturally" is a Beatles cover of a song written by Johnny Russell and Vonie Morrison. The song, sung by Ringo, was issued on the Help! LP in the UK and on Yesterday and Today in the United States by Capital Records.
Russell claimed that he wrote the song in thirty minutes in 1961 but spent two years trying to get it recorded. By 1988, Russell was featured at the Grand Ole Opry as a singer and humorist.
The Beatles recorded the song at Abbey Road on June 17, 1965. The session occurred shortly after the filming for Help! had been completed, and some have speculated that the song caught the attention of the Beatles because of the lyric about appearing in the movies. "Act Naturally" was the last song to be recorded for the album and was selected specifically for Ringo.
Starr sings lead vocal, with McCartney providing harmony vocal. McCartney plays bass, Lennon acoustic guitar, Harrison lead, and Starr drums.
The song was originally recorded by country star Buck Owens, his version being released on March 11, 1963 and becoming a No. 1 country and western hit in the U.S.
"Act Naturally" was part of the Beatles' live set in 1965. It was performed at some shows during their 1965 North American tour and on their British tour in December, 1965. It was also sung live by Starr on The Ed Sullivan Show on September 12, 1965.
Ironically, Starr did indeed go on to be "a big star" on the screen, acting in several films (more than any other Beatle). His main role was in The Magic Christian.
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