It was 53 years ago today (June 14th, 1965) that the Beatles recorded "Yesterday" -- the Paul McCartney-written classic, which stands as the most covered song of all time. "Yesterday" was taped at London's Abbey Road Studios on a day that perhaps showed the truest account of McCartney's songwriting and performing abilities. In addition to "Yesterday," the Beatles tackled not only the future folk-rock classic "I've Just Seen A Face," but the spleen-splitting hard rock "Help!" B-side, "I'm Down." "Yesterday" was first released on the UK Help! album on August 6th, 1965.

On September 13th, 1965, the night of the single's release, the "Fab Four's" fourth live performance on The Ed Sullivan Show spotlighted the song, featuring McCartney performing for the first time on American TV alone on acoustic guitar accompanied by a string ensemble -- but without John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.

Paul McCartney says that even now he's still amazed that he wrote the song, which has gone on to become one of the most beloved tunes in popular music history: "I think, y'know, the most successful has been 'Yesterday,' and it's the strangest one ever, 'cause I dreamed it. I haven't had any other song that's happened that way. I just woke up one morning and just (sings melody), and I went around to people for about two weeks saying, 'Listen, what's this?' They would say, 'Oh, it's good. I don't know' -- I think they thought I was trying to sell it. After about two weeks of everyone saying, 'Well, I don't know what it is,' y'know, I said, 'Well, I must have written it then.'" Satisfaction," with the two week Number One "Get Off My Cloud."
  • In recent years, Paul McCartney has raised the issue of reversing the official credits to "Yesterday," from Lennon/McCartney to McCartney/Lennon, seeing as how -- admittedly -- John Lennon had nothing to do with the song's composition and/or arrangement. To McCartney's chagrin, Yoko Ono has refused to allow the signature songwriting credit to be changed.
  • "Yesterday," which has been a McCartney live staple since 1975, is now performed in concert using the same Epiphone Texan acoustic guitar McCartney used to record it on.
  • AUDIO: PAUL MCCARTNEY ON THE DEPTH OF BEATLES SONGS
    AUDIO: BILL KING ON PAUL MCCARTNEY PERFORMING 'YESTERDAY' LIVE IN 1976
    AUDIO: PAUL MCCARTNEY ON GEORGE MARTIN AND CLASSICAL MUSICIANS
    AUDIO: PAUL MCCARTNEY ON WRITING 'YESTERDAY'
    AUDIO: PAUL MCCARTNEY TALKS ABOUT WRITING "YESTERDAY"