It was 56 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.'”