“The Lady is a “Champ”

Last week, an old friend dropped in on SMS, responding to one of our earlier posts about Julian Lennon and, as he always does, shared his unique insight and delivered a fascinating history lesson on Ringo, his wife Maureen, Frank Sinatra and the origin of Apple records!

You can see his post in our comments section, but we were so impressed with his unique and informed commentary that we made it this week’s featured article

See it below, we think you’ll enjoy it as much as we do:

~ Here’s “thecityofangles”  ( and his article )

.In the world of Fabology 101, the whole “Jules = Julian” story is essential!

But in the world of all things “Jules” and “Apple” related:

Most recall that “Hey Jude” was actually The Beatles first single released on Apple Records,
numbered APPLE 1. Except that it wasn’t – it featured no number at all, and was commercially followed with  “Those Were The Days” by Mary Hopkin Apple-2. So was there ever an APPLE-1.
Actually, there was…courtesy of Frank Sinatra and Sammy Cahn.

Courtesy of long-time Beatle insider Tony Bramwell, the little known story about APPLE-1:

“All the literature on the Beatles states that EMI refused to release the catalogue number Apple 1. History has it that “Hey Jude” was the first Apple release, with no catalogue number, and “Those Were the Days” was Apple 2. The truth is far more interesting.

Harrisons was the company who printed the EMI labels. They had endless problems with fixing the exact color of the Apple logo. One of the printers, an English craftsman who took a pride in his work, came up with a solution. He showed us a superior new printing press, which was really a forerunner of a laser ink-jet machine, and was used for luxury, hand-operated work. After fiddling around a while, he came up with some near-perfect blanks, with no label information on them.

“That looks lovely, great, it’s perfect,” Paul said, and passed the labels around.
“Right, then,” said the printer. “Where’s your first record?”
Beatles looked at each other and muttered among themselves for a bit because
they didn’t have one ready for this occasion.

However, it so happened that it was Ringo’s wife Maureen’s twenty-second birthday on August 4, and Ron Kass (the head of Apple Records who was fired virtually the day Allen Klein arrived) got  the idea of doing something really special for her. He telephoned his friend Sammy Cahn in Hollywood and got him to rewrite the lyrics to “The Lady Is a Tramp” so it related to Ringo and Maureen. Nobody thought Sammy would do it, but he did. Then he amazed us by calling Sinatra and asking him to record it. Off they went to Capitol Studios, in the Capitol Tower in Hollywood. The finished tape was air-couriered to Ron to be mastered.

Meanwhile, the printer had run off a single label that read: “The Lady is a Tramp,” by Frank Sinatra, Apple 1. He took the master to EMI’s factory for a test and Apple 1 was pressed, both sides the same.  Ringo gave the one and only copy in the world to Maureen. Then Ron ordered the master stampers crushed. The tape was cut up and destroyed.”

Talk about  a record collector’s Holy Grail…


Meanwhile, because we know you just gotta hear it, Here’s that rare recording of Sinatra singing “That’s why the lady is a champ”

Last but not least, here are the complete and exclusive lyrics of Sammy Cahn’s incredible re-write for Mrs. Ringo Starr!


(Richard Rogers/Sammy Cahn)

There’s no one like her

But no one at all

And as for charm

Hers is like, wall to wall

She married Ringo

And she could have had Paul

That’s why the lady is a champ

Creates excitement

Whenever it’s dull

She just appears

And there goes the lull

She merely smiles

And you’re out of your skull

That’s why the lady is a champ

The folks who do

And don’t meditate

Agree she’s great

They mean Maureen

I’ve got more lyrics

Right after this vamp

Because the lady is a champ

Though we’ve not met

I’m convinced she’s a gem

I’m just F.S.

But to me she’s big M

Mainly because

She prefers me to them

That’s why the lady is a champ

I have lots of fans

Well at least one or two

But Peter Brown calls me

To tell me it’s true

She sleeps with Ringo

But she thinks of you

That’s why the lady is a champ

But I can boast, boast

As much, as much as I please

The fact is that’s

She’s his wife

Well that’s life

But it’s her day

So I whistle and stamp

Because the lady

The charming lady

Mr. Ringo’s lady is a champ

May I toast you all the way

Lift my glass and softly say

I have thoughts for you this day

But beautiful thoughts for you

And for your Ringo

That I must express

With a warm and deep affection

Of F.S.

Would you kindly ask the guys

If they’d grab a glass and rise

‘Cause I think we’d harmonize

But beautiful

May your birthday

And your birthday candles

Softly gleam and glow

For that would be

But beautiful I know

With big SMS thanx to our guest blogger “thecityofangles”

As always, SMS would love to  hear your thoughts and experiences!




  1. MIND BLOWN!!!! HOLY SCHMOLY!! Imagine the PULL HERE!!
    The fact that “HEY JUDE” of ALL songs gets over looked here also is a mind bender!!
    Great story, GREAT CATCH “Shoe”!!!

    • Hey Woody,
      Yes, what great irony that the very first Apple record is actually a SINATRA record!
      Frank Sinatra, who, by the way, announced the following on a T.V. Special in the 70’s! After performing his unique arrangement of George Harrison’s most classic love song “Something” Sinatra proudly tells the audience “Ladies and Gentleman that was “Something” a great Lennon / McCartney composition”
      Poor George!!
      Thanx Woody,

  2. Rick, that crooner’s voice sounds so familiar. Could it be someone we all know? I’m just saying…

    • Hey Jimmy G,
      Not sure what your “just saying, and certainly not sure what you’re hearing?
      But, perhaps we weren’t clear, cuz the track we posted IS ole blue Eyes singing Sammy Cah’s lyrical re-write Of The Lady Is a Champ (tramp )
      Who you hearin?
      Thank James!

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