Cover Wars: Hey Jude

Ella Fitzgerald recorded this cover on her 1969 album Sunshine Of Your Love. Man, she was awesome.


Ella crushing it to a very unresponsive crowd at Montreux 1969:

The cover from Elvis Presley, available on Suspicious Minds: The Memphis 1969 Anthology, is a nice fit for The King’s voice but he takes some interesting liberties with the lyrics. Perhaps he could have benefited from the Hey Jude Flow Chart.


Most people know the Grateful Dead’s cover of Hey Jude as just the finale of the song as it was paired with Traffic’s Dear Mr. Fantasy between 1985-1990. But they also encored with a full performance of the song, twice in 1969, once at Fillmore East in NYC, once at Fillmore West in San Francisco. The audio below is from the latter and can be found on the release Fillmore West 1969: The Complete Recordings. It’s ummm, not very good.


There are actually three different reggae covers of Hey Jude on the Trojan Beatles Box Set. I’ve selected one, this cover courtesy of John Holt.


21,000,000+ YouTube views can’t be wrong. This cover uploaded by to YouTube by “kladblog”:

Hidden Track favorites Lo Faber and Aaron Maxwell of God Street Wine encored with this performance last fall at a stripped-down acoustic show in New York City. Source: 10-8-2010


Video from the same show:

Similarly to the Trojan Box set above, there are also three different renditions of Hey Jude available on the various Dusty Fingers compilations. To keep the amount of covers under control, I have once again only selected one of them, this kick-ass instrumental rendition by The Overton Berry Trio. Source: Dusty Fingers: Volume One – Rare Original Break Beats


The Temptations make good use of their members vocal ranges on this cover recorded for their 1969 album Puzzle People.


And last but certainly not least, and I really mean that this week, is the definitive cover from Wilson Pickett. Just read the story about the recording over at It’s a damn good thing Duane Allman was able to convince them to record it, that’s all I gotta say. Source: Hey Jude


If you want to kill even more time, I recommend reading the comments section of this YouTube of Wilson Pickett joined by The Bee Gees:

Checking in on last week’s Helplessly Hoping Cover Wars, Mr. Blotto has emerged victorious with Chelsea Williams coming in second.

Let’s have a look at some additional video before we go:

The Beatles – Smothers Brothers Show 1968:

Pretty cool moment in Trafalgar Square:

McCartney with a little help from Jack White and President Obama:

A 1997 performance with many special guests:

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3 thoughts on “Cover Wars: Hey Jude

  1. Bob Reply

    As much as I hate not to vote for Derek & Susan in that smokin’ rendition of the song, how can anyone NOT vote for the Wicked Pickett’s version? Sorry that y’all didn’t include the YouTube version with the great Duane Allman on guitar…

  2. DaveO Reply

    Hey Bob, can you point me in the direction of a YouTube of Wilson Pickett & Duane playing the song together? All I could find was an audio-only YouTube, and the audio is included, it’s the little play button directly underneath the writeup about the Pickett/Allman rendition…

  3. andrew Reply

    I dig the version with Obama. Seeing Herbie Hancock, Dave Grohl and Jack White on stage together makes me want to see those 3 jam together.

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