Little Queenie

"Little Queenie" is a song written and recorded by Chuck Berry. It was released in 1959 as a double A-side single with "Almost Grown" and included on Chuck Berry Is on Top (1959), Berry's first compilation album. He performed the song in the movies Go, Johnny Go! (1959) and Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll (1987). It has been covered by many artists, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and REO Speedwagon. One year earlier, Berry had released "Run Rudolph Run", a Christmas song with the same melody.

"Little Queenie"
Single by Chuck Berry
A-side"Almost Grown" (double A-side)
Released1959 (1959)
Format45 rpm record
RecordedChicago, November 19, 1958
GenreRock and roll
Songwriter(s)Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry singles chronology
"Anthony Boy"
"Little Queenie" / "Almost Grown"
"Back in the U.S.A."

The song was recorded on November 19, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois. Backing Berry on vocals and guitar were either Johnnie Johnson or Lafayette Leake on piano, Willie Dixon on bass, and Fred Below on drums. The song peaked at number 80 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

In a song review for AllMusic, Matthew Greenwald calls it an "incredible rock & roll anthem" and "one of the greatest dance/sex ritualistic classics."[1] It is included several of Berry's compilation albums, including The Great Twenty-Eight and Chuck Berry's Golden Decade.

English glam-rock band T-Rex's Mark Bolan, discussing their hit "Bang a Gong (Get It On)", "claimed to have written the song out of his desire to record Chuck Berry's "Little Queenie", and said that the riff is taken from the Berry tune. In fact, a slightly edited line ("And meanwhile, I'm still thinking") from "Little Queenie" is said at the fade of "Get It On".[2]

Other versions

According to Mark Lewisohn in The Complete Beatles Chronicles, the Beatles performed "Little Queenie" live from at least 1960 until 1963 in Liverpool, Hamburg and elsewhere with Paul McCartney on lead vocal.[3] An audience recording from December 1962 is included on Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962. Author Doug Sulpy in Drugs, Divorce and Slipping Image notes during the lengthy sessions for the album Get Back, John Lennon sang the lead vocal on a fairly brief version of it.[4]

The Rolling Stones frequently performed the song live; a version recorded in November 1969 at Madison Square Garden is on the album Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out! The Rolling Stones in Concert. It is also on the Stones bootleg Live'r Than You'll Ever Be. Several other artists have recorded the song.[5]

A version by the Easybeats, recorded ca. 1965, was released on The Shame Just Drained in 1977.


  1. "Chuck Berry: Little Queenie – Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved May 12, 2018.
  2. "Get It On (T. Rex song) - Wikipedia". Retrieved 2019-06-16.
  3. Lewisohn, Mark (1992). The Complete Beatles Chronicle. New York: Harmony Books. p. 363. ISBN 978-0-517-58100-1.
  4. Sulpy, Doug & Schweighhardt, Ray, Drugs, Divorce and a Slipping Image: The Complete, Unauthorized Story of the Beatles Get Back Sessions (The 910 Publishing, 2007) sec. 22.26 ISBN 978-0-9643869-8-3
  5. "Little Queenie – Also Performed By". AllMusic. Retrieved May 12, 2018.

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