" is a rhythm and blues song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller in 1952. First recorded by Little Willie Littlefield the same year. "Kansas City" became one of Leiber and Stoller's "most recorded tunes, with more than three hundred versions," with several appearing in the R&B and pop record charts. The original title for the song was "k c loving
". Likely the inspirational version was Little Richard
’s ( 1955 ). He recorded two rather different versions of "Kansas City": The first version, which was very close to the original song, was released much later, in November 1970, on the compilation album Well Alright!. This version
was the first to bear the new title "Kansas City" (after Littlefield's original version titled "K.C. Loving"). Richard's second version which had the same name, but which had been substantially re-worked by Little Richard (in particular, this version featured the new refrain starting with words "Hey, hey, hey, hey
; Hey baby, hey child, hey now") was released in late 1958. on The Fabulous Little Richard and in April 1959 as a single. Later, this particular version was covered by the Beatles.On May 9, 1956, Little Richard recorded his own song "Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey", also known as "Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey! (Goin' Back to Birmingham)". which turned out to be very similar to a part of the second version of "Kansas City" recorded six months earlier (and which had the same refrain as mentioned above). So a new song had been introduced — it included most of the changes made by Little Richard to the second version of "Kansas City" and had a new name and new writer, Richard Wayne Penniman (Little Richard himself). This song was released in January 1958 as the B-side of "Good Golly, Miss Molly
" (Specialty 624) and in July 1958 on Little Richard. So it happened that the public perceived the song "Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey" (released in January 1958) as an earlier work than "Kansas City" (released in late 1958/March 1959) and as its predecessor (while in fact it was actually the other way around). This allowed Little Richard to claim co-authorship with respect to this version of the song. In 1964, when The Beatles released their album featuring their version "Kansas City" as performed by Little Richard (naturally, the second version, as the first one was not yet released at that time), the attorneys representing Venice Music made a complaint, and as a result the record label was revised to read: "Medley: (a) Kansas City (Leiber/Stoller) (P)1964 Macmelodies Ltd./KPM; (b) Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey (Penniman) Venice Mus. Ltd. (P)1964." Formally, however, this song could hardly be called a medley, as by definition a medley is a piece composed from parts of existing pieces. Moreover, when Little Richard was recording "Kansas City", the song "Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey" did not yet exist.