Classic Rock Wiki

"Sweet Little Sixteen" is a rock and roll song written and originally performed by Chuck Berry, who released it as a single in January 1958. It reached number two on the American charts, Berry's second-highest position ever on that chart (surpassed only by his suggestive hit "My Ding-A-Ling", which reached number one in 1972). "Sweet Little Sixteen" also reached number one on the R&B Best Sellers chart.[2] Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song #272 on their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004.



  • 1 Personnel
  • 2 Covers
  • 3 The Beatles Version
    • 3.1 Personnel
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


Recorded December 29-30, 1957.

  • Chuck Berry, vocals and guitar
  • Lafayette Leake, piano
  • Willie Dixon, bass
  • Fred Below, drums


The Beach Boys' 1963 song "Surfin' U.S.A." features lyrics by Brian Wilson set to the music of "Sweet Little Sixteen." Under pressure from Berry's publisher, Wilson's father and manager, Murry Wilson, gave the copyright, including Brian Wilson's lyrics, to Arc Music.[3]

The Hollies recorded it in 1966 for their album Would You Believe?

The Beatles played this song live in one of their BBC sessions, released on the album 1996 Live at the BBC.

John Lennon recorded the song on his 1975 album Rock 'n' Roll.

The Beatles Version[edit][]

Recorded live at the BBC on July 10, 1963


  • John Lennon - vocals, lead guitar
  • George Harrison - rhythm guitar
  • Paul McCartney - bass
  • Ringo Starr - drums