For the 1995 television film, see Go Now (film).
Not to be confused with If You Gotta Go, Go Now, a song by Bob Dylan.
“Go Now” is a song composed by Larry Banks and Milton Bennett. It was first recorded in January 1964 by Bessie Banks, and later became associated with The Moody Blues.
Bessie Banks version
Single by Bessie Banks
B-side “It Sounds Like My Baby”
Tiger Blue Cat
Larry Banks Milton Bennett
Producer(s) Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Bessie Banks singles chronology
“Do It Now”
(1963) “Go Now”
(1964) “I Can’t Make It (Without You Baby)”
The song was first recorded by Larry Banks’s former wife, Bessie Banks. A 1962 demo recording by Bessie of the song was heard by songwriters and record producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who re-recorded it and first released it in early 1964 on their Tiger label, and later reissued it on the Blue Cat label, the R&B/soul imprint of Red Bird. Her version reached #40 on the Cashbox R&B singles chart.
Bessie Banks later commented:
I remember 1963 Kennedy was assassinated; it was announced over the radio. At the time, I was rehearsing in the office of Leiber and Stoller. We called it a day. Everyone was in tears. “Come back next week and we will be ready to record ‘Go Now'”; and we did so. I was happy and excited that maybe this time I’ll make it. ‘Go Now’ was released in January 1964, and right away it was chosen Pick Hit of the Week on W.I.N.S. Radio. That means your record is played for seven days. Four days went by, I was so thrilled. On day five, when I heard the first line, I thought it was me, but all of a sudden, I realized it wasn’t. At the end of the song it was announced, “The Moody Blues singing ‘Go Now’.” I was too out-done. This was the time of the English Invasion and the end of Bessie Banks’ career, so I thought. America’s DJs had stopped promoting American artists.
Banks’ recollections are questionable, because her single was released in the US in January 1964, and The Moody Blues’ version was not released until November 1964 (in the UK) and January 1965 in the US.
The Moody Blues Version
“Go Now”!was made popular internationally later in 1964 when an English beat group from Birmingham named The Moody Blues recorded it, with Denny Laine on guitar and lead vocals. When Denny Laine first heard Bessie Banks’s version, he immediately told the rest of the band that they needed to record the song.
In contrast to other songs from their debut album The Magnificent Moodies, “Go Now!” contained many early elements of what later would become progressive rock, such as the lush instrumentation, the innovative variations of the Fifties Progression, as well as strong baroque elements that would later become hallmarks of prog rock.