The first Beatles record to be played on the radio is up for sale – complete with the misspelling of Sir Paul McCartney’s name.
Sir Paul is said to have penned Love Me Do, the Fab Four’s debut release, while truanting from school as a teenager.
Radio Luxembourg was first to air the track – or any Beatles record – on October 5 1962.
Almost 60 years after it made history at the pirate station, one of its former DJs is auctioning the piece of pop memorabilia.
The song featured Sir Paul and John Lennon on vocals – but record label EMI printed Lennon-McArtney on the record.
Omega Auctions, which is selling the item, described the typo as possibly “the most famous spelling error in music”.
Love Me Do peaked at number 17 in the UK charts but later reached number one in the US.
Oldham-born Tony Prince ended up with the single on his hands after serving as the station’s programme director.
While Prince was not the DJ who had played it at the station, he took the single home after he and some colleagues were asked to have a clear-out of the record library.
Years later, he realised what he had inherited and asked Sir Paul to write about the origins of the single and sign the correct spelling of his name.
The star wrote: “Dear Tony, I’m happy to confirm that I first heard Love Me Do (our first release) on Radio Luxembourg. Did I ever thank you for playing it? If not, I do now.”
His signature now appears in blue ink on the record, which is expected to fetch £20,000.
Prince, 75, told the PA news agency: “It was Radio Luxembourg that helped the Beatles to launch their phenomenal career.
“Radio Luxembourg was the only station playing Beatles from day one and the record I have placed in the auction is undoubtedly the very record which started the fans’ stampede.”
George Harrison previously recalled how first hearing the record on the station “sent me shivery all over”.
“We knew it was going to be on Radio Luxembourg at something like 7.30 on Thursday night. I was in my house in Speke and we all listened in…
“It was the best buzz of all time,” he said.
Prince worked with Sir Paul for 10 years fronting his Buddy Holly Week celebration, an annual festival.
Dan Hampson, assistant auction manager at Omega Auctions, said the item was “one of the most collectable and important records in the world.
“Radio Luxembourg is widely acknowledged to be the first of the radio stations to give the Beatles airtime and their persistent support was crucial in launching the Fab Four on their way to superstardom,” he said.
The auction house is also selling a transistor radio once owned by Elvis Presley, a letter signed by each member of Queen, as well as albums, singles, sheet music, autographs and rare press photographs.
The sale will take place at Omega Auctions, Newton Le Willows, Merseyside on January 28.