Hey Jude topped the charts in Britain for two weeks and for 9 weeks in America, where it became The Beatles longest-running No.1 in the US singles chart as well as the single with the longest running time. T
he Beatles did not record their promotional film until Hey Jude had been on sale in America for a week. They returned to Twickenham Film Studio, using director Michael Lindsay-Hogg who had worked with them on Paperback Writer and Rain. Earlier still, Lindsay-Hogg had directed episodes of Ready Steady Go! And a few months after the film for Hey Jude he made The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus TV special that featured John and Yoko but wouldn’t be shown until 1996.
To help with the filming an audience of around 300 local people, as well as some of the fans that gathered regularly outside Abbey Road Studios were brought in for the song’s finale. Their presence had an unlikely upside for The Beatles in their long-running saga with the Musicians’ Union in that the MU were fooled into believing the band were playing live, when in fact they were miming for the vast majority of the song. Paul, however, sang live throughout the song.
The video was first broadcast on David Frost’s Frost On Sunday show, four days after it was filmed. At that point transmission was in black and white although the promo was originally shot in colour. It was first aired in America a month later on 6 October 1968, on The Smotheres Brothers Comedy Hour.