On this day in music history: November 7, 1969 – Paul McCartney along with his wife Linda, step-daughter Heather and new baby daughter Mary appear on the cover of Life Magazine. The magazine’s London correspondent tracks McCartney and his family down at his farm in High Park, Campbeltown, Scotland, hoping to get an interview and address the rumors about his supposed death. At first, McCartney is angered by the intrusion on his privacy, swearing at the correspondents and throwing a bucket of water at them. Cooler heads prevail, and Paul grants an interview (and exclusive photos) in exchange for the film shot of him during the incident. The article, titled “The Magical McCartney Mystery” (written by John Neary), highlights all the supposed “clues” about McCartney’s rumored death hidden on various Beatles records (such as “Sgt. Pepper”, “Magical Mystery Tour”, “The White Album” and “Abbey Road”) and in photographs. When asked about the rumors, McCartney comment, “perhaps the rumor started because I haven’t been much in the press lately. I have done enough press for a life time, and I don’t have anything to say these days. I’m happy to be with my family and I will work when I work. I was switched on for 10 years and never switched off. Now I am switching off whenever I can. I would rather be a little less famous these days.” The article also includes the first indication that The Beatles had already split when Paul comments in passing that “The Beatle thing is over.” Somehow his comment goes largely unnoticed by the media and the public in the months prior to the official announcement of the bands break up in April 1970.
On this day in music history: October 12, 1969 – “The Paul Is Dead” urban myth is born. A student at Eastern Michigan University named Tom Zarski calls up DJ Russ Gibb at radio station WKNR, and tell him of a rumor that Beatle Paul McCartney had died in a car crash in November of 1966. He’ll say that there are clues in the “White Album” track “Revolution #9”, claiming that when a certain section is played backwards that it says “turn me on, dead man. Gibb goes on air with the rumor and it immediately snowballs from there. Fans also believe that there are further clues hidden in the album cover artwork to "Yesterday & Today”, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, “Magical Mystery Tour” and the then just released “Abbey Road” album. However, the rumors prove to be false. McCartney is found alive and well at his farm in rural Scotland when Life Magazine sends a correspondent and photographer to his home. McCartney is initially furious at the intrusion on his privacy, hurling expletives at the reporters and throwing a bucket of water at them. The photographer snaps pictures of the encounter and quickly take off. Paul chases them down and offers to be interviewed in exchange for the film taken of him during the angry confrontation. He sits down for an interview and poses for pictures with Linda step-daughter Heather and new baby daughter Mary, which appear in a cover story for Life published on November 7, 1969.
On this day in music history: September 24, 1984 – “No More Lonely Nights” by Paul McCartney is released. Written by Paul McCartney, it is the thirty-first US Top 40 single for the former Beatle. The last song written and recorded for the film and soundtrack of “Give My Regards To Broadstreet” (released through 20th Century Fox), “No More Lonely Nights” is recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London in mid 1984. The band on the song features McCartney (lead vocals, piano), Linda McCartney (backing vocals, keyboards), Eric Stewart (backing vocals), Herbie Flowers (bass), Anne Dudley (synthesizer) and Stuart Elliott (drums). Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour is also featured playing the guitar solo on the track. Gilmour does not accept a session fee for playing on the song, instead asking McCartney to donate his fee to the charity of his choice. Two versions of the song are recorded, the original straight ahead “ballad” version is the A-side of the single, while the more uptempo “playout” version is placed on the B-side. An extended version remixed by Arthur Baker is also released as a standard 12" single and picture disc. The music video directed by Peter Webb is shot in London, featuring a full fireworks display over the Thames. The late night video shoot causes many local residents to call the police to complain about the noise from the exploding fireworks. Though the film opens to universally negative reviews and disastrous box office numbers, the soundtrack album and single are a hit. “No More Lonely Nights” peaks at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 on December 8, 1984, driving “Give My Regards To Broadstreet” to Gold status in the US. A dance remix remixed by Arthur Baker, of the uptempo version is also issued as a 12" single at the same time.
On this day in music history: September 4, 1971 – “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” by Paul & Linda McCartney hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written and produced by Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney, it is the first solo chart topper for the former Beatles bassist. The first number one single for Paul McCartney following the break up of The Beatles come from a number of different sources. It is pieced together from various unfinished song fragments McCartney has lying around. Paul’s uncle, Albert Kendall (married to his Aunt Milly) is also an inspiration while the song is being written. The track is recorded at Columbia Studios in New York City in November of 1970, and features Paul on electric and acoustic guitars, bass, piano, lead and background vocals, Linda McCartney on harmony vocals, Denny Seiwell on drums, Hugh McCracken on electric and acoustic guitars, with members of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra playing brass and strings. George Martin actually co-writes the orchestral arrangement for the song with Paul, but is not credited at the time of its original release. After the initial sessions, more overdubs are recorded and final mixing takes place over the next five months. “Uncle Albert” is rush released as a single in the US on August 2, 1971, nearly three months after the album “Ram”, when heavy airplay by American radio stations forces its release. Entering the Hot 100 at #65 on August 14, 1971, it leaps to the top of the chart just three weeks later, making an impressive jump from #12 to #1. The single wins a Grammy Award for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) in 1972. “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: July 19, 1975 – “Listen To What The Man Said” by Wings hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written and produced by Paul McCartney, it is the fourth US solo chart topper for the former Beatle. Following the huge critical and commercial success of “Band On The Run” during 1974, Paul McCartney once again looks for another change of locale to record the follow up. Prior to the sessions, guitarist Jimmy McCullough (formerly of Thunderclap Newman) and drummer Geoff Britton are added to Wings’ line up. The band begin recording the track at songwriter and producer Allen Toussaint’s Sea Saint Studios in New Orleans in early 1975. Unsatisfied with the initial results, they rework parts of the track at Wally Heider Studios in Los Angeles, CA. The single also features saxophonist Tom Scott and guitarist Dave Mason playing on the track. “Listen To What The Man Said” is the first single released from the bands fourth album “Venus And Mars” on May 16, 1975. Entering the Hot 100 at #65 on May 31, 1975, it climbs to the top of the chart seven weeks later. “Listen To What The Man Said” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.