Sir James Paul McCartney (better known as just Paul McCartney) was born on June 18, 1942 at Walton Hospital in Liverpool, England. He was the first son of Mary and James McCartney. His brother, Peter Michael McCartney, was born eighteen months later. McCartney’s mother worked at Walton Hospital as a nurse, but sadly, she died in October 31, 1956, due to breast cancer. Paul was fourteen years old at the time of this incident. His father worked as a cotton salesman and was also a jazz musician with a band named Jim Mac’s Jazz Band in the 1920s. He was a trumpet player and a pianist. As a child, Paul showed no interest in music. Both Paul and Michael were sent to piano lessons, but these didn’t last long. Then Paul was given a trumpet by his uncle, and he began teaching himself how to play. His musical talent probably came from his father some people say. Of all the Beatles, the band Paul would later join later in the early 1960s, Paul’s family was the only one with any musical background or interest. After Paul’s mother died, he wrote his first song, “I Lost My Little Girl”, when he was fourteen.
Paul was influenced by early rock songs. It was Elvis Presley that made the greatest impression on him. Later, Paul’s mutual friend Ivan Vaughan invited him to a church fete called Wootton Parish Fete. There, it was when Paul met John Lennon. Paul decided to perform at the fete, and during his performance, John was impressed with the music. After that, John invented him to join his band, called the Quarrymen, and Paul accepted the invitation. His first public performance with the Quarrymen was for a dance at the Conservative Club in Broadway, New York. After the dance, Paul played some of his songs for John, who was impressed. Later John tried to write songs of his own. Neither he nor Paul wrote anything much of value, but the two began collaborating. They eventually became “Lennon & McCartney”, one of the most renowned songwriting duos of the twentieth century. Once they became established songwriters, Paul and John would often write independently of each one another. John’s songs were more of rock n’ roll, while Paul’s were more soft and romantic. Songs like “Yesterday”, “Michelle” and “Lovely Rita” are typical McCartney songs. Later on, the Quarrymen invited a man that Paul knew to join them. It was guitarist George Harrison. In 1960, the Quarrymen became the Beatles. After a few name changes like “The Silver Beatles”, they decided to stick with the name The Beatles. When they became the Beatles, they performed at a place called the Cavern Club, where a man named, Brian Epstein, saw the band in 1961.
Impressed, Brian asked the band if they would like him to become their manager, They accepted the offer. Later, Brian replaced their drummer, Pete Best, with their new one Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey). The also had another member, Stuart Sutcliffe, who was a bass guitarist, but he left the Beatles later in 1961. The first album of the Beatles titled My Bonnie was made with music artist Tony Sheridan and was released on January 5, 1962. The first album the Beatles made independently was Please Please Me, released in March 22, 1963. Later, the Beatles would do various of live performances, and they would complain that the crowd was so loud they couldn’t hear themselves sing. The last performance the Beatles was in August 29, 1966 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. They would release all sorts of albums like, A Hard Day’s Night, Help, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Rubber Soul, Magical Mystery Tour, and Abbey Road. Their last album, Let It Be, was released on May 8, 1970, and their last performance was on the rooftop of the Apple building on January 30, 1969, which was an unannounced live performance. After the Beatles group broke up in September of 1970, because John Lennon left the band so he could be with his wife, Yoko Ono. Paul released an album called McCartney, on April 17, 1970. His first solo album was The Family Way, released on June 12, 1967. After that, Paul met Linda Eastman, who was a photographer. They later married on March 12, 1969.
In 1971, Paul and Linda formed a band named Wings. With Paul on guitar, Linda on keyboards, Denny Laine on bass and Denny Seiwell on drums. The Wings released their first album, Wild Life, in December 7, 1971, which flopped. Then, later, guitarist Henry McCullough joined Wings. In 1972, Wings released three singles, “Give Ireland Back to the Irish”, “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, and “Hi Hi Hi”. The album Red Rose Speedway followed in the spring of 1973. It became Paul’s second American number one album. Later in 1973, Wings had started on their first British tour when Henry McCullough and Denny Seiwell left the group. After their departure, Paul’s theme song to the James Bond movie, Live and Let Die, became a top ten hit in the U.S. and the U.K. The Wings later released the album, Band on the Run, released in late 1973. Band on the Run was Paul’s best reviewed album and his most successful, spending four weeks at the top of the U.S. charts and eventually going triple-platinum. Following the success of Band on the Run, Paul formed a new version of Wings with guitarist Jimmy McCulloch and drummer Geoff Britton. The new lineup was showcased on the 1974 British single “Junior Farm” and the 1975 hit album, Venus and Mars. At the Speed of Sound followed in 1976; it was the first Wings record to feature songwriting contributions by the other band members. Nevertheless, the album became a major success on the basis of two of Paul’s songs, “Silly Love Songs” and “Let ‘Em In”. Wings supported the album with their first international tour, which broke many attendance records and was captured on the live triple album, Wings Over America (1976).
Bryce 5When the tour was completed, Wings rested for a bit during 1977, as Paul released an instrumental version of the album Ram, which was named Thrillington, and produced Denny Laine’s solo album, Holly Days. During that year, Wings released “Mull of Kintyre,” which became the biggest-selling British single of all time, selling over two million copies, the song became a platinum record. While the song’s release, Henry McCulloch left Wings to join his other band Small Faces and was also reformed at the time. In 1979, Wings released their next album Back To the Egg, it failed to produce any hits even though it still went platinum. Then, in early 1980, Paul was arrested for marijuana possession before the beginning of a Japanese tour, he was imprisoned for ten days and was released without any charges being filed against him. The Wings eventually broke up when Paul was arrested, the reason Wings broke up is because of Paul’s arrest. Though it was official, it wasn’t publicly announced in April 27, 1981. Paul went back to England after the separation of the Wings, and recorded, McCartney II, which was a solo album. In 1980, Paul went to make his next album, Tug of War, which he made with the Beatles producer George Martin. Released in the spring of 1982, the album got the best reviews of any of Paul’s records since the release of Band On the Run and brought the number one song “Ebony and Ivory,” which was a duet with music artist Stevie Wonder (Stevland Morris) and it became Paul’s biggest American hit. Also in 1982, Paul sang with music artist Michael Jackson on “The Girl is Mine” on Michael’s album Thriller.
In return, Michael sang with Paul on the song, “Say Say Say”, which was the first single on Paul’s 1983 album, Pipes of Peace. “Say Say Say” was unfortunately, Paul’s last number one single of his career. The relationship between Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson deteriorated when Jackson paid for the publishing rights to the songs of the Beatles from Paul in 1985. In 1984, Paul directed his first feature film, Give My Regards To Board Street. The film was a flop and received terrible reviews from critics and audiences alike. While the soundtrack was actually good, which featured new songs and re-recorded Beatles songs, and the movie generated the hit single, “No More Lonely Nights.” During the same year, Paul got his last American Top Ten with the theme song to the 1985 comedy movie starring Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd, Spies Like Us. Later, Paul released Press to Play in 1986, which got some strong reviews but it was a flop. And in 1988, Paul recorded a collection of old rock & roll songs called Choba B CCCP, and it was released only in Russia (what was then the U.S.S.R.). And it was later released in the U.S. and the U.K. in 1991. And in 1989, Paul released the hit album, Flowers in the Dirt, which was made with music artist Elvis Costello. And Paul actually co-wrote several songs with Costello. Flowers in the Dirt got the best reviews of any of Paul’s album release since Tug of War, and it was put into an international tour. For the tour Paul hired two members, Robbie McIntosh and Hamish Stuart, who would be part of Paul’s band throughout the 1990s.
Bryce 7In 1993, Paul released Off the Ground, and it failed to make any big hits. Then Paul released a live album, Paul Is Live, in December of 1993. And in 1994, he released a techno album called Firemen. In 1995, Paul presented his second classical album, The Leaf, and he also started hosting a radio series called Oobu Joobu. And in the mid 1990s, he worked on the Beatles Anthology, which was a documentary TV mini series and a series of books that focused on the history of the Beatles members. In the summer of 1997, he released Flaming Pie and got great reviews. It reached number two in the U.S. and U.K. charts and was also his highest American chart placing since his break-up with the Beatles. In March 11, 1997, Paul was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his service in music, and he became Sir Paul McCartney. On April 17, 1998, Linda McCartney died, due to breast cancer and struggled three years with it. Paul became depressed after this incident and kept a low profile for a while. He returned in 1999 with the album Run Devil Run, which was a collection of covered songs of Paul’s past songs. And came the pop album, Driving Rain. In 2002, he did his live tour, Back in the U.S. and Back in the World followed. Then in 2005, Chaos and Creation came out, and it reached the Top Ten in several countries. On Paul’s 2007 album Memory Almost Full, it also reached the Top Ten chart in several countries. Throughout the late 2000s, Paul released remakes of his past albums and live albums. In 2011, he would do his first ballet titled “Ocean’s Kingdom.”
Bryce 8Throughout the 2010s, Paul has been doing re-releases of his past albums, and he has been doing live tours, like the Olympics and such. Now at the age of 74, Paul is alive and well and still successful with his music and tours. Paul McCartney is considered one of the greatest music artists of all time. With his great songs and his compassion for music, he has inspired many artist throughout the years. Without his music, music would probably be different today without his great music. Paul will keep making music and people will keep hearing his songs with years to come.