I’m not half the man I used to be,
There’s a shadow hanging over me,
Oh, yesterday came suddenly….”–Lennon/McCartney
The song, “Yesterday” is the Number One Popular song of all time as regarded by MTV and “Rolling Stone” magazine. The tune was performed more than 7,000,000 times during the last century. A poll by the BBC voted the tune as the best song of the 20th Century. The accolades just keep coming for the song and it’s original writer/performer.
“Yesterday” was one cut from the 1965 album “Help” by The Beatles, arguably one of the top rock groups of all time. It was attributed to one of the foremost composing teams ever, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Even though the song is credited to the song writing team, it was actually a solo effort by Paul McCartney. That song alone would be a fine accomplishment for anybody on earth. But it was only a blip on the horizon for Paul McCartney.
Paul was born on this date in 1942 in Liverpool, England. He was still in primary school when he met George Harrison on the bus home. McCartney was 15-years-old when he met up with John Lennon’s band “The Quarrymen”. Paul joined the group and initiated the song writing and working relationship with John in 1957. The following year, George Harrison came on board as the lead guitarist. In August, 1960 The Quarrymen changed their name to “The Beatles”. At that time Pete Best was hired as drummer. Best was replaced by Ringo Starr in 1962.
Paul and the other Beatles became chart-toppers during 1963 and later on Beatlemania was ignited in the USA. I can still remember seeing their appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. It was hard to hear their music because of the screaming girls in the audience.
To list the work and success of The Beatles requires more than the scope of this essay in honor of Paul McCartney’s birthday. I only need to mention that McCartney was a major part of the group’s phenomenal impact on modern culture.
After the breakup of the band, Beatles fans like myself were pleased that solo albums were forthcoming from each Beatle. I waited in line to purchase Paul’s first solo effort, “McCartney”. I loved each song on the record. By the way, Paul played all the instruments on that release.
In 1971, McCartney organized the group “Wings”. That band enjoyed a string of number one hits including a theme song for a James Bond film, “Live And Let Die”.
During the 1980s Paul worked solo again and collaborated with other stars. Who can forget “Ebony And Ivory”, a duet with Stevie Wonder? He laid down some tracks with Michael Jackson. Many of us remember “The Girl Is Mine” and “Say Say Say”.
I won’t even attempt to summarize the rest of his career. To do so would do him a great injustice. I can only say that he experimented with accoustic works and delved into electronica. He continues to sell out concerts with ease.
Paul works for environmental and social causes. He meditates and paints. He enjoys writing prose and poetry and is a filmmaker.
If you haven’t yet heard and seen the hype, Paul’s 70th birthday will be highlighted with the release of a tribute album this month. Listen for cover versions of McCartney hits by a stable of major popular and country singers.
I could go on for days, listing kudos and milestones of Paul McCartney, but I’ll end here, so I can catch my breath. In case he somehow reads this humble post, this longtime fan wishes Paul a very happy birthday, today.