MUSIC HISTORY CLASS: Paul McCartney

History Lesson

On this day in 1942 Sir Paul McCartney was born James Paul McCartney in Liverpool, England. The son of working class parents, Paul grew up modestly, but comfortably, in post-war England. His father, a jazz player and pianist, encouraged Paul to play music at an early age. In the spring of 1957, at the age of fifteen, Paul joined his first band, The Quarrymen. It was the start of a musical revolution that would change not only Rock n’ Roll, but culture in general.

As a member of the Quarrymen, Paul worked closely with another local musician by the name of John Lennon. Unfulfilled with their band name, the Quarrymen tried multiple new band names out, including “Johnny and the Moondogs” and “the Silver Beetles.” But in 1960, the band settled on the “the Beatles.”

Paul would go on to create history as a member of the Fab Four, but in 1970 internal tensions between the Beatles members led to the group’s demise. Following the Beatles’ breakup, Paul released twenty-two albums, some of which as a member of the trio, the Wings (which also included his wife at the time, Linda). Some of Paul’s most successful post-Beatles hits include “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” My Love,” and “Coming Up.”

Today Paul is still one of the highest grossing artists of all time. He is one of Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite artists, as evident by his closing of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration. His two recent performances in Mexico City grossed over $6 million.  Paul will be playing the Opening Ceremonies at this summer’s Olympics in London.

Michael McCarron

Michael is the Founder and Director of the Philly-based LGBT+ non-profit, Punk Out. He enjoys moshing endlessly, forgetting his karaoke performance from the previous night, and pushing that Big Gay Agenda.

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