Tuesday, April 16, 2013

40 Year Itch: "James Paul McCartney" Special Airs


On April 16, 1973 ABC aired "James Paul McCartney", a 50 minute special featuring McCartney and his band members singing:

-"Big Barn Bed" to an audience of TV sets;

-a medley of "Blackbird/Bluebird/Michelle/Heart of the Country" during a photo session (the first time McCartney had sung a Beatles song in public);

-an outdoor video of Mary Had a Little Lamb",
-"Little Woman Love", "C Moon", and the new single "My Love" all recorded with an orchestra;
 -a video of "Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey"(included here but NOT in the original broadcast);
 -a visit to a pub for singalong versions of "April Showers", "Pack Up Your Troubles in an Old Kit Bag" and "You Are My Sunshine";
-a huge musical extravaganza called "Gotta Sing, Gotta Dance" (fulfilling a life long ambition to do some musical theatre

-a music video version of "Live And Let Die" ( notable because (at 35:05) the piano explodes at the end with far greater force than anyone anticipated. Danny Seiwell remembers  the lid of the piano flying over the violin players who were "shouting 'Oh My God! What was that?'
-A Beatles medley of passers by singing "When I'm 64", "A Hard Days Night""Can't Buy Me Love", "She Loves You""Ob La Di Ob La Da", "Yesterday" and "Yellow Submarine"
-live Wings performances of "Mess I'm In" , "Maybe I'm Amazed" and "Long Tall Sally"
-And for the credit roll, Paul singing "Yesterday".

The special aired in the UK on May 10.
Critics weren't all kind. Melody Maker calling the special "overblown and silly". Another critic called it "a showcase for Paul's amazing ability to be all things to all men, women and little lambs".
The special has yet to be released on DVD.

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