Saturday, April 20, 2024

Rock and Roll Birthday Special: Paul McCartney and Producer Richard Perry Each Turn 78 Years Young Today


In a strange twist of fate, two rock stars turn 78 years young today. Paul McCartney and superstar producer Richard Perry share a birthday. This is not unlike Elton John and Aretha Franklin, who were born on March 25th, but they were in different years.

McCartney, you may have heard of him, was in a group called the Beatles, and then in one called Wings. He’s considered a pretty successful singer songwriter. Actually, the most successful singer-songwriter in pop history. So there.

Next month Paul is releasing an expensive box set, with less dear iterations, of his great 1997 album, “Flaming Pie.” I listened to it last night on Spotify, and it’s a real gem in the McCartney oeuvre. There isn’t a dud of a track, they are all terrific. The pie is delicious.

Paul and Richard Perry are old mates. Among Richard’s great successes — and there are so many — was gathering up the members of the Beatles for Ringo Starr’s classic eponymous 1973 album. Three years after their wrenching break up, the group is back together, singing, playing, writing. When Perry publishes his memoir later this year, called “Cloud Nine,” he’ll have all the stories about those amazing sessions.

Oh yes, among Perry’s other credits: just about all the hits for Carly Simon, Harry Nilsson, Ringo, the Pointer Sisters, Leo Sayer, then later Rod Stewart, not to mention Fats Domino and Ray Charles. Barbra Streisand’s only rock hit, “Stoney End,” came courtesy of Richard Perry.

Paul was born in Liverpool, Richard was born in New York. But there was something magically musical in the air on June 18, 1942. Happy birthday, gentlemen!

Here’s “Six O’Clock,” the song Paul wrote, and played on for “Ringo”:

And here’s a little hit Richard Perry produced for Carly Simon. Paul and Linda McCartney sang back up on Carly’s album, “No Secrets.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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