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Happy Father's Day from Paul McCartney of the Beatles who turns 80 today

The legendary rock singer whose music brought hope and joy to the world took to Twitter to remember his father and wish a Happy Father’s Day to all

June 19, 2022 12:08pm

Updated: June 19, 2022 12:36pm

Legendary rock singer and Beatles front man Paul McCartney, who turns 80 today, poured out his heart on Twitter Sunday morning to with the world a Happy Father’s Day.

“Have a great Father’s Day everyone, love to Dads everywhere – Paul,” the British rock sensation tweeted above a black and white photograph of a young college age Paul with his father, James.

The picture and post has significant meaning especially for McCartney since it was his father who influenced and inspired him to become a musician. Unbeknownst to many, James was a jazz musician and had a deep impact on Paul’s decision to start playing and writing music.

The story goes like this: Paul was born on June 18, 1942 at Walton Hospital in Liverpool, England, which was known as a British blue collar, working class town. The hospital was a familiar place to Paul’s parents since his mother Mary worked there as a nurse. Both his parents were Irish.

Before the Second World War started, James had worked as a salesman for a cotton company. But after the war broke out, he also volunteered to help his fellow Brits as a firefighter in a ‘fire brigade’, and he was on call the day Paul was born. Sadly, Paul’s father missed his son’s birth.

In his biography “Paul McCartney: A Life,” by Peter Ames Carlin, a former writer for People magazine and culture reporter for the Oregonian the journalist noted that both of McCartney's parents came from the “lowest rungs of the working class,” but later moved upwards in society.

In 1944, two years after Paul was born the McCartney’s got a new flat in Knowsley then moved into a ‘council housing development’ in Speke in 1946. James returned to his original job at the cotton merchant and Mary was working as a midwife.

Young Paul started classes at Stockton Wood Road Primary School in Speke, and attended from 1947 until 1949 and then transferred to Joseph Williams Junior School in Belle Valle.

In 1953, he demonstrated his intellect by being only one of only three students out of 90 to pass England’s 11-Plus exam, which gave him the opportunity to meaning he could attend a grammar school called the Liverpool Institute instead of a secondary modern school, giving him more artistic and educational opportunities. 

One year after Paul arrived at grammar school he met another student on his school bus by the name of George Harrison.

McCartney once said, “I tended to talk down to him because he was a year younger.” But that didn’t stop the two from becoming great friends.

Around 1954 when McCartney was 11, his father James started opening his musical influence to him. In his own youth during the Roaring Twenties, James had played as a jazz pianist and trumpet player. He had played in a group called Jim Mac's Jazz Band and young Paul had the benefits of his father’s continued passion for music. The family had an upright piano in the living room they had bought from the North End Music Store.

Paul tried to join the choir at the Liverpool Cathedral Choir, but was rejected. Paul made another go at it with the Barnabas Church in Mossley Hill and was accepted.

And this was the genesis of the Beatles.

Around 1956 when Paul turned 14, his father bought him a nice nickel plated trumpet, and after playing for a couple years the young budding musician decided he couldn’t resist the sounds of rock n’ roll. But James wanted his son to take proper lessons.

“My Dad was a pianist by ear and then a trumpeter until his teeth gave out,” Paul once said. “He was a good pianist, you know, but he would never teach me, because he felt that you should learn properly. It was a bit of a drag, because a lot of people have said that I do chords a lot like he used to do. I'm sure I picked it up over the years.”

Sadly, that year Paul’s mother Mary died and the family was devastated. But Paul was fortunate in that he made some new friends who would have a life altering impact.

One of his news friends was named John Lennon who invited him to play in his band, the Quarrymen. George Harrison joined as lead guitar and McCartney traded his trumpet in for a £15 Framus Zenith acoustic guitar. This allowed Paul to sing while he played, something he obviously couldn’t do with the trumpet.

Paul, who was left handed had trouble at first because most guitars are right handed. So the young guitarist got creative and changed the order of the strings and suddenly he was writing music. He wrote his first song, ‘I Lost My Little Girl’ on guitar and another that would become a Beatles hit on the piano, ‘When I’m Sixty Four.’ Before long, Paul was playing in public at a local talent competition.

By May 1960—the birth of a decade that would forever reshape the sound of music—the band changed their name to the Beatles. Paul took over bass since their current player, Stuart Sutcliffe left the band, and a drummer named Peter Best joined.

After some performances in Germany, Best was replaced in 1961 by a new drummer named Ringo Starr and the band even found a manager, Brian Epstein in 1962.

Paul once said of this early stage of the Beatles' career, “Dad always encouraged me to take up music. He likes our sound, I think, but sometimes says we're away from home a bit too much. He put up with my practice sessions for years which shows he's a brave man.”

That October the band released their first major hit, ‘Love Me Do’ which resulted in what rock historians have called, ‘Beatlemania.’ Paul certainly got his share of attention from the girls as he was quickly nicknamed, ‘The Cute Beatle.’

McCartney and Lennon began working closely together to write songs and by 1964 they had produced hit songs such as, ‘I Saw Her Standing There,’ ‘She Loves You’, ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ and ‘Can’t Buy Me Love.’

That same year, Paul bought his father a new house so he could retire from his job at the cotton merchant, and Jim remarried. He lived another 13 years to see his son’s fame become legendary and worldwide. He passed away on March 18, 1976 in his home in England.

Ironically, it was John Lennon who heard the news first and immediately telephoned Paul to tell him the sad news. Paul, who was in New York at the time did not attend his father’s funeral, and his brother Mike said he thinks it was just too upsetting for him.

“It was no coincidence that Paul was on the Continent at the time,” Mike once said. “Paul would never face that sort of thing."

He then added, “My dad taught me a lot of things… we both owe him a lot. He's a very good man, and he's a very stubborn man. He looks more like Paul than me, but I've got him inside me.”