Saturday, 9 July 2011

Wings in Nashville 1974 - Film!



Paul McCartney and his band Wings was in Nashville to record and rehearse. That was in 1974, and they stayed at Junior's Farm in Wilson County.

Some of the world's greatest song writers are tucked away in the hills of Tennessee including Curly Putman, Junior. Putman bought the farm after he hit it big with songs like "Green, Green Grass of Home".

He has entertained guests over the years, but none like the ones producer Buddy Killen wanted to host in 1974.

"Killer said, 'Curly why don't you let them use your farm. He kind of grinned when said it and being the sweet talker that he was he talked me in to letting them rent our place,'" according to Putnam.

It turned out to be McCartney and his band. McCartney and his entourage moved into the house and on to the farm for six weeks in the summer of 1974.

Putman said there was a trail bike on the farm and McCartney enjoyed riding it.

"We came back. Paul had found it and drove it all over Wilson County, around Lebanon. So they really enjoyed it here," said Putnam.

McCartney enjoyed it so much he bought his own. Putman took his family to Hawaii during McCartney's stay, but got to meet him before and after the trip.

"They practiced over there where that piano is, kind of like a little stage area where that piano is," said Putnam.

It was a converted two car garage that now houses Putman's pool table, awards and music memorabilia.

For McCartney the stay at Junior's farm was supposed to be rehearsal time for a U.S. tour, but McCartney not only tapped into Nashville's hospitality, but the talent as well.

Audio Engineer Ernie Winfrey remembers McCartney. Winfrey is now retired. In 1974 he was working for Sound Shop in Nashville. He was working in the studio one night with Killen.

"I was a little astonished to see Paul McCartney walk into the studio just out of the clear. I didn't even know about it," said Winfrey.

The audio engineer was just 32-years-old when he had to record McCartney's vision.

"Everything was very calm, laid back. Nobody was in a hurry to do much, because he wanted to do it right, to take his time and do it right," said Winfrey.

He said it was laid back, but McCartney was totally in charge of his music. They worked on seven songs including "Sally G." and of course "Junior's Farm."

Now, a video dub of an 8mm sound film has emerged. According to Winfrey, who published the video on YouTube, "When Juniors Farm was playing we were in the control room listening to playback. I know this because the door into the studio was open. When Sally G was playing in the control room we were either tracking or overdubbing...I don't recall which.

3 comments:

da1slicksta said...

Great story and video Roger! Last year when I was Nashville to see Paul in concert, the local TV stations ran several stories regarding Paul's connection to the town and the 1974 visit. One was with Ernie Winfrey where he talked about the recording studio sessions and he played some of the copies of the master tapes he still has in his possession. Some of this can be seen on his website,http://www.nashvillemusicpros.com/profile/ErnieWinfrey . But the most interesting was with a man who as a younger man back then, hung out at the farm and became good friends with Paul, Linda, and the band and became sort of a gofer for them. He had some great stories and pictures but his coup is an uncirculated 90 minute cassette tape of the band rehearsing in the garage, which he played a bit of on the news story, including a young Heather L. McCartney coming up and telling him that Mum has asked for you to leave...great stuff...http://www.megaupload.com/?d=EEG148RM

Ernie Winfrey said...

Hey Roger,
I just happened upon your blog and thoroughly enjoyed it!
Well, the Ernie you mentioned was ME and it great fun working with Macca, Linda and the guys.
If you have any questions you cane reach me at oldurn@yahoo.com.
Incidently, I know who the kid was that hung out as a gofer...his name was David Theis and I'd sure like to get in touch with him if anyone knows how to contact him...I havn't seen him since the '70s. I didn't realize that he had pictures and audio.
Anyway it's still great fun talking about those sessions.
Thanks for the article,
Ernie Winfrey

Ernie Winfrey said...

Hey da1slicsta,
I'm pretty sure that the guy who hung out at the farm was the first guy that appears in the video with the Wings T-shirt on. His name was David Theis and he was also a gopher at Soundshop. I had no idea he had pictures and recordings from the Farm. He never showed them to us and he was at Soundshop for a year or more. He even roomed with me for a while!?! Little stinker!