Paul and Linda McCartney’s note to Nashville guitar picker Chet Atkins

Wings’ final lead guitarist Laurence Juber clarifies whether he really delivered a handwritten note from Paul and Linda McCartney to “Mister Guitar” himself, Chet Atkins. In the world of revolving Beatlemania, George Harrison repeatedly brandished a 1962 Chet Atkins “Country Gentleman” Gretsch hollow body electric guitar onstage. Meanwhile, anyone for a champagne glass filled with milkshake? In the aftermath of the Beatles’ acrimonious split in April 1970, a bearded, albeit very striking McCartney is seen sipping from two straws during a vacation with late wife Linda Eastman and kids Heather and Mary in the South of France. Photography by Linda McCartney / MPL Communications
Jamming on an acoustic guitar, Paul McCartney meets “Boo Boo Stick Beat” guitar idol and record impresario Chet Atkins. The demanding bassist was in Nashville, Tennessee, for six weeks [June 6 — July 18, 1974] to rehearse and record with Wings. Shockingly, the former Beatle did not play a show in Nashville until 2010 at the Bridgestone Arena. Photography by Linda McCartney / MPL Communications

The Laurence Juber Interview, Part Four

Six weeks in Nashville [June 6 — July 18, 1974] reveal Paul McCartney’s inner cowboy as he sports a curled straw hat and sunglasses during an afternoon drive around Music City USA. Wings, then consisting of rhythm guitarist Denny Laine, keyboardist Linda McCartney, lead guitarist Jimmy McCulloch, and drummer Geoff Britton, were in Nashville to rehearse and record at Sound Shop Studios. McCartney first met Chet Atkins that same summer. Photography by Linda McCartney / MPL Communications
Former Beatle Paul McCartney, daughter Stella, late wife Linda, daughter Heather, singer-songwriter Dolly Parton, and pompadour-sporting balladeer Porter Wagoner chat backstage during the third annual Grand Masters Fiddling contest at Opryland on June 16, 1974. Wagoner and Parton ended their seven year professional partnership that same summer, documented in the “backwoods barbie’s” career-making record, “I Will Always Love You.” Photography by Jack Corn / The Tennessean
Paul McCartney and devoted wife-keyboardist-backing vocalist-photographer Linda Eastman hold court on the front porch of country songwriter Curly Putman’s 133-acre farm in Lebanon, Tennessee, on July 17, 1974, during a highly informal press conference the day before Wings’ six week rehearsal sojourn in Nashville ended. Putman wrote Tom Jones’ tear-jerker ballad, “Green, Green Grass of Home,” Roger Miller’s “Dad Blame Anything a Man Can’t Quit,” Dolly Parton’s “Dumb Blonde,” Tammy Wynette’s “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” and George Jones’s iconic CMA Song of the Year “He Stopped Loving Her Today.” McCartney penned Wings’ No. 3 POP single “Junior’s Farm” during the summer of 1974 in tribute to Putman’s hospitality and recorded it at Sound Shop Studios. Photography by Robert Johnson / The Tennessean
Paul McCartney leans down to chat with reclining acoustic guitarist Chet Atkins during the Wings leader’s June 6 — July 18, 1974, recording summit in Nashville, Tennessee, that yielded “Junior’s Farm” and “Sally G.” Photography by Linda McCartney / MPL Communications / Beatle Photo Blog
Captured in a Nashville studio in 1976, guitar maestro-record impresario Chet Atkins coolly puffs on a cigar while brandishing an ornate, one-off custom built Martin acoustic guitar. Atkins’ biggest instrumental hits were “Mister Sandman” [No. 13 C&W], “Yakety Axe” [No. 4 C&W], and “Prissy” [No. 30 C&W]. Photography by Jim McGuire / NashvillePortraits.com
Clad in a black leather motorcycle jacket, Paul McCartney and wife-photographer-keyboardist-harmony vocalist Linda Eastman happily lock arms for the Italian single 45 cover of Wings’ “Sally G.,” the No. 17 POP B-side of the even bigger-charting No. 3 “Junior’s Farm,” dropped on November 4, 1974. Image Credit: 45Cat user Claudio1952 / Apple Corps
Listen to Wings featuring Paul McCartney dispatch “Sally G,” recorded on July 9, 1974, during the band’s visit to Nashville, Tennessee. The full-blown country tune actually landed at No. 17 POP when unleashed as the B-side of the balls to the wall rocker “Junior’s Farm” on November 4, 1974. Video Credit: YouTube user NowhereMan113; Music Credit: EMI Music / Capitol Records
The Country Hams [aka Paul McCartney with Nashville pianist Floyd Cramer and guitar axeman Chet Atkins] tackle “Walking in the Park with Eloise.” Music Credit: Universal Music Group; Video Credit: YouTube user Ivan Acosta
Circa November 1970, a stubble-growing Paul McCartney overdubs keyboards while fetching wife Linda pays close attention during the New York City recording sessions at CBS Studios for “Ram,” the second solo album dropped by the “Eat at Home” songwriter. Image Credit: MPL Communications

Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ someone fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: jeremylr@windstream.net

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