Paul McCartney awarded “most successful songwriter of all time” by Guinness World Records

Wednesday, October 24, 1979

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With 129 of the songs he has written/co-written charting in the UK, Paul McCartney (UK) lays claim to the most songs to feature in the UK singles chart. An astonishing 91 of his singles reach the Top 10, with 33 of those making it to No.1. Here he is pictured with his wife, Linda, at a dinner in his honour hosted by Guinness World Records at Les Ambassadeurs Club in London on 24 October 1979.

From Club Sandiwch, N°17, 1980:

Most Successful Composer of All Time.

Holder of Record Number of Gold Discs.

World’s Most Successful Recording Artist.

That’s Paul. And it was official when Norris McWhirter, Editor of the famed Guinness Book of Records presented Paul with the world’s first Rhodium disc and along with it the title of “Most Honoured Man in Music.”

By now of course, you will probably have read all about the award to Paul. However you would have had to be there to really experience the excitement that surrounded this unique tribute to Paul.

Guinness Superlatives, publishers of the Guinness Book of Records decided to make this special award to Paul saying: “It has been our practice, over many years, to issue certificates to new world record holders. We thought of making this presentation to him to mark the fact that he is a triple superlative who has featured in so many of our editions that we have come to regard him as a virtual fixture. To be a superlative is hard enough, to be a triple superlative is something very rare indeed.”

And since Paul’s achievements are rather extraordinary it was decided that something unique should also be given to mark the award. Gold and platinum discs are quite commonplace nowadays so it was decided to give Paul the first ever disc to be pressed in Rhodium — one of the most rare of precious metals.

Well not only did journalists, camera crews and radio people fly in from all over the world to attend the presentation ceremony, but also some very special people — other superlatives from the Guinness Book of Records. Following an introductory speech by Norman St. John Stevas, Minister for The Arts, the other superlatives were introduced: John Conteh, boxing champion; David Purley, the racing driver who survived a decceleration from 108 mph to 0 mph in 26 inches, a force of 178.9 g’s; Tim Rice, the lyricist who is co-writer of the largest selling album recorded in Britain, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, and Georges Schmidt, a linguist fluent in 31 languages.

Paul seemed to be particularly fascinated to meet Vulna Vulovich, the Jugoslavenski Aerotransport Hostess, who survived a fall of over 33, 330 ft without a parachute when her DC-9 blew up over the Czechoslovak village of Ceska Kamenice. Also there was ballet dancer Wayne Sleep, who holds the record for most entrechats (a crossing and uncrossing of the legs during a leap in the air).

Apart from the Rhodium disc, Guinness Superlatives also presented Paul with a cake, the size of an evening newspaper, decorated as a replica of the Guinness Book of Records.

Cameras clicked all evening, newspapermen scrambled to get to Paul and Linda — in all it was a very hectic evening. But all the excitement well matched the occasion: the heralding of Paul as the man who has taken over from all others as ‘the most honoured man in music.’

From Paul McCartney Photos – Paul McCartney Beatles Life in Pictures ( – McCartney receives an award given by Guinness World Records for his record sales on October 24, 1979 in London.
From PAUL MCCARTNEY VICTORIA PRINCIPAL PICTURED GUINNESS Editorial Stock Photo – Stock Image | Shutterstock -Mandatory Credit: Photo by Evening News/Shutterstock (889736a) Paul Mccartney And Victoria Principal Pictured At The Guinness Book Of Records. The Ex-beatle Was Awarded The First Rhodium Disc For Getting Three Major Entries In The Records Book. He Was Dubbed The Most Successful Composer Of All Time. 1979
From Daily Mirror – Thursday 25 October 1979
From Liverpool Echo – Wednesday 26 September 1979
From Melody Maker – November 3, 1979
From Sounds – October 13, 1979

Last updated on July 25, 2023

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