Recording "Junior's Farm"

Jul 16 - 18, 1974 • For Paul McCartney & Wings

Part of


Nashville sessions

July 1974 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Junior's Farm / Sally G

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Junior's Farm / Sally G 7" Single.
Studio:
Soundshop Recording Studios, Nashville, USA

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About

From Paul McCartney hit ‘Junior’s Farm’: Unearthed interview gives insight (usatoday.com) – Former Beatle Paul McCartney takes his wife, Linda, for a spin around the lawn of the home of songwriter Curly Putman July 17, 1974, where the McCartneys have been living during their visit to Nashville. ROBERT JOHNSON / THE TENNESSEAN

Bart Herbison: We did “Green Green Grass of Home,” that you wrote. But this is a song written about you. So your publisher Buddy Killen says somebody wants to stay in your farm one summer down in Lebanon, Tennessee. 

Curly Putman: Paul McCartney and Wings were coming over here to do a tour. And Paul’s wife Linda, her father was Tree Publishing Company’s lawyer. (Paul) told him to find them some place to stay where they could rehearse for their tour. So we went out and Buddy looks all over the country for ’em.

You know, a place suitable with horses and things that they might like. We couldn’t find anything, so Buddy was sweet talking me and said, “Curly, why don’t you let them stay at your place?”

BH: Like the Godfather, I think they made an offer you couldn’t refuse (laughs).

CP: That’s kind of what it was. He said “We’ll have a good contract on it and pay you good for staying the six weeks.” I said, “Well, what am I gonna do?” Anyhow, I relented, let them rent my place for six weeks for a pretty good little chunk of money. I won’t say much, because I can’t remember, but it helped pay for my farm. And my son, Troy. He was he was about 14, 15, and my wife and I decided we’d go to Hawaii and let Paul McCartney pay for it…

We had two houses. One the band, Wings stayed in…they stayed in the little small house down the road and they had a gate there then had to keep somebody at the gate to keep people from coming in. I live up on a hill.

Troy had a road bike, a nice one. I said, ‘You better put this up some place where they can’t find it, because some of these guys they’ll run it all over the world and then tear it up. But Paul found it and loved it. He rode all over Wilson County and Lebanon, up and down the highway. People would see him and they wouldn’t even know who he was. 

BH: The story behind the song this week, though, was when he went back, Wings released a little song called “Junior’s Farm.” Who was Junior?

CP: Well, Junior was me. I didn’t know at first, that he did this for me, but Claude Putman Jr. is my real name. 

I was in an obscure record store in London, England last year. I found a British copy of “Junior’s Farm.” farm that I thought you might want…It says, “Recorded on a farm in Lebanon, Tennessee.” Did they do it at your house, or another recording studio?

They did it at Sound Shop, which Buddy owned. I didn’t have a recording studio, but I had a double car garage. That’s where they set their band up and rehearsed. We got back from Hawaii, and I was anxious to get back home, of course. We were walking up the driveway and they saw us coming, and Paul and the band started playing “Green, Green Grass of Home” (laughs). It was an experience. 

Interview with Curly Putman, circa 2013 – From Paul McCartney hit ‘Junior’s Farm’: Unearthed interview gives insight (usatoday.com)

From Just Backdated: PAUL McCARTNEY, JUNIOR’S FARM & MM’s MAN DAN, July 2019:

My discovery of photographs of The Beatles at the Gaumont Theatre in Bradford has had an unexpected repercussion in that they, and the accompanying Just Backdated post, were seen by Dan Ealey who, in 1974, called me in New York from Tennessee applying for the job of Nashville correspondent for Melody Maker.

Part of my job as MM’s US editor in those days was to appoint and maintain a string of correspondents in big cities around the country who would send me stories and reviews of important shows happening locally that I hadn’t covered myself in New York. Dan’s phone call was motivated by news of an impending visit to the area by Paul McCartney & Wings and the likelihood that Paul might do something newsworthy, like hold a press conference or even stage a small private show. In the event he did neither but this didn’t deter Dan, a massive Beatles fan, from calling me to claim he was an experienced reporter, which he wasn’t, and extracting from me the letter below that confirms his appointment as ‘Melody Maker’s representative’. There is sometimes a fine line between initiative and deceitfulness but I’m willing, especially now, to give Dan the benefit of the doubt and warmly applaud his resourcefulness.

Armed with my letter Dan set out to find out where Paul, Linda and the rest of Wings were staying. It turned out to be a farm belonging to songwriter Curly ‘Junior’ Putnam – writer of ‘Green Green Grass Of Home’ – at Lebanon in Wilson County, Tenn. Dan arrived at the farm gates, brandished my letter and was invited to drive in, whereupon he clocked Denny Laine and Jimmy McCulloch on the lawn and opened up a conversation by asking them to demonstrate how to play the opening lick to ‘Band On The Run’. Jimmy obliged, using a Les Paul that belonged to his bandmate who was with him and which just happened to be in back seat of his car, as did Dan’s Rickenbacker bass which Paul borrowed for three weeks. In that time Dan became a bit of a fixture at the farm, doing odd jobs, manning the gate and generally making himself useful.

Dan had his picture taken with Paul who wore a fancy embroidered shirt that Dan had given him, and was on gate duty the night that Jerry Reed, Chet Atkins and Roy Orbison arrived for supper. He also smuggled a tape recorder into the grounds and recorded Wings rehearsing, not just familiar material like ‘Let Me Roll It’, ‘Maybe I’m Amazed’ and ‘My Love’ but a new song that turned out to be ‘Junior’s Farm’, inspired, of course, by the location.

I never heard from Dan again, which is probably not surprising; no reports of Paul’s activities in the Bible Belt, no insightful revues of country stars at the Grand Ole Opry, no speculation on who might become the next big thing from the home of C&W. In truth, I forgot all about Dan and the letter I wrote, probably because these correspondents from around the USA came and went pretty quickly, no doubt because the rewards were miniscule even they did bring about free tickets to gigs.

That is, until two days ago. It seems Dan’s brush with Paul & Wings has made him something of a local celebrity, and this week he sent me clips from two TV shows in which he tells his story, with my letter featuring in both. And if they make me look like the victim of an ingenious ruse, then, like Rhett Butler, frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.  

Chris Charlesworth

Last updated on October 20, 2023

Songs recorded


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