Paul McCartney Muses on His Country-Inspired 1974 Wings Song, and Beyoncé’s Foray into Country

Paul McCartney has taken part in a new online Q&A to promote his just-released archival live album, One Hand Clapping, which he recorded with his old band Wings over the course of four days in August 1974 at the famous Abbey Road Studios in London. The performances were filmed for a planned video documentary and possible live album that wound up being shelved.

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The new One Hand Clapping collection, which was released on June 14, marks the first time that all of the audio from the August ’74 sessions has been officially made available. Among the songs McCartney and Wings performed was the country-flavored rarity “Sally G,” the studio version of which had recently been recorded in Nashville and was released as the B-side of the “Junior’s Farm” single in October 1974.

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In the Q&A, McCartney was asked in working in Nashville had influenced his songwriting.

“Yeah, I think so,” Paul replied. “Where you are can sometimes influence what you do. And yeah, on ‘Sally G’ I was definitely trying to be a country guy.”

Further explaining the point, McCartney noted, “I do pick up influences, so if I’m in a place like Jamaica for example and listening to reggae all day, then I’ll add a bit of that sound in, like we did [with Wings’ 1971 cover of Mickey & Sylvia’s] ‘Love Is Strange.’”

Reflecting on Other Stars Who’ve Shifted Musical Styles

In speaking about how recording in Nashville had inspired him to explore country music, McCartney also brought up how Beyoncé and another of contemporary music superstar had been delving into other genres.

[RELATED: Rare Paul McCartney & Wings Live Studio Album, One Hand Clapping, Gets Official Release Date]

“Hey, what about Beyoncé’s [new] album, [Cowboy Carter]? It’s cool, isn’t it?” the 82-year-old rock legend posed. McCartney continued, “It’s funny, there’s Beyoncé going back into country because she is a Texan, but there’s Taylor Swift coming from country into more pop/Beyoncé-land. It’s true that as a musician you pick up the influences around you.”

Of course, it’s not surprising that Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter album would be on Paul mind. It includes her much-talked about cover of the McCartney-penned Beatles classic “Blackbird.”

More About One Hand Clapping

The One Hand Clapping project came together in the wake of the release of the 1973 chart-topping McCartney and Wings album Band on the Run. The group’s core members of Paul and Linda McCartney, and Denny Laine had recently welcomed two new additions to the group—guitarist Jimmy McCulloch and drummer Geoff Britton.

The One Hand Clapping album kicks off with an instrumental jam that became the title track. It also features various Wings hits, and many of the songs from Band on the Run. In addition, the album includes a rendition of McCartney’s solo classic “Maybe I’m Amazed,” reworked segments of The Beatles’ “Let It Be,” “The Long and Winding Road,” and “Lady Madonna.” It also features a version of the Moody Blues hit “Go Now” sung by Laine (the latter group’s original frontman).

In addition, One Hand Clapping features Paul playing a solo piano version of the Tin Pan Alley gem “Baby Face.”

Release Details About One Hand Clapping

One Hand Clapping is available as a two-CD set, a two-LP collection, and via digital formats. An exclusive two-LP package available only online comes with a bonus 7-inch vinyl single. The disc features previously unreleased solo performances recorded in the backyard of Abbey Road.

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

McCartney’s 2024 Tour Plans

McCartney recently announced dates for a 2024 edition of his Got Back Tour. The trek will visit South America in October, Mexico in November, and Europe in December. You can check out his full schedule at

Tickets for McCartney’s concerts are available now via various outlets, including StubHub.

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