Paul McCartney & Wings – Medicine Jar

This was the first song recorded by Paul McCartney’s group Wings to feature another member on all lead vocals. It is an anti-drug song sung by lead guitarist Jimmy McCulloch (ex-Thunderclap Newman). Colin Allen, who was the drummer in the band Stone The Crows with McCulloch, wrote the lyrics, and McCulloch wrote the music.

Jimmy McCulloch was a guitar prodigy… He was playing in a band called The Jaygars when he was 11. He was in the band One In A Million supporting The Who when he was 14 and in the band Thunderclap Newman in 1969 when he was 16. He went on to play with John Mayall (Mayall knew how to pick guitar players) and Stone the Crows… He then went to play with Paul McCartney and Wings in 1974. He gave Paul’s songs an edge and I wish he would have stayed in Wings longer.

He left Wings to play with the reformed Small Faces in 1977.  In 1979 he sadly died of heart failure due to morphine and alcohol poisoning. You have to wonder how much more Jimmy could have achieved if he would have lived.

The version I’m most familiar with is the live version from Wings Over America. The song was originally on the Venus and Mars album. Venus and Mars peaked at #1 in 1975 in the Billboard Album Charts and Wings Over America peaked at #1 in 1977.

 

Medicine Jar

What’s wrong with you?
I wish, I knew
You say, time will tell
I hope that’s true

There’s more to life than blues and reds
I say, I know how you feel
Now your friends are dead

Dead on your feet, you won’t get far
If you keep on sticking your hand
In the medicine jar

Now don’t give up
Whatever you do
You say, time will tell
I hope that’s true

If you go down and lose your head
I say, I know how you feel
Now your friends are dead

Dead on your feet, you won’t get far
If you keep on sticking your hand
In the medicine jar

I said, “Dead on your feet, you won’t get far
If you keep on sticking your hand
In the medicine jar”

Check it

What can I do?
I can’t let go
You say, time will heal
But very slow

So don’t forget the things you said
I say, I know how you feel
Now your friends are dead

Dead on your feet, you won’t get far
If you keep on sticking your hand
In the medicine jar

Dead on your feet, you won’t get far
If you keep on sticking your hand
In the medicine jar

Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar

Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar
Medicine jar

Juinor’s Farm/Sally G. by Paul McCartney and Wings

Juinor’s Farm/Sally G. single by Paul McCartney and Wings.

I had this single as a kid. Juinor’s Farm and Sally G were both partially recorded in Nashville during Paul’s six-week stay there in 1974. Juinor’s Farm is one of my favorite songs by Paul McCartney. The song rocks and the solo was performed by a 21-year-old Jimmy McCulloch. The song reached #3 in America. The band stayed at a farm in Lebanon TN around 30 miles from Nashville. I remember at the time it being big news that Paul McCartney was going to record in Nashville. I was seven years old and remember seeing Paul on the local news.

Jimmy McCulloch was a guitar prodigy… He was playing in a band when he was 11. He was in a band supporting The Who when he was 14 and in the band Thunderclap Newman in 1969 when he was 16. He went on to play with John Mayall (That guy knew how to pick guitar players) and Stone the Crows… He then went to play with Paul McCartney and Wings in 1974. He gave Paul’s songs an edge and I wish he would have stayed in Wings longer.

He left Paul to play with the reformed Small Faces in 1977.  In 1979 died of heart failure due to morphine and alcohol poisoning. You have to wonder how much better this guy could have been…

The B side was Sally G. and it hit #17 on the Billboard charts and even #51 on the country charts. This song has stayed with me through the years. When I listen to it…I think, now this is more of a what a country song should sound like. I really hate modern country music. No pickup trucks or tractors in this song. Modern country music could learn a lot by listening to country songs in this period and earlier. Paul composed the song after visiting a club in Printer’s Alley in Nashville.

This was McCartney’s last release on Apple Records

sallyg.jpg

This is from the Tennessean about Paul’s 1974 visit to Nashville. It was written by Dave Paulson

1974
Paul McCartney touched down at Metropolitan airport with his family on the evening of June 6, 1974, emerging from the plane wearing a green battle jacket and flashing a peace sign. The Tennessean reported that Paul answered questions “briefly but willingly” and even humored a group of kids who were amused by his British accent (he said the word “elevator” at their request).
The music superstar told a crowd of about 50 fans and members of the press that he’d come to Nashville for his three Rs — rehearsing, relating and riding. Music producer and executive Buddy Killen, who would act as the McCartneys’ Music City guide during their six-week stay here that summer, greeted the family upon their arrival.
The McCartneys rented a 133-acre farm just outside of Lebanon from songwriter Curly Putman (“Green, Green Grass of Home”) for $2,000 a week. They had requested a farm within 50 miles of Nashville that had horses and swimming facilities.
“I’ve got a farm in Scotland,” McCartney told reporters during an informal press conference on the farm. “You’re not the only people who have farms, you know. Back in Scotland, we’re country people in our own way.”
During their stay, the family visited the homes of Johnny Cash and Chet Atkins and even took in a few movies at their local drive-in.
McCartney and his family caused quite a stir when they joined the audience at Opryland for the third annual Grand Masters Fiddling Contest on June 16, 1974. During the intermission, Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton performed their final show together before Parton embarked on her solo career. Linda McCartney got out of her seat several times to take photos of the duo. The McCartneys went backstage to meet with Wagoner and Parton, and then escaped into a waiting automobile.
McCartney told Nashville reporters that he was raised on country music, and he tried his hand at a bit of country songwriting while he was in town: He wrote the song “Sally G.” after a trip to Printer’s Alley.
McCartney drove around on a newly purchased motorcycle during the family’s Nashville visit. When a group of reporters waited at the Putman farm gate for a “highly informal” press conference, Paul and Linda rode past, smiling and waving.
Linda told The Tennessean she was “not much into materialism anymore,” though she had made a recent trip to Rivergate to purchase gifts for her family. Another big machine Paul loved — the Mellotron synthesizer — was not readily available in Tennessee at the time, to his chagrin.
As his time in Tennessee came to a close, McCartney told a group of local reporters that he hoped to mount a U.S. tour the following year, and that if it happened, Music City would definitely be on the itinerary.
“We just couldn’t skip Nashville,” he said. “We have too many friends here.”
McCartney continued to skip Nashville for the next 36 years.

When Paul did come I was there in 2010… he also came back in 2013 and I was there again. Three hours of one favorite after another…