The Beatles

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1974: Junior's Farm

The single Junior's Farm is one of Wings biggest hits, becoming a number 3 hit single in the American charts. And that’s not all, in the United States also the B-side Sally G is a success. A fairly unique achievement in the history of pop music.

Junior's Farm is the first single of Wings in a new line up, with lead guitarist Jimmy McCulloch and on drums Geoff Britton, who both joined the band in Spring ‘74. To get to know each other better the band leaves to Nashville, Tennessee where they take up residence in a farm owned by songwriter Curly Putman Jr., known from the evergreen Green, Green Grass of Home. And that’s where the title refers to. On the farm, the track is written and practiced by the band. By the time Wings delves into a Nashville studio, it can be recorded virtually live. Apart from the chorus, the song isn’t about the farm. The lyrics are a kind of fantasy image in which different types passing by, like a poker player and an Eskimo. They can be found on the single sleeve which is used in some countries: Denny Laine as the Eskimo and Geoff Britton as the poker player.

Video: Junior's Farm

Remarkably, the single’s B-side has taken on a life of its own. Sally G is a country song par excellence, and that is picked up in the United States. The song gets a lot of airplay on country radio stations and gets into the country charts. Also in the Easy Listening charts Sally G does well, ranking seventh. And that again helps Sally G to find its way into the regular charts on her own. Thus, the single hits twice the Billboard Hot 100, with a third place as Junior's Farm and seventeenth as Sally G. And that's a fairly unique achievement in the history of pop music.

Video: Sally G

Although Junior's Farm was one of the biggest Wings hits, Wings nor McCartney solo played the song much live. At the beginning of the Wings over the World Tour in September 1975 it still is part of the set list, but by the time the band kicks off for the European leg of the tour, Junior's Farm is left out of it. A pity, as it certainly would have been a great addition to the live album Wings Over America. The single seems to be no favorite of McCartney to play live anyway. It takes until the 2011 On The Run Tour before Junior's Farm returns to the set list, to disappear again two years later in the mid of the Out There Tour. Since then, Junior's Farm live is an occasional one-off.

Video: Junior's Farm (Jimmy Kimmel Live)

Single Facts:
Recorded: July 1974, Sound Shop Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Release: 25 October 1974
Writers: Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney
Producer: Paul McCartney

Junior's Farm was McCartney's last single on The Beatles' label Apple.

André Homan

André Homan is a Dutch writer and journalist.

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