The Musicians That Inspired Paul McCartney During His Career

The Musicians That Inspired Paul McCartney During His Career

Paul McCartney is an English artist who came to world prominence for being the bassist and singer of the rock band The Beatles. He was a co-founder and core member of The Beatles between 1960 and 1970. After the band was disbanded following the death of John Lennon, the musician has continued his solo career.

During his ongoing solo career, Paul McCartney has released eighteen studio albums in total. Debuted in 1970 with his self-titled solo record, McCartney released his latest solo studio album on December 18, 2020, named McCartney III. He has received 5x Platinum certifications by RIAA at press time.

When we mentioned McCartney‘s honors, he has received 18 Grammy Awards in total, including his solo career, The Beatles career, and as a member of Wings. He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, in 1988 as a solo artist and 1999 as a member of The Beatles. Moreover, in 1971, Paul McCartney received Academy Award with his former band.

However, back in 1991, Paul McCartney revealed some of his inspirations during an interview with Charlie Rose. Revealing three different unique names, McCartney had explained how they inspired him. He also mentioned why he felt they were important for The Beatles.

The Musicians That Inspired Paul McCartney

Little Richard

Little Richard was one of those names Paul McCartney told as one of his influences. The 87-year-old musician, who was born in 1947 and passed away in 2020, had released 19 studio albums throughout his career. Being one of the greatest musicians in music history, Little Richard was inducted into the Rock Hall in 1986.


“Little Richard was a big influence on me because I do a lot a sort of screamy thing that is directly base on what he does,” McCartney explained why he loved Little Richard so much. “Yes, Richard if you’re watching I admit it all. ‘I taught you that Paul, woo woo, oh come on Paul you know I did!’ That’s true Richard, you did.”

Later then, McCartney said during the interview that he owes him too many things. He also said he didn’t even know whether he would watch the interview. He made a joke and said he would get him the tape of the interview.

“I owe him a lot,” he admits. “I doubt he is going to be watching this show. We will get him a tape.”

Back in the early ’60s, McCartney‘s band The Beatles had opened for Little Richard. At the time, Richard had advised them how to perform his records. He had also taught McCartney his distinctive vocalizations.

Paul McCartney Admits Elvis Presley Was The Second

In the continuation of his words, McCartney had named Elvis Presley was another musician that influenced him during his career.

Elvis Presley was an American singer who was dubbed the King of Rock and Roll because of his huge successes. Being one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, Elvis Presley had released 23 studio albums in total. He has sold 1.5 billion records worldwide.

However, during the interview, McCartney had discussed how Presley influenced him and his band The Beatles. He also mentioned how they reacted to him whenever they saw him.


“Elvis, I think it was the biggest influence,” Paul said. “I think all of us went off Elvis after he joined the army because he was so magical before the army.

“He looked great, he just looked great, whenever you saw photos of him it was like ‘Who’s that?’ I think he was like one of the world’s greatest vocalists.”

Concluding his words about Presley, McCartney had mentioned his voice. Admitting that he was a huge fan of him, McCartney stated that his voice was extraordinary.

“He was heck of a voice, I was a major, major fan,” he admitted. “When we went into the army it all got sort of ‘Yes sir, sir, sir, okay sir’ and the songs went downhill, sort of ‘Hard Headed Woman’ stuff, the trombone solo, sorry love.”

Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly was the third and latest name Paul McCartney named as his influence. Throughout his career from 1952 to 1959, he had contributed to the music with his 3 studio albums. He also released 29 compilation albums.

Making his debut appearance on TV in 1952, Buddy Holly had opened for Elvis Presley in 1955. After his opening for the great late music icon, Holly had decided to pursue a solo career. Even though he had a short career, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. He has influenced iconic artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Elton John, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan.

However, while mentioning Buddy Holly as his influence, McCartney had said he had a big influence on The Beatles as well. Revealing a fact about his bandmate John Lennon, Paul said Buddy Holly was the one who allowed John to wear glasses.


“Buddy Holly big influence on us all,” McCartney says. “Buddy Holly allowed John to wear glasses.

“John had these big thick horn glasses but he always had to take them off if girls were around. So it made it very difficult to sort of lead him on stage, it was like ‘which way are they?’

“So when Buddy Holly came along he was able to sort of wear them proudly. So Buddy was a big influence.

“It always seemed that anyone who wore glasses couldn’t make it as a singer, or at least they would have to take the glasses off and have contacts in, or something. But suddenly, the singer appeared and we were getting ready to start The Beatles.”

Concluding, McCartney explained how Buddy Holly influenced The Beatles.


“I remember a sunday night at the Palladium, they used to have a big variety show and Buddy was on that once. That was the big occasion to watch his fingers to see what guitar he had, to see if he played the chords right, how he did that solo in ‘Peggy Sue.’

“We used to write songs like Buddy. The very first songs that John I wrote we sag off school and go to my house sit down with guitars. From that we got ‘Love Me Do’, like the first two or three chords job. It all came out of this idea of three chords.”

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