Sunday 1 August 2021














Paul McCartney wrote the song during a six-week stay in Wilson County, Tennessee in 1974. He and his family rented a 133-acre farm just outside of Lebanon from songwriting great Curly Putman ("Green, Green Grass of Home").

Along for the ride was his band, Wings, who rehearsed in Putman's garage for an upcoming tour. And since this is Paul McCartney we're talking about, his surroundings inevitably inspired a future hit song: "Junior's Farm," released later that year.
Eventually, Putman — born Claude Putman Jr. — came to realize that he was "Junior."

The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member passed away in 2016, but in the interview he gave for "Story Behind the Song" in 2013, Putman talks to NSAI Executive Director Bart Herbison about the true tale behind "Junior's Farm."

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. 



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