Saturday 21 May 2022




There is one interesting link that ties McCartney to Winston-Salem.
Paul, meet Clarence Paul.
Born in Winston-Salem, Clarence Paul was a musician and early Motown executive who mentored a young Stevie Wonder. He was also a prolific songwriter whose credits include “Hitch Hike,” a song he co-wrote with Marvin Gaye and Mickey Stevenson. Released in 1962 on Tamla, an early Motown imprint, “Hitch Hike” was Gaye’s first Top 30 single. It’s also one of McCartney’s favorite songs.
The bluesy rave-up reached the ears of Paul McCartney and Beatles bandmates John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, all voracious consumers of American music.

There’s plenty of evidence to indicate that the Beatles loved the song.

During the famous “Let It Be” sessions( Recorded January 3, 1969), the band played a cover of “Hitch Hike,” with George Harrison on vocals. The snippet is not included in either of the documentaries about those sessions, but there is an audio snippet.

McCartney has covered “Hitch Hike” several times as a solo artist, including a 2011 concert in Detroit when he told the audience, “This is one of my favorites.” And the Detroit show is the last time he has played “Hitch Hike.”












Many Beatles historians think “Hitch Hike” served as the inspiration for the John Lennon-penned song “You Can’t Do That,” off “A Hard Day’s Night.” Listen to the songs back-to-back and the similarities are striking.

The Beatles weren’t the only British rockers to love “Hitch Hike.” The Rolling Stones also covered the song.
And just to get super geeky about “Hitch Hike,” that distinctive stuttering guitar riff also shows up in The Velvet Underground’s “There She Goes Again” and The Smiths’ “There is a Light That Never Goes Out.”

Clarence Paul died in Los Angeles in 1995 at the age of 67 and is buried at Piedmont Memorial Gardens.
As for his brother’s group, the “5” Royales, the members were posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015. McCartney just happened to be there in Cleveland that night to induct his old bandmate Ringo Starr. 



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