May 1971 – Uncle Albert by Paul McCartney

May 1971 – a song popular in this month – Uncle Albert by Paul McCartney

Albert was Albert Kendall, who married Paul’s aunt Milly (becoming “Uncle Albert”) and provided inspiration for a portion of this song suite. Albert had a habit of getting drunk and reading from The Bible; the only time he read from the Bible was when he was drinking.

Interesting facts about Uncle Albert & Paul McCartney

“Uncle Albert – Admiral Halsey” contains 12 different sections over the course of its 4:50 running time. This jumble of musical textures, comic character voices, sound effects and changing tempos turned off a lot of listeners, but many others thought it was brilliant.

The song wasn’t released as a single in the UK, but in America it became McCartney’s first #1 hit as a solo artist.

Linda McCartney is credited as a co-writer on this song with Paul. She sang background and contributed some of the vocal ideas, but how much she actually wrote on the song is questionable.

The flugelhorn solo that leads into the “Hands across the water” section was played by American bebop trumpeter Marvin Stamm.

This song won the Grammy Award for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists in 1971.

This information was provided by

31 thoughts on “May 1971 – Uncle Albert by Paul McCartney

  1. I remember this well, there was so much anticipation about this album. I had always been a McCartney fan – my bedroom walls were covered in photos from the Beatles magazine. When this came out, my friend and I stayed up all night listening to it over and over. His dad came downstairs at one point to complain about the noise! I walked home at dawn still singing it in my head.

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  2. You know, I hadn’t really paid really close attention to the “jumble of musical textures” until you pointed them out. I’ve always thought of it as a strange, fun song that takes me back to my high school years. Love your musical knowledge! Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I never thought Linda could’ve co-written this … it’s so totally Liverpool Paul. She was a huge and magnificent influence on him and I actually loved Wings but this is so very very pre Linda in its tone, so very English. Anyway – I ramble but I love love love this post … again you have turned up a gem I had forgotten about and shouldn’t have. Now on my playlist for rambling with The Bean!!

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  4. I was one year old when this song came out. I remember hearing it years later. While I wasn’t a fan of the Beatles–I know, I know—I do remember this song vividly, as well as Yellow Submarine. I know my parents had at least one of their albums that we played on the huge stereo system that was a piece of furniture. You could store the records in one side of it, and we played both 45s and LPs on it. Thank you for this post down memory lane. Looking forward to reading more.

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