McCartney was born on 18 June 1942, in Walton Hospital, Liverpool, England, where his mother, Mary (née Mohin), had qualified to practise as a nurse. His father, James ("Jim") McCartney, was absent from his son's birth due to his work as a volunteer firefighter during World War II. Paul has one younger brother, Michael (born 7 January 1944). Though the children were baptised in their mother's Roman Catholic faith, their father, a former Protestant turned agnostic, felt Catholic schools sacrificed the education of their students for the sake of their religious teachings, so he and Mary did not emphasise religion in the household.
McCartney attended Stockton Wood Road Primary School from 1947 until 1949, when he transferred to Joseph Williams Junior School due to overcrowding at Stockton. In 1953, he passed the 11-plus exam, with only three others out of ninety examinees, gaining admission to the Liverpool Institute. In 1954, he met schoolmate George Harrison on the bus to the Institute from his suburban home in Speke. Harrison had also passed the exam, meaning he could attend a grammar school rather than a secondary modern school, where most pupils went until becoming eligible to work. The two quickly became friends; McCartney later admitted: "I tended to talk down to him, because he was a year younger."
The family's primary wage earner, Mary's income as a midwife enabled them to move into 20 Forthlin Road in Allerton, where they lived until 1964. She rode a bicycle to her patients; McCartney described an early memory of her leaving at "about three in the morning streets ... thick with snow". On 31 October 1956, when McCartney was fourteen, his mother died of an embolism. McCartney's loss later became a point of connection with John Lennon, whose mother, Julia, had died when he was seventeen.
A trumpet player and pianist who led Jim Mac's Jazz Band in the 1920s, McCartney's father kept an upright piano in the front room, and he encouraged his sons to be musical. Jim gave Paul a nickel-plated trumpet for his fourteenth birthday, but when rock and roll became popular on Radio Luxembourg, Paul traded it for a £15 Framus Zenith (model 17) acoustic guitar, rationalising that it would be difficult to sing while playing a trumpet. He found it difficult to play guitar right-handed, but after noticing a poster advertising a Slim Whitman concert and realising that Whitman also played left-handed, he reversed the order of the strings. McCartney wrote his first song, "I Lost My Little Girl", on the Zenith, and composed another early tune that would become "When I'm Sixty-Four" on the piano. Against his father's advice, he took few piano lessons, preferring to learn by ear. Heavily influenced by American rhythm and blues music, Little Richard was his schoolboy idol. "Long Tall Sally" was the first song McCartney performed in public, at a Butlins holiday camp talent competition.
Read more about this topic: Paul McCartney
Other articles related to "childhood":
... A childhood of luxury and privilege gave way to an early womanhood of decreased possibilities and genteel poverty ... Despite being "innately literary" from early childhood and the fact that Bonner wrote several stories that were published in small periodicals before she turned fifteen, her traditional upbringing and ...
... Beaty Early Childhood School Jupiter Center (currently closed) Isaacs Early Childhood School Pearson Early Childhood School ...
... (Semeinaya khronika, 1856 also translated as A Russian Gentleman) and Childhood Years of Bagrov Grandson (Detskie gody Bagrova-vnuka, 1858, translated as Years of Childhood) ... These reminiscences of a childhood spent in a Russian patriarchal family "brought Aksakov recognition as a literary artist of the first rank." Aksakov's semi-autobiographical narratives are ...
... was often shown on national television during his childhood years as a batboy for his father's teams ...
... Further information Childhood studies In recent years there has been a rapid growth of interest in the sociological study of adulthood ... have developed key links between the study of childhood and social theory, exploring its historical, political, and cultural dimensions in Ethiopia ...
Famous quotes containing the word childhood:
“Most childhood problems dont result from bad parenting, but are the inevitable result of the growing that parents and children do together. The point isnt to head off these problems or find ways around them, but rather to work through them together and in doing so to develop a relationship of mutual trust to rely on when the next problem comes along.”
—Fred Rogers (20th century)
“Modern children were considerably less innocent than parents and the larger society supposed, and postmodern children are less competent than their parents and the society as a whole would like to believe. . . . The perception of childhood competence has shifted much of the responsibility for child protection and security from parents and society to children themselves.”
—David Elkind (20th century)
“When we raise our children, we relive our childhood. Forgotten memories, painful and pleasurable, rise to the surface.... So each of us thinks, almost daily, of how our own childhood compares with our childrens, and of what our childrens future will hold.”
—Richard Louv (20th century)