‘Walking In The Park With Eloise’ was written by McCartney’s father Jim, and recorded in Nashville in the summer of 1974.
My father did write a song – only the one, to my knowledge – and many years later I said, ‘Dad, you know that song you wrote: ‘Walking In The Park With Eloise’?’ He said, ‘I didn’t write it – I just made it up.’ Anyway, I told him that I’d recorded it with some friends of mine in Nashville. One of the friends was Chet Atkins, and he’d brought along Floyd Cramer. We got together and made a little recording of the song specially to play to my dad.
In the studio
Paul McCartney recorded a basic version of ‘Bridge Over The River Suite’ on acoustic guitar during the ‘Country Dreamer’ session at Abbey Road on 26 September 1972.
More than a year later, at EMI’s Paris studio in November 1973, McCartney returned to the recording. With guitarists Denny Laine and Jimmy McCulloch and temporary drummer Davy Lutton, more instruments were added to the song.
‘Bridge Over The River Suite’ was completed on 11 July 1974 in Nashville with saxophone, trumpet, and trombone overdubs. The brass section was scored by McCartney and Tony Dorsey.
The ‘Walking In The Park With Eloise’ single was released in the UK and USA, but did not chart in either country.
Paul McCartney appeared on the BBC Radio 4 show Desert Island Discs on 30 January 1982. Among his eight chosen records was ‘Walking In The Park With Eloise’.
EMI reissued the single in the UK to coincide with the broadcast. The label was cream with black lettering, and the EMI logo was red and at the bottom centre.
The single again failed to chart. It sold few copies and again became a collector’s item.