Paul McCartney recorded a version of Carl Perkins’ ‘Movie Magg’ for his 1999 album Run Devil Run.

Perkins wrote ‘Movie Magg’ at the age of 13. It was recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, and released as a single in March 1955.

I knew Carl, he was a great old country boy who used to pick cotton and he’d have all these stories. This one is about his girlfriend Maggie, who he’d sometimes take to the movies on his mule, old Becky. They had no car so they rode to the movie show. And it’s true.
Paul McCartney
Run Devil Run liner notes

Movie Magg is a Carl Perkins song. And as you may know, the Beatles were really major fans of Carl. And we had a lot of his records, really, in our formative years. And it was another artist who we’d sit around playing. And we did a lot of his songs, actually.

‘Movie Magg’ was one I always liked. It’s a crazy little song. When I got to know Carl later on, I asked him about that. I said, ‘What is that song about then?’ And Carl was such a country dude that he actually picked cotton when he was a kid, you know. He is from a very poor family. So he’ll tell you stories, and actually this story is about him going to take this girl Maggie to the movies, and he wants to take her on his horse of his called Becky. And it turns out it’s a mule. And it’s a real horse. He said, ‘Well, Paul, you know, when I was a kid, we had a mule called Becky.’ And it turns out this is like his, this is a real story. He had a girl friend called Maggie and he did polish up old Becky and they rode on Becky’s back to the movies.

So I just thought, that is just so great. So wild. I mean, I loved Carl telling me stories. He had some, he had a wealth of great stories he’d tell. And they just go back, just that bit further than I go back. I mean, they go back into the cotton fields; my dad was a cotton salesman. But we didn’t go back to the fields, you know, so I love that song just because of it. Just ’cause there was such a close connection with Carl.

Paul McCartney
Run Devil Run Best Buy bonus interview disc

McCartney is known to have previously performed ‘Movie Magg’ on 30 October 1980 during a Wings rehearsal, and on 27 April 1993 in a jam session with Perkins.

The Run Devil Run version was recorded at Abbey Road Studios on 2 March 1999, along with ‘Shake A Hand’.

When we came to do it, we had the full band in. Then it was like, maybe we don’t need piano. So then Pete went off. And then it was like maybe we don’t need all the guitars. So I think Dave went off. And it was like, maybe we don’t need any guitars. So then, I tell a lie, the only time I got off bass was to play acoustic guitar on that track. That’s actually the only time. So that’s what happened. The whole band, we were starting calling ourselves the Dwindlers, ’cause we were like dwindling away. It was just me, and the drummer left, you know. Funnily enough it sounds the most instant, but it was probably the most worked on, that. But I wanted to do it, ’cause it’s kind of a homage to Carl. And I love the song.
Paul McCartney
Run Devil Run Best Buy bonus interview disc

Previous song: ‘Try Not To Cry’
Next song: ‘Brown Eyed Handsome Man’
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