Paul McCartney – Walking In The Park With Eloise single artworkWritten by: James McCartney Snr
Recorded: June-July 1974
Producer: Paul McCartney

Released: 18 October 1974 (UK), 2 December 1974 (US)

Personnel

Paul McCartney: bass guitar
Chet Atkins: guitar
Floyd Cramer: piano
Denis Good, Bobby Thompson, Bill Puitt: saxophone
Don Sheffield: trumpet
Geoff Britton: drums

‘Walking In The Park With Eloise’ was written by Paul McCartney’s father Jim, and recorded in Nashville in 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.
Paul McCartney
Anthology

After recording Band On The Run in Nigeria, McCartney recruited new musicians for the next iteration of Wings. Among them was drummer Geoff Britton. He was flown to Nashville in the summer where rehearsals took place with the new line-up.

While there, McCartney recorded the single ‘Junior’s Farm’ and an instrumental, ‘Walking In The Farm With Eloise’. The latter featured a number of guest musicians including guitarist Chet Atkins.

We were having dinner with Chet Atkins, the guitar player, one night in Nashville, and Paul had been playing a lot of his music for Chet, and he said: ‘Here’s one that my dad wrote a long time ago’ – and he started playing it. Chet got talking to Paul, saying that the song should be recorded and that it would be nice for his dad. So we got Chet playing on it and Floyd Cramer, the piano player, and Chet got together a nice little band called The Country Hams with lots of other Nashville people.
Linda McCartney
Lennon and McCartney: Together Alone, John Blaney

The release

‘Walking In The Park With Eloise’ was released in late 1974 in the UK (EMI 2220) and USA (EMI 3977), credited to The Country Hams. It did not reach the singles chart in either country.

The b-side was ‘Bridge Over The River Suite’, a Paul McCartney instrumental recorded over two sessions in 1972 and 1973, with brass overdubs added in July 1974 Nashville.

Despite its lack of commercial success, McCartney’s father was delighted to have one of his compositions professionally recorded and released.

He loved having a record out – but he’s very shy… and he didn’t like all the publicity. I remember him being very emotional about it when I first played it to him. He said I really shouldn’t have bothered, but I know he enjoyed it.
Paul McCartney
Lennon and McCartney: Together Alone, John Blaney

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.