McCartney reject tune hits West End
A pair of musicians whose long forgotten tune was once rejected by Sir Paul McCartney has seen the song included in a hit West End musical after triumphing in a national competition.
Semi-retired duo Larry Rushton, 60, and Arthur John Williams, 71, finally won recognition by claiming a spot in the stage show Dreamboats and Petticoats after their track was dusted down 30 years on.
The song 'It's Cryin' Time Again' had originally been written for a talent contest held by Sir Paul in 1981, but finished runner-up.
The song will debut in the rock & roll musical next week at the London Playhouse Theatre after it impressed contest judges Neil Sedaka, Don Black and Graham Gouldman. It will also feature during the show's third sell-out UK tour, as well as being included on a new volume of the Dreamboats And Petticoats album.
Cannock-based guitarist Rushton said: "I didn't even know the old song had been entered.
"My step-daughter Gemma saw the show last year and loved it, then saw Don Black on the telly announcing they were looking for a new song to use for the show and wanted to do a national talent search, which is part of the story of the musical.
"We originally wrote the song for a competition run by Paul McCartney in 1981. He'd just bought the Buddy Holly back catalogue and wanted a song to mark the occasion.
"We had to try and write a track that sounded as if Buddy Holly had written it. So we took all the chords from classic Holly songs - Peggy Sue, That'll Be The Day and so on - and put our own words to it. It sounded great, and we were sure we would win it. It could've been our big break."
The pair are delighted by the song's late blossoming success and Rushton said: "It's ironic really, that back then we would've done anything for fame and fortune. "Now me and Arthur are chuckling at the prospect of champagne and groupies, although we've not seen any yet."
Judge Black, lyricist for songs such as Goldfinger and Born Free, said: "I just loved this song. It sits among the great classics that are featured in the show."