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McCartney Gets "Standing" Ovation

October 16, 1997 12:00 AM ET

Paul McCartney showcased the most ambitious musical endeavor of his career on Tuesday. "Standing Stone," a 75-minute-long symphony which took the former Beatle four years to complete, was commissioned to honor the 100th Anniversary of the EMI Group.

Having never learned to read or write music, McCartney wrote the symphony by playing on a keyboard that was linked to a computer program. The symphony was held at London's Royal Albert Hall with the accompaniment of the London Symphony Orchestra and was conducted by Lawrence Foster. McCartney was called back to the stage several times by an applauding crowd. All proceeds from ticket sales were forwarded to Music Sound Foundation, a charity that assists and encourages young people to get involved in the arts. The symphony moves ahead now to New York, where it will be staged at the legendary Carnegie Hall in November.

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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