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Paul McCartney, Straight No Chaser Tackle 'Wonderful Christmas Time'

The Beatle pairs with a capella group for yuletide jam

Straight No Chaser
Andrew Zaeh
October 16, 2013 8:00 AM ET

We're still a few weeks from Halloween, but that doesn't mean it's too early to get into the Christmas spirit with Straight No Chaser.  The a cappella group is readying a star-studded EP, Under the Influence: Holiday Edition, for release on October 29th on Atlantic. You can pre-order the eight-track release; it features guest vocals from Colbie Caillat, Cee Lo Green and even the late Otis Redding.

Now, you can take an exclusive first listen to their collaboration with none other than Sir Paul McCartney, who joins the group for a rendition of his track "Wonderful Christmas Time" that swings, snaps and crackles with hearth-warmed harmonies.

Watch Paul McCartney Perform Three 'New' Songs on 'Fallon'

"The list of musical living legends starts with Paul McCartney," Straight No Chaser's Don Nottingham tells Rolling Stone. "If you'd asked me five years ago – or even five months ago – what collaboration would be totally unfathomable for me, I would have said McCartney. To have him on a song with us is totally unbelievable and a true honor."

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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