The Recoup Videocast: The Paul McCartney/Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon Videos

For those of us of a certain age, we recall fondly Jerry Lewis‘s annual MDA Telethon. Now abbreviated to an hour or so, back then it would run from Sunday night to Monday night. It was an interesting time, with live performances, guest stars, sad stories, and Jerry Lewis telling jokes.

One of the things they did would be to debut videos by certain artists. It was a way to bring in viewers, and as MTV hadn’t taken root of teen culture, it would be a great way to attract the younger crowd to the cause. As a kid, I have very distinct memories of pulling all-nighters…or attempting to, at least…in order to see the videos and the surprises.

The Telethon would also mark the end of the summer, as schools back then’s first day was almost always the Tuesday after Labor Day, so the all-nighter was a final blast of summertime fun. (Though, truth be told, I usually crashed at about 1:30 or 2:00 AM).

For several years, Paul McCartney debuted a number of videos on the program, and I have great memories of getting excited about watching the Macca performances. I’ve compiled them–my recollection starts with 1979’s “Getting Closer” and ends with 1986’s “Press.” The only year he did not do so that I remember is 1981, when, in the wake of John Lennon‘s murder, Lennon’s 1972 live appearance on the show was rebroadcast.

One thing that comes to mind when I watch these videos now is that even though McCartney’s songwriting wasn’t always his best during this period, the man could make a good video.

Enjoy, and have a safe Labor Day!

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