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#askNat – concerning the Playboy All-Star Band

This time around on #askNat I want to address a very interesting question I received on #askNat from one of our avid readers in Augusta Georgia named Roger Tomlin. Roger says this (note he calls me “Happy” instead of “Nat” here – which is okay because I was very happy that day):

John, Paul & Ringo caricatures in Playboy magazine 1968

Hello Happy….I have a friend who is like minded with us when it comes to the lads. He’s been telling me a story for years I can’t verify.  As you know, Pauley has always had a penchant for making records using pseudonyms (Country Hams, Suzy and The Red Stripes, etc.) and appearing on other artist’s recordings incognito.  Knowing this, it seems plausible that my friend’s story could be true. I just have never seen or heard anything on it. He says that for several years in the 1970′s, Paul sat in and played bass for Hugh Hefner’s Playboy house band (just as Paul Shaffer has celebrity artists occasionally sit in on the Letterman show). You’d think it would be a common, well known part of the Macca universe of historical data. Can you shed any light on this? Oh BTW, I only subscribed to it for the articles…great bunch of writers Hugh had!

Only the articles! Right Roger! But anyway, I quickly replied to Roger after he sent me his inquiry and explained that I’d have his question up on #askNat in a few weeks but in the interim he stumbled upon his own answer and wrote me back to let me know. And I’m very glad he did that. So rather than steal all the credit for myself, I’m going to share with you what Roger sent me a week or so later (note he calls me “Nat” instead of “Happy” here – which is always good whether I’m “happy” or Nat not):

Hello Nat,
You’ll recall that I inquired last week about Pauley sitting in with the Playboy house band. As I said, my friend has been telling me that story for years. However, I never investigated it because I wasn’t focused on Beatle history as much as I am now since I’ve become so fixed on The BeatlesRarity.com. A helluva site! I dig it so much I’m thinking of applying for a job at a cemetery……..sorry, that was uncalled for.
The thing is this: I’ve solved my own question, I believe. While surfing all over the Internet, as you know, sometimes you swerve into sites that give you info and data you never expected. Without going into a laundry list of all the places I looked, I can tell you the answer was found on Ebay. That’s right, Ebay.
From the early 1960′s until about the 1990′s or so, Playboy would have an annual reader’s poll to pick the “Playboy All-Star Jazz Band”. Each year they would reveal the results in an issue of Playboy. It was usually a cartoon drawing which showed each winner sitting in a band stand. Sir Paul won several years in the 1970′s for best “Bass Player.” One year, the reader’s actually picked our lads from Liverpool as the best “Vocal Group.”  I feel very confident this is the origin of the story my friend first related to me all those years ago. I’ve attached those pictures that features Paul and The Beatles as winners of the “Playboy All-Star Jazz Band”. They’re pages from Playboy being sold on Ebay.

As you can see from his message, Roger also sent me a few images of some pages from Playboy (NO! not those middle pages!) and I added a couple to those he sent to show The Beatles and Paul McCartney’s place in the reader’s poll. After 1967 the Playboy All-Star Jazz Band omitted the word “Jazz” from their name and after 1975 the pages only said “Poll Winners” instead of naming them the Playboy All-Star Band. The 1970 image is immediately below. Feel free to check out the others in the linked images that follow.


The Playboy All-Star Band (formerly Playboy All-Starr Jazz Band), 1970. Hmm--- it seems like John is naked.

The Playboy All-Star Band (formerly Playboy All-Starr Jazz Band), 1970. Hmm— it seems like John is naked. Click to enlarge.

  1. 1968 – The Beatles
  2. 1969 – The Beatles
  3. 1970 – The Beatles
  4. 1974 – Paul McCartney
  5. 1975 – Paul McCartney
  6. 1976 – Paul McCartney
  7. 1977 – Paul McCartney
  8. 1978 – Paul McCartney

Thank you Roger for a great question and also for answering it yourself! That was fun! And I bet if you head over to Ebay right now and search for the Playboy All-Star Jazz Band you’ll find more of these pages for sale now. If anyone has anything to add I invite you to do so in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!

Thank you to everyone who has sent in their questions! Keep #askNat going by sending your questions to me in any of the following ways:

1) There is a designated form that you fill out right on the website where you can give your name, location, email address and submit your question. The form is right here and is the same form used to submit requests for BROWs (Beatles Rarity Of The Weeks), but modfied to do both BROW requests and #askNat questions.

2) If you are a Facebook user, you can submit your question right on TheBeatlesRarity FB wall at www.facebook.com/beatlesrarity. If you think about it, try to remember to flag your question with “#askNat”.

3) Similarly, if you are a Google+ user, you can submit your question on TheBeatlesRarity Google+ page at www.gplus.to/beatlesrarity. Google+ supports hashtag searchability so it will be helpful if you preface your question with “#askNat” here too.

4) For you Twitter users, www.twitter.com/beatlesrarity gets you to the right place. Post your question and be sure to add “#askNat” somewhere in the tweet.

Here are some links to Amazon to read more or purchase some of the music related to this post:

1) Rockshow [Blu-ray] – Wings LIVE in ’76! Fully restored/remastered in 5.1 HD with additional content (pre-order only till June 11, 2013).

2) ANY of your favorite Beatles-related music: The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

13 people think this is FAB!

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