Paul McCartney has chosen R&B legend Ray Charles as among the artists doing his favorite covers of Beatles songs. “(Ray) did a good ‘Eleanor Rigby,' McCartney declared during a recent interview.

It seems McCartney's flattered whenever anybody, of any level of musical popularity or skill, takes the time to cover his work: “People say ‘You must be cringing when you hear that watered-down, steam-organ version of ‘Good Day Sunshine’!’ but I love it, are you kidding?”

McCartney has been covered more than most artists, but soon that table will turn, as Sir Paul is deep into sessions for his next LP, which will find him covering a set of pop standards. Macca tells Rolling Stone he’s having a great time recording songs he used to sing as a child on New Years Eve’s, with his father on piano.

The former Beatle, at age 69, has been keeping himself extremely busy not only with the standards record (also to feature original songs.) He's also hot off a summer tour that found him playing up to 35 songs a night. He credits his great band (which, he notes, has been together as long as The Beatles and his post-Fab Four band Wings), for giving him the energy it takes to pull off a three-hour performance.

He also recently premiered ‘The Love We Make’ documentary, that shows behind the scene footage of the ‘Concert For New York City’ that he helped organize after the tragic events of Sept. 11 10 years ago.

As if that weren’t enough, his environment-themed ballet ‘Ocean’s Kingdom’ made its debut in New York last week, making this McCartney’s first attempt at writing music for a ballet. “There’s an excitement when you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, which is a hallmark of my career. Like, The Beatles never knew how to make records and me and John never knew how to write songs.”