Happy Birthday Sir George Martin - January 3 Jan 4, 2009 2:44:11 GMT -5
Post by yerblues1968 on Jan 4, 2009 2:44:11 GMT -5
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SIR GEORGE MARTIN
A little birthday appreciation for Sir George Martin, who turns 83 today (Jan. 3).
George Martin first came to work at Abbey Road studios in 1950. He had hopes of being a classical pianist, but abandoned those plans soon after to try and help build up the Parlophone label. It was shortly after joining the label that he met the woman soon to be his wife, the former Judith Lockhart-Smith, who was working as a secretary there.
Despite the label's original emphasis on classical music, Martin cultivated work with comedians, first Peter Ustinov, and later, Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan. He branched off into jazz bands. One of the singers he recorded during this period was probably his earliest link to the Fab Four. He was young Dick James, who recorded the theme from Robin Hood, which became a British hit in 1956. James later headed the publishing company that would handle the Beatles' early hits.
In 1960, a record by Martin discovery the Temperance Seven, You're Driving Me Crazy, became the first record Martin produced to hit number one in Britain. The Seven gave him a second top 10 record the same year.
Other artists Martin worked with in these early years included Beyond the Fringe (Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Jonathan Miller and Alan Bennett), Matt Monro, Judy Garland, Tommy Steele and Stan Getz.
It was in 1962 that Martin first met the Beatles. After nearly every major record company (including EMI, at one point) in Britain had turned them down, Martin auditioned the Beatles and signed the group to the label.
His role evolved over the years. In the early days, he was in charge of their recording sessions, though the Beatles were headstrong even then. Witness their insistence that Please Please Me be released over How Do You Do It, an argument they won.
Later, after the group retired from concert performances and they had become more studio fluent because they had unlimited studio time, he helped craft some of their ideas into reality. When John produced two finished versions of Strawberry Fields Forever at different tempos, it was George Martin, at John's request, who helped combine the two into its released version.
After Martin's success with the Beatles, Brian Epstein brought him other groups Brian Epstein managed for Martin to work with. They included Gerry and the Pacemakers, Cilla Black and Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas.
In August, 1965, Martin broke from EMI and started his own recording company, AIR (Associated Independent Recording) Studios. Many of the artists who'd worked for him at EMI stayed with him through the move to AIR.
In late 1966, EMI told Martin and the Beatles they needed a new single for Christmas. Martin offered two tracks, Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever, being readied for their next album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. To his (and everyone else's) amazement, the record was stalled in the No. 2 position by, of all things, Englebert Humperdinck's Release Me. Martin later termed they're having to play this unsuccessful trump card a mistake.
In 1996, he was knighted. He was one of 1,041 notables from the entertainment, sporting, cultural and political fields named on Queen Elizabeth's birthday honours list that year. In an interview on Sky TV, Martin said: "My first reaction when I heard about it was one of astonishment. I had no idea...." Martin added that he was, of course, very pleased saying that he was "knocked out."
He has also been honored over the years with four Grammys, an Oscar and two BRIT Awards. He was inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame in 1999.
In recent years, Martin has supervised the transfer of The Beatles: 1962-66 and The Beatles: 1967-70 to CD and produced the three double CDs associated with the Anthology series. Although he said the Anthology would be his last Beatles work, he was involved with the Love album in 2006.
They say it's your birthday, Sir George. We wish you all the best today.
George Martin is inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame on November 14, 2006.
Presenting the award is UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. (8:28 minutes)
Tribute to Sir George Martin at the UK Music Hall of Fame on November 14, 2006. (5:25 minutes)
Sir George Martin and His Orchestra play "And I Love Her (instrumental)." (4:00 minutes)
Sir George Martin talks about wwwGarageBand.com and how Garage Band Face Off may change the record industry. (1:01 minutes)
A February 23, 1987 Interview with Sir George Martin by Allan Kozinn of The New York Times