4320He was the most famous music producer of all time. George Martin has died. He was 90.

Could the Beatles have existed without Martin? Maybe not. (special mention to Brian Ebstein) In 1962 he signed the band after many others turned them down. Decca records first letter to boys read, “The Beatles have no future in the pop business. In a 2011 BBC interview, Martin said, “They had this wonderful charisma. They made you feel good to be with them. And I thought their music was rubbish.””Back then Martin was more curious than convinced on their musical ability but let’s just say he was onto something!

You can also thank Martin for Ringo Starr..sort of. He was convinced their drummer Pete Best didn’t have the chops for the band so they switched to Ringo but when the time came to record their first single “Love Me Do” Martin was also not pleased with Ringo so in came session played Andy White. It’s safe to say Ringo and his producer made up. BTW Ringo does appear on the tune playing the tambourine and maracas

It was Martin who suggested that the band speed up the tempo on their next single, “Please Please Me” which was originally a ballad. As a classically-trained composer he also convinced McCartney to put the string quartet in the tune “Yesterday.” As producer he certainly changed the direction of many Beatle songs and stretching the known boundaries of sound recording. Just listen to the Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” or Abbey Road.”

He started his career with the Parlophone label he produced classical music, regional folk and comedy records where he had success with Peter Sellers, Peter Cook and Spike Milligan.

Paul McCartney paid tribute to a “great man”, saying : “He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me. He guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humour that he became a true friend to me and my family. If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George.”

Martin produced 30 number-one singles in the UK and 23 in the US. He worked with Gerry and the Pacemakers, Elton John, Celine Dion, Kenny Rogers, Jeff Beck, Neil Sedaka and America.

There will never be another George Martin.- by John Beaudin