Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Members of Rock & Roll Heaven, Part 10

The tremendous loss of talent in 2016 leaves a large vacuum.  One of the most talented people lost was George Martin:

Sir George Martin, producer and arranger of the Beatles and America, who also was a composer, arranger, conductor, musician and audio engineer, died March 8 at the age of 90 in Coleshill, Wiltshire, England.  (Note:  several websites merely publish Martin's place of death as the generic Wiltshire, England.  Wiltshire is a county; according to the newspaper 'The Gazette and Herald', Martin died in Coleshill, Wiltshire.)

The death was announced by Ringo Starr of the Beatles via his Twitter account, when he said, "God bless George Martin peace and love to Judy and his family love Ringo and Barbara. George will be missed."

British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted: "Sir George Martin was a giant of music - working with the Fab Four to create the world's most enduring pop music."
Martin, who has been referred to as the "Fifth Beatle", because of his extensive involvement on all of the Beatles' original albums, produced 30 #1 songs in the U.K. and 23 in the United States.  

Martin studied at Guildhall School of Music and played the oboe professionally before beginning his career in the recording industry.  Martin, who became head of Parlophone Records in the U.K., signed the Beatles to a recording contract in 1962, but suggested the group replace drummer Pete Best with Ringo Starr.

The group broke through in a big way with "I Want To Hold Your Hand" in 1964.

Later in the year, the Beatles hit #1 again with "She Loves You".

The Beatles racked up six more Top 10 hits before the title song for their first movie, A Hard Day's Night.  Martin was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the music in the movie.  Martin and the group already began experimenting in the studio, as evidenced by the first note of the song.  Their studio wizardry would change music forever. 

Beatlemania was a cultural phenomenon, with the group racking up an incredible 31 hits their first year.  In addition to producing the group, Martin had a great talent for arranging strings, such as on the songs "Eleanor Rigby" and "Yesterday".

By 1967, the Beatles were in a class of their own, generating the groundbreaking album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.  Considered by multiple respected organizations to be one of The Top 10 Albums of the Rock Era*, the album continued the group's uncanny exploits in the studio.

The Beatles reached #1 for the 14th time with "All You Need Is Love".

Never released as a single, "A Day In The Life" from the album is nevertheless considered a classic.

The Beatles continued to completely change how music sounded and was recorded with their movie soundtrack Magical Mystery Tour.

In 1968, the Beatles recorded their biggest career hit, "Hey Jude".

In 1969, the group scored another monster hit with "Get Back".

In 1970, the group reached #1 again with "Let It Be".

After the breakup of the Beatles in 1970, the group America hired Martin to produce them, beginning with the Holiday album in 1974.  Right away, Martin worked his magic with "Tin Man".

Martin and America came back with another #1 in 1975, "Sister Golden Hair".

During his seven-decade career, Martin won six Grammy Awards and was the recipient of the Grammy Foundation's Leadership Award.  

In 2012, the BBC filmed a documentary about his life, Produced By George Martin.

Martin also produced for artists such as Celine Dion, Sting and Meat Loaf.

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