Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sir George Martin

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One of the most important Beatles facts is that Sir George Martin was the man most instrumental, next to Brian Epstein, in making the Beatles famous through his extraordinary ability as engineer and producer, helping the Beatles to articulate the sound for any given track.

Martin is a classically trained musician who studied piano and oboe from 1947-1950. His oboe teacher was Margaret Asher, mother of Paul's future girlfriend, Jane Asher.

After graduation, Martin worked for the BBC and then EMI's Parlophone label. Later, a mutual friend arranged a meeting between Martin and Brian Epstein, which was fortuitous since Martin wanted Parlophone to move into rock and roll. Martin didn't care for the Decca audition tapes, but he liked the voices of Lennon and McCartney, thinking Harrison's decent but weaker.

The first recording session for Martin featured "How Do You Do It," which Martin liked but the Beatles hated. (It can be heard on Anthology. The next sessions produced "Love Me Do" and "Please Please Me." Thus began a long collaboration that would help shape Beatles' compositions into hit after hit. He contributed keyboard parts on several tracks and often scored strings or other orchestral instruments for songs such as "Yesterday," "Eleanor Rigby," "All You Need Is Love," and many more.

He was knighted in 1996, and is the father of Giles Martin, who with his father worked on Love, featuring the music of the Beatles, for Cirque du Soleil.

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