HB, George Martin

Today’s the birthday of Sir George Martin, the record producer for the Beatles. Born in 1926, Sir George (I get to use his first name!) brought extensive musical training as well as business expertise to his work with the Beatles. Because of the success of the Beatles and other groups (e.g., Gerry and the Pacemakers) produced by Sir George, there was a period of time during 1963 when his artists had the number one single record in Great Britain for 37 out of the 45 weeks.

He did more than simply ride the success of his groups, though. He made substantial creative contributions.

Martin’s musical expertise helped fill the gaps between the Beatles’ raw talent and the sound they wanted to achieve. Most of The Beatles’ orchestral arrangements and instrumentation (as well as frequent keyboard parts on the early records) were written or performed by Martin in collaboration with the band.[30 {citations correspond to Wikipedia entry as of this date}] It was Martin’s idea to put a string quartet on Yesterday, against McCartney’s initial reluctance.[30][31] Martin played the song in the style of Bach to show McCartney the voicings that were available.[32] Another example is the song “Penny Lane”, which featured a piccolo trumpet solo. McCartney hummed the melody he wanted, and Martin wrote it down in music notation for David Mason, the classically trained trumpeter.[33]

Sir George, here’s to you. You helped make my high-school years more fun.

Read the Wikipedia entry. Sir George’s agent is the William Morris Agency, which has a biographical blurb about him.

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Filed under Birthdays, Notes and comments, Tunes

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