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George Martin
George Martin
Brian Epstein
Neil Aspinall



Sir George Martin has produced more than 700 records in a career that has spanned nearly half a century. Yet his towering achievement was manning the recording controls behind the bulk of the Beatles' albums and singles.            

George Martin was born January 3, 1926, in Holloway, North London. Martin taught himself to play piano by ear.

When he was 16, Martin was a key part of his school dance band. Beginning in 1943, he served with the British Fleet Air Arm as an observer in planes and eventually became a lieutenant.

In 1947 Martin studied composition and classical music orchestration in London's Guildhall School of Music. Three years later, he was hired as assistant to the head of EMI's Parlophone Records and assigned to oversee the label's classical recordings.

Martin also began producing for artists such as Cleo Laine, Stan Getz and Judy Garland. He also produced a number of hit comedy albums for acts such as Peter Ustinov, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and Spike Milligan and the Goon Show (with Peter Sellers).
In 1955, at age 29, Martin was made head of Parlophone Records, becoming one of the youngest people to reach such as position to that point.

Years later, he was looking for pop acts, just as Beatles manager Brian Epstein was shopping his group to record companies. Even though he knew the Beatles had been turned down by other major labels, Martin signed them.

In June 1962, the Beatles entered EMI's Abbey Road studio to make their first records (including their debut single, "Love Me Do") for Martin. It was the beginning of a legendary collaboration that produced, over the course of the '60s, one of the greatest bodies of music in the history of rock.

Epstein said in his 1964 autobiography "A Cellarful of Noise": "... from that moment on they have been a dream of a team."

One of Martin's early contributions to the Beatles' canon was the changing of "Please Please Me" from a ballad into an upbeat single that became the Beatles' first UK #1.

Martin shepherded the Beatles' early albums and made significant contributions as they expanded their musical horizons on such LPs as Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966) and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967).

Martin also produced other Merseyside acts such as Gerry and the Pacemakers and Billy J. Kramer. In 1963, records produced by Martin held the number one position on British charts for a record 37 weeks. Over his entire career, Martin notched 31 #1 UK hits.

After the Beatles' 1970 breakup, Martin worked with former Beatle Paul McCartney, America, Jeff Beck, Ultravox and others.

Martin scored a number of films including the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" (1964) and "Yellow Submarine" (1968) as well as the movie "Live and Let Die" (1973), for which he won a Grammy Award.

In 1987 Martin produced a documentary marking the 25th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper that won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. He also spearheaded "Rhythm of Life," a BBC-TV series about music.

Martin co-produced the three Beatles' Anthology CDs in 1995 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth the following year. Last year, along with McCartney, Martin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

He issued In My Life (1999), which featured such artists as Jim Carrey and Goldie Hawn singing Beatles tunes.

Martin often tours, conducting performances of his own orchestral arrangements and giving multimedia presentations on the making of Sgt. Pepper.

The most recent #1 single produced by Martin was Elton John's "Candle in the Wind '97," a tribute to Princess Diana that became the biggest-selling single in history.

Martin is also the author of several books, including "Summer of Love" (known as "With a Little Help From My Friends" in the U.S.), which chronicles the making of Sgt. Pepper.




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