When the topic comes up for discussion, several names are mentioned for those who could be called the Fifth Beatle. It's really no contest, though. The title has to belong to Sir George Martin, who celebrated his 87th birthday on Jan. 3.
Besides the Beatles, he produced a large cross section of artists during his long career. Cilla Black, Peter Sellers, Beyond the Fringe, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Cheap Trick and America were among those whom he worked with. He also worked with Matt Monro, Peter Ustinov, Rolf Harris (known for “Tie Me Kangaroo Down”), Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, the Fourmost, Ella Fitzgerald (with a cover of "Can't Buy Me Love"), David and Jonathan (who recorded covers of "Michelle" and "She's Leaving Home"), Stan Getz, Seatrain, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Webb, Neil Sedaka, Billy Preston, Gary Brooker, Paul McCartney ("Say Say Say", "Ebony and Ivory" and Wings' title theme from "Live and Let Die") and Celine Dion.
He told JazzWax his philosophy was to make sure every song had an audio hook.
“I always believed that a good song had to catch the ear. People bought records in those days based on radio disc jockeys, and you had to grab the listener’s attention right away. If you could hook them, you had them. I wanted to grab the teenage girl’s imagination right out of the gate,” he said.
He produced the Vipers' "No Other Baby" that Paul McCartney later covered on "Run Devil Run." His credits also include Madame Shirley Bassey's iconic "Goldfinger" theme. Martin has always been the image of an English gentleman.
So we hope you had a very happy birthday, Sir George. We can't thank you enough.
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