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The Beatles Producer George Martin Passes, Aged 90

George Martin

The Beatles legendary producer George Martin, dubbed “The Fifth Beatle”, has passed away peacefully at his home, aged 90. Every one of The Beatles albums, except for Let It Be, was produced by Martin.

The Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr was the first to break Martin’s passing with a Tweet:

ringo starr screenshot

The news was later confirmed by Adam Sharp, founder of Martin’s management firm, CA Management: “We can confirm that Sir George Martin passed away peacefully at home yesterday evening. The family would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and messages of support”.

Founding member of The Beatles Paul McCartney called Martin a “second father” and expressed his sadness over Martin’s passing in a Facebook post:

“He was a true gentleman and like a second father to me. He guided the career of The Beatles with such skill and good humour that he became a true friend to me and my family. If anyone earned the title of the fifth Beatle it was George. From the day that he gave The Beatles our first recording contract, to the last time I saw him, he was the most generous, intelligent and musical person I’ve ever had the pleasure to know.

“The world has lost a truly great man who left an indelible mark on my soul and the history of British music,” said McCartney.

Martin was originally a producer of comedy albums for several artists including The Wizard of Oz’s leading lady Judy Garland when The Beatles manager Brian Epstein approached Martin in 1962 when the band was struggling to find a record deal.

Martin will be remembered as one of the most influential producers in popular music history.

Martin offered the band their first recording contract, which began The Beatles’ incredible musical career spanning over 40 years.

In his memoir Martin wrote, “The recording, to put it kindly, was by no means a knockout. I could well understand that people had turned it down. But there was an unusual quality of sound, a certain roughness that I hadn’t encountered before”.

Martin will be remembered as one of the most influential producers in popular music history. The producer changed The Beatles’ approach to music, adding unique instrumental arrangements like strings, brass, and harpsichord to the band’s pioneering sound.

Martin may be remembered for his work with The Beatles but he also produced albums for Celine Dion, Gerry and the Pacemakers, and Kenny Rogers among many others. In 1997 Martin produced Elton John’s new version of Candle in the Wind to honour the late Princess Diana, with the song going on to become one of the best-selling singles of all time.

Martin was knighted in 1996, a year before Paul McCartney, and made it into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 for his outstanding contribution to music.

Sir George Martin, 1926 – 2016