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Posts Tagged ‘George Martin’

Died On This Date (March 8, 2016) George Martin / Legendary Beatles Producer

Posted by themusicsover on March 8, 2016

George Martin
January 3, 1926 – March 8, 2016

george-martinGeorge Martin was a classically trained musician, record producer, and talent scout who most famously took a chance on the Beatles after they had been turned down by most other British record labels at the time.  What followed was a collaboration that changed not only the musical landscape of the era, but also what would become popular music and pop culture for decades to come.  With Martin as producer (and so much more) on the Beatles’ original albums, they scored 30 #1 singles in the UK and 23 in the US – and millions in sales, of course. Of the list of Beatles collaborators who were referred to as “the Fifth Beatle,” it was Martin who actually deserved the title.  That alone on a person’s resume is enough to cruise through the rest of his or her life, but not Martin.  Over the next six decades, he had a big hand in the success of the likes of Elton John, Dire Straits, Cheap Trick, ELO, and Celine Dion, to name a few.  Martin also worked extensively in film, either arranging, scoring or producing. Two of the most famous songs he produced for films were Shirley Bassey‘s “Goldfinger” for Paul McCartney‘s “Live and Let Die” from the James Bond movies of the same name.  He’s been recognized with six Grammys, an Academy Award, and countless other accolades.  George Martin was 90 when he died in his sleep on March 8, 2016.

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Died On This Date (April 29, 2011) David Mason / English Trumpet Player; Soloed On The Beatles’ “Penny Lane”

Posted by themusicsover on April 29, 2011

David Mason
1926 – April 29, 2011

David Mason was a classically trained trumpet player who is perhaps best remembered for his iconic solo on the Beatles’ hit, “Penny Lane.”   Mason was born in London and studied music at the Royal College of Music where he went on to teach of some 30 years.  He eventually became the featured trumpet in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra, among others.  In 1967, while the Beatles were working on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Paul McCartney caught a performance by Mason on television.  That next day, producer George Martin invited Mason to come down to the studio and play on “Penny Lane,” which would become one of the Beatles most beloved songs.  It is Mason’s piccolo trumpet that can be heard prominently in the song that would ultimately make it on to the Magical Mystery Tour album.  David Mason died of leukemia on April 29, 2011.  He was 85.

Thanks to Scott Miller for the assist.



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Died On This Date (March 3, 2008) Norman “Hurricane” Smith / Produced The Beatles, Pink Floyd

Posted by themusicsover on March 3, 2010

Norman Smith
February 22, 1923 – March 3, 2008

normansmith.jpgNorman “Hurricane” Smith was a British engineer and producer who worked closely with George Martin and who could count the Beatles, Pink Floyd and the Pretty Things among his successes. He was lead engineer on every song the Beatles ever recorded at EMI Studios. After being promoted to A&R and Producer at EMI, he signed Pink Floyd to the label. And along with his work with both Pink Floyd and the Pretty Things, he reluctantly helped usher in what would become known as psychedelic rock. In the early 1970s, Smith recorded under the name Hurricane Smith and had a couple of hits including “Don’t Let It Die” and “Oh Babe, What Would You Say?.” John Lennon’s nickname for Smith was “Normal.” Cause of death was not determined by press time, but likely Smith likely died of natural causes at the age of 85.

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Died On This Date (February 1, 1986) Dick James / Established The Beatles’ Publishing Company

Posted by themusicsover on February 1, 2010

Dick James (Born Reginald Vapnick)
December 12, 1920 – February 1, 1986

George Martin, Dick James, Brian Epstein

L-R: George Martin, Dick James, Brian Epstein

Dick James was a London-born aspiring singer and musician who eventually owned his own record label and publishing company.  Partnering with John Lennon and Paul McCartney in 1963,  James formed Northern Songs to publish Lennon and McCartney’s music.  George Harrison and Ringo Starr were signed on for a shot period as well.  Gerry & the Pacemakers and Billy J. Kramer were also published by Northern Songs during the ’60s.  In 1968, James sold the publishing company without offering the Beatles a chance to purchase their own catalog.  This apparently drove a deep wedge between James and the group since they never again owned the rights to their own songs.  During the ’70s, James established DJM Records, where he released the first recordings of Elton John and Bernie Taupin.  Dick James was 65 when he died of a heart attack on February 1, 1986.



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Died On This Date (September 6, 1978) Tom Wilson / Acclaimed Producer

Posted by themusicsover on September 6, 2009

Tom Wilson
March 25, 1931 – September 6, 1978

With Bob Dylan.  Photo by Don Hunstein

With Bob Dylan. Photo by Don Hunstein

Working as a record producer through the late ’50s and most of the ’60s, Tom Wilson earned a place alongside such better-known contemporaries as Phil Spector and George Martin.  After graduating from Harvard, Wilson started up Transition Records, where he signed Sun Ra and Cecil Taylor.  In the early ’60s, he moved over to Columbia Records as house producer.  While there, he produced such masterpieces as Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin’, Another Side Of Bob Dylan, and Bringing It All Back Home. He also produced seminal albums by the likes of Simon and Garfunkel, Frank Zappa, Eric Burdon and the Velvet Underground.  Tom Wilson suffered a fatal heart attack on September 6, 1978.  He was 47.



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