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How much do you know about George Martin?

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We want to say R.I.P. George Martin – Producer for the Beatles. George Martin, who produced much of the Beatles‘ classic catalog, died yesterday. The cause of death has not yet been released. He was 90. Read more from RollingStones Magazine.

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Ringo Starr reported the news on Twitter. “God bless George Martin,” he wrote late Tuesday night. “Peace and love to Judy and his family, love Ringo and Barbara. George will be missed.” In another post, accompanied by a photo of Martin with the Beatles, Starr wrote, “Thank you for all your love and kindness.”

Sir George Henry Martin CBE (3 January 1926 – 8 March 2016) was an English record producer, arranger, composer, conductor, audio engineer and musician. He is sometimes referred to as “the Fifth Beatle” in reference to his extensive involvement on each of the Beatles‘ original albums. Martin had 30 number-one hit singles in the United Kingdom and 23 number-one hits in the United States.

He attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama from 1947 to 1950, studying piano and oboe. Following his graduation, he worked for the BBC‘s classical music department, then joined EMI in 1950. Martin produced comedy and novelty records in the early 1950s, working with Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, among others.

Martin’s career spanned more than six decades of work in music, film, television and live performance. He also held a number of senior executive roles at media companies and contributed to a wide range of charitable causes, including his work for the Prince’s Trust and the Caribbean island of Montserrat.

In recognition of his services to the music industry and popular culture, he was made a Knight Bachelor in 1996.

When he was six, Martin’s family acquired a piano that sparked his interest in music. At eight years of age, Martin persuaded his parents, Henry and Betha Beatrice (Simpson) Martin, that he should take piano lessons, but those ended after only eight lessons because of a disagreement between his mother and the teacher. After that, Martin explained that he had just picked it up by himself.  As a child he attended several schools, including a “convent school in Holloway”, St. Joseph’s elementary school in Highgate, and St Ignatius’ College in Stamford Hill, to which he won a scholarship. When war broke out and St. Ignatius College students were evacuated to Welwyn Garden City, his family left London and he was enrolled at Bromley Grammar School.

I remember well the very first time I heard a symphony orchestra. I was just in my teens when Sir Adrian Boult brought the BBC Symphony Orchestra to my school for a public concert. It was absolutely magical. Hearing such glorious sounds I found it difficult to connect them with ninety men and women blowing into brass and wooden instruments or scraping away at strings with horsehair bows.

Despite Martin’s continued interest in music, and “fantasies about being the next Rachmaninov“, he did not initially choose music as a career. He worked briefly as a quantity surveyor and then for the War Office as a Temporary Clerk (Grade Three) which meant filing paperwork and making tea. In 1943, when he was seventeen, he joined the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy and became an aerial observer and a commissioned officer. The war ended before Martin was involved in any combat, and he left the service in 1947. Encouraged by Sidney Harrison (a member of the Committee for the Promotion of New Music) Martin used his veteran’s grant to attend the Guildhall School of Music and Drama from 1947 to 1950, where he studied piano and oboe, and was interested in the music of Rachmaninov and Ravel, as well as Cole Porter. Martin’s oboe teacher was Margaret Eliot (the mother of Jane Asher, who would later become involved with Paul McCartney). On 3 January 1948—while still at the Academy—Martin married Sheena Chisholm, with whom he had two children, Alexis and Gregory Paul Martin. He later married Judy Lockhart-Smith on 24 June 1966, and they also had two children, Lucie and Giles Martin.

 

We want to say R.I.P. George and thank you for all your talents, you will be missed!

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