‘Fifth Beatle’ Sir George Martin Dies Aged 90

‘Fifth Beatle’ Sir George Martin Dies Aged 90

1963: The Beatles with George Martin. Left to right: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Martin and John Lennon: Photo by KEYSTONE USA/REX/Shutterstock

The Beatles’ record producer Sir George Martin has died at the age of 90.

His manager said in a statement that Sir George’s family “would like to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers and messages of support” after he passed away at home on Tuesday.

The news was also confirmed on Twitter by Ringo Starr who wrote: “God bless George Martin peace and love to Judy and his family … Thank you for all your love and kindness George peace and love xx.”

Sir George was nicknamed “the fifth Beatle” for his work with the Liverpudlian band.

“In a career that spanned seven decades he was an inspiration to many and is recognised globally as one of music’s most creative talents.
“He was a true gentleman to the end,” the statement from his management said.

Sean Ono Lennon, son of John and Yoko, posted an Instagram picture of Sir George with the caption: “R.I.P. George Martin. I’m so gutted I don’t have many words. Thinking of Judy and Giles and family. Love Always, Sean.”
His long and successful career began in 1950 after he concluded his studies at the Guildhall School of Music, and worked as a professional oboist.

Sir George became head of the Parlophone music label in 1955, and went on to sign The Beatles in 1962, enjoying 17 chart-topping hits with the band.
He recalled meeting the quartet for the first time and realising their potential.

“I liked them as people apart from anything else, and I was convinced that we had the makings of a hit group,” he said.

But he was not convinced they had songwriting ability.

“As composers, they didn’t rate. They hadn’t shown me that they could write anything at all,” he told Melody Maker.

“Love Me Do I thought was pretty poor, but it was the best we could do.”
Sir George also composed scores for the Beatles films A Hard Day’s Night – which he received an Oscar nomination for – and Yellow Submarine, which was nominated for a Grammy.

After the group broke up, he started his own music publishing company and set about working with other artists.

Sir George worked with the likes of Jeff Beck, Bob Dylan, Sting and Sir Elton John and recorded two of Sir Paul McCartney’s solo albums, Tug Of War and Pipes Of Peace.

He co-produced Sir Elton’s Candle In The Wind, which was released to mark the death of Princess Diana in 1997, and the song sold 37 million copies.

He was also behind a string of humorous records and novelty hits which went on to enjoy a long shelf-life on light entertainment shows.
Sir George produced recordings by comic legends such as Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers as well as notable songs such as Right Said Fred by Bernard Cribbins and Jake The Peg by Rolf Harris.

The Queen awarded him with a CBE in 1988, and Sir George received a knighthood in the 1996 birthday honours.

According to his official website, he remains the world’s most successful record producer – racking up 30 number ones across the UK and US singles charts.

His son Giles is also a producer who has worked at the famous Abbey Road studios, where Sir George helped the Beatles perform the world’s first live global broadcast.

Sir George won his two most recent Grammys after helping develop the Beatles-inspired Cirque du Soleil show “Love” in Las Vegas in 2006. SkyNews.com

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