'Fifth Beatle' Sir George Martin dies, aged 90

The record producer, who helped propel The Beatles to global fame, has died.

Record producer Sir George Martin, affectionately known as the "fifth Beatle", has died, aged 90.

The news was broken by Beatles drummer Ringo Starr on Twitter, who led the tributes by saying Sir George "will be missed".

His family thanked "everyone for their thoughts, prayers and messages of support" after his death at home on Tuesday (March 8), his manager said.

Sir George's career spanned five decades, where he produced over 700 records for the likes of Shirley Bassey, Cilla Black and Gerry and the Pacemakers as well as The Beatles.ย 

His greatest success came with the Beatles; where he was extensively involved in all of their original albums. With 30 UK Number 1 singles to his name, he is often considered to be one of the greatest record producers of all time.ย ย 

Below is selection of tributes from music stars on Twitter:ย 

Born in Highbury, North London, in 1926, Sir George was a student at Guildhall School Of Music & Drama in the 1940s before briefly working in the BBC's classical department and joining EMI Records in the 1950s.

In the mid-Fifties, he took control of the Parlophone label. It was here that he recorded across a range of genres, including jazz, skiffle and, in particular, comedy, working with Peter Sellers and Bernard Cribbins, among others. His experimentation with sound in his era l, in particular, fed into his later work with the Beatles.

It was in 1962 that he signed the Fab Four and became one of their most creative forces, utilising his experience in classical music and composition to contribute creatively, from start to finish.

He is said to be the man who, dissatisfied with Pete Best as drummer, suggested he be replaced, ultimately with Ringo Starr.

As the band became more adventurous creatively, he contributed significantly, adding classical flourishes (such as the strings on Yesterday etc), bringing his range of experimental experience (to songs such as Strawberry ย Fields, I Am A Walrus and much of the Sgt Pepper album and beyond), helping blend eastern musical influences into their sound and experimenting with backwards recording and overdubbing techniques.

His contribution to the band, who are widely considered to be the greatest and most innovative rock/pop bands of early modern music (if not all time) led to Martin being hailed as the architect of the modern producer's role.

His contribution isn't limited to the Beatles however. During the Sixties he produced other Liverpool acts including Gerry & The Pacemakers, Cilla Black and Bill J Kramer, working in the Seventies (post-Beatles) with solo Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, America, Neil Sedaka, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Webb, while also overseeing various post Beatles projects including their Live At The Hollywood Bowl album and their latter Beatles At The Beeb projects. His son Giles also took the reins at more recent reissues and remasters, as Martin struggled in his later years with hearing problems.

In honour of his contribution to music and popular culture, he was named a Knight Bachelor in 1996.ย 

Article image: Rex

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Records by Gerry & the Pacemakers, Billy J Kramer, Cilla Black etc.




The article mentions that Sir George produced 30 #1 songs on the UK charts. Excluding the Beatles, what were the others?

I know that in the US, he produced the #1 songs "Sister Golden Hair" by America, and Elton's "Candle in the Wind" remake.