Showing posts from February, 2023

What was George Martin's 'secret history'?

The George Martin who the Beatles first met in 1962 presented as Professor Higgins to their Eliza Doolittle. With his smart suit, upper class (southern) accent and courtly manners he appeared to be what Brian Epstein described as “a stern but fair-minded schoolmaster”.  Martin's initial hesitation was due to their personal presentation as much as their musical shortcomings he wasn’t sure about .... shaggy hair, Liverpool accents .... their beat-up gear .... {their}studio professionalism ... source According to Womack, this may have been rooted in his own ‘hidden’ background. For while The Beatles cheerfully conceded what Mark Lewisohn describes as 'their unvarnished working class roots', Martin carefully concealed his.  According to Kenneth Womack's biography,  Maximum Volume  (2017), the suave, sharply dressed producer came from  ' a family that had no electricity or running water and had one gas jet.' George Martin - the early years (3 minute free read) T

Why did George Martin almost not sign The Beatles?

Despite their local success in Liverpool and Hamburg — and Brian Epstein’s best efforts — The Beatles struggled to get their first recording deal. Columbia, HMV, Pye, Philips, and Oriole all turned them down. Dick Rowe at Decca signed Brian Poole and the Tremeloes in preference, famously added insult to injury ‘Guitar groups are on the way out, Mr Epstein’. After the failure of the Decca audition, Brian Epstein was running out of options. Early in 1962 he managed to get a meeting with George Martin, the manager of Parlaphone Records, an eclectic label owned by EMI. Martin was more charmed by the Beatles manager than their music. “I wasn’t too impressed with the tape Brian Epstein had played me,” Martin  told Desert Island Discs in 1996 . “There was something there but I couldn’t find out whether it was worthwhile or not.” Read full story here   5 minute free read

How did George Martin improve Please, Please Me?

'a combination of Roy Orbison and Bing Crosby' with improvements via George Martin

The Beatles first British number 1 single?

Was Please Please Me The Beatles first UK Number One? At the end of the lengthy recording session for the single version of Please Please Me  George Martin turned to The Beatles and said, 'Gentlemen, you have your first Number One!' George was rarely wrong about anything but in this case the jury is still out.