Beatles Sir George Martin

Beatles Sir George Martin

The true Fifth Beatle
January 3, 1926 – March 8, 2016
Thank you

Beatles Sir George Martin

With the Beatles’ arrival in the US, various DJs adopted to themselves the nickname “Fifth Beatle” because they got to meet the Fab Four,  play their music, and promote the mania. Of course, none of them were anywhere near what the adopted moniker implied.

When George Martin died on March 8, 2016, we knew that the true “fifth Beatle” was gone.

In the beginning as we stared at the backs of our first Beatle albums for something new, his was one of the names we always saw.

He never looked like a Beatle. Was not hip. Hair combed back. Conservative clothing.

Beatles Sir George Martin

He Knew

George Martin knew sound. George Martin knew talent. And his talent brought us the sound the Beatles had inside their heads and put that sound forever inside our hearts. He knew how to compress their coal into musical diamonds.

It would be unfair to say he rode the Beatles’ coattails to fame just as it would be unfair to say the Beatles would not have been famous without George Martin.

Fortune offered them the same breeze and we are forever fortunate that they boarded the same sloop.

Beatles Sir George Martin

Less than 10 hours of music!

From the New York Times obituary: “His collaboration with the Beatles inevitably overshadowed his other accomplishments. Between 1962 and 1970, Mr. Martin produced 13 albums and 22 singles for the group, a compact body of work that adds up to less than 10 hours of music but that revolutionized the popular music world.

Those “other” credits of his go on several pages. The AllMusic site’s list included:

  • Billy J Kramer & the Dakotas
  • Gerry & the Pacemakers
  • Seatrain
  • Badfinger
  • Paul Winter
  • Stan Getz
  • America Mahavishnu Orchestra
  • Cheap Trick
  • Aerosmith
  • Kenny Rogers
  • Billy Preston
  • Dire Straits
  • The Kentucky Headhunters
  • Little River Band
  • Ultravox
  • Kate Bush
  • Elton John
  • Elvis Costello
  • Jeff Beck
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Celine Dion
  • Burt Bacharach
  • Billy Joel
Beatles Sir George Martin
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Four Preps Write Beatles

Four Preps Write Beatles

Four Preps Write Beatles

The Four Preps

“26 Miles”

The Four Preps formed in 1956 and sang great harmonies. Their biggest hit was in 1958:  26 Miles. They appeared on TV, on popular shows, and with popular stars.

But the 50s were finished and it was…

Four Preps Write Beatles

Beatlemania arrives

March 1964. The Beatles had arrived with their three consecutive weeks on the Ed Sullivan Show and their Meet the Beatles the #1 album (since February 15 and would  remain there until May 1).

Then The Beatles Second Album would hit #1 and remain their until June 5. Then from July 25 until October 30 those damn Beatles would have another #1 album, Hard Days Night, 

Between April 4 – May 8, five of their singles “Can’t Buy Me Love”, “Twist and Shout”, “She Loves You”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and “Please Please Me” had been top five songs.

AND the week of April 11, the Beatles had 14 songs in the top 100:

  1. Can’t Buy Me Love
  2. Twist & Shout
  3. She Loves You
  4. I Want To Hold Your Hand
  5. Please Please Me
  6. Do You Want to Know a Secret
  7.  I Saw Her Standing There
  8. You Can’t Do That
  9. All My Loving
  10. From Me To You
  11. Thank You Girl
  12. There’s A Place
  13. Roll Over Beethoven
  14. Love Me Do

In total, The Beatles will have five #1 singles in 1964.

Four Preps Write Beatles

Four Prep strategy

Four Preps Write Beatles
The Four Preps

So it was completely understandable when on March 9, 1964 Capital Records, the company that released almost all of the Beatles’ songs in the US, decided to cash in on such a gold mine. Written by Ivan Ulz, Glen Larsen, and Bruce Bellard, Letter to the Beatles was a novelty song in which a boyfriend wishes his Beatle-maniac girlfriend would get her mind off of those Beatles.

My girl fell in love with a singing group
From England far away.
She lost her mind, she lost her heart,
When they began to play,
“I want to hold your hand,
I want to hold your hand,
I want to hold your hand. “And so my girl wrote a letter to The Beatles,
Saying “You’re so fine.
You can have my love to keep,
Take this heart of mine. ” (Well)
“Beatles, I’d give you anything,
All of my true love. “But they wrote a letter back to her,
Sayin’ that ain’t enough.
You gotta send us twenty-five cents for an autographed picture,
One dollar bill for a fan club card.
And if you send in right away
You get a lock of hair from our St. Bernard. (oh no)
I want to hold your hand.

On April 11, 1964 Billboard magazine reported that Capital Records has stopped pressing the Four Preps single of “A Letter to the Beatles” because Duchess Music, the American licensor, refused to give Capital permission to cover a parody of an actual Beatles disk…”The song burst out of the gates and did well until Duchess Music, the publisher of “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” refused to give permission to used the song in their song (which they had).

So close!

Four Preps Write Beatles

Have a listen

For those (many) of you who have never hear the song, here you go.

Four Preps Write Beatles

Four Preps Write Beatles

Ironically, the Four Preps continue (mostly) today while the Beatles broke up nearly 50 years ago. And in 2007 “The clean-cut West Coast-based” band was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.

Four Preps Write Beatles

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