The Magic of George Martin

George Martin.jpg

Submitted by Pat Blythe

The news spread rapid fire. On March 8, 2016 "we" had lost another one. Announced by a "tweet" from Ringo Starr. (The word "tweet" makes it sounds almost insignificant, even trivial) However, there is nothing insignificant about Sir George Martin, or his passing....quietly, at home, in his sleep. Survived by Judy, his second wife of almost 50 years, and a proud father to four children, Alexis, Gregory, Lucie and Giles.

A private man. A distinguished man. A learned man. A man of many quiet talents who has left us a legacy of beautiful songs and exquisite moments. A man who "heard" what we did not.

A giant in the world of music, Sir George Martin towered above everyone. A note, a nuance, a sound....from sheer simplicity to the most complex, he worked his magic not only for the Beatles, but for countless others including Kate Bush, Robin Gibb, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Peter Sellers, Shirley Bassey, Sophia Loren, Elton John... The list is endless. Numerous titles follow his name....producer, musician (oboe and piano), arranger, conductor, composer. I'll include "magician".

George Martin and the BeatlesGeorge Martin and the BeatlesThere is probably nothing new or noteworthy I can add to the tens of thousands of comments and tributes that have already cluttered and jammed the internet. Martin himself has produced several books and there have been countless interviews with and without him over the years. No stone has been left unturned. So I will tell you my own story of what I call the "Martin magic".

Over the past several months I have been working with a show called ONES, an 11-piece ensemble that pays tribute to all the number one hits of The Beatles from 1964 to 1970. Producer Frank Zirone and I made a business trip to Niagara Falls a few days ago to do some voice recordings. Traveling music? You guessed it....The Beatles. As we listened in silence, more and more "background" sounds started popping out. The discreet handclaps in Lady Madonna, the tambourine and shakers in Hello Goodbye.... Martin was a master at "filling the gaps", adding just the right embellishment at precisely the right time. The piccolo and trumpets in Penny Lane, the strings in Yesterday, the keyboard solo for In My Life and the very memorable ending to A Day In The Life.

Thank you George Martin for embellishing our lives with your magic.