Sir George Martin
1926 – 2016
Sad news again today as legendary British music producer and composer Sir George Martin passes away aged 90. Beatles drummer Ringo Starr broke the news on his Twitter feed in the morning saying “God bless George Martin. Peace and love to Judy and his family. Love Ringo and Barbara. George will be missed.” Often referred to as the “fifth” Beatle, Martin had signed the British Band that soon after became legendary and greatly influenced the world of music.
Six time Grammy winner Martin produced more than 700 records and also worked with artists including Gerry and the Pacemakers, Dame Shirley Bassey and Cilla Black.
Martin directly and indirectly contributed to the main themes of three films in the James Bond series. Although Martin did not produce the theme for the second Bond film, From Russia with Love, he was responsible for the signing of Matt Monro to EMI just months prior to his recording of the song of the same title. Martin also produced two of the best-known James Bond themes. The first was “Goldfinger” by Shirley Bassey in 1964. The second, in 1973, was “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney and Wings for the film of the same name to which Martin composed and produced the original soundtrack. Martin had composed, arranged and produced film scores since the early 1960s, including the instrumental scores of the films A Hard Day’s Night (1964, for which he won an Academy Awards Nomination), Ferry cross the Mersey (1965) and Yellow Submarine (1968).
Martin died on the night of 8 March 2016 at the age of 90. A spokesperson for Universal Music Group confirmed his death. He is survived by his wife of nearly fifty years, Judy Lockhart Smith, and his four children.
Sir Roger Moore tweeted: “How very sad to wake to the news Sir George Martin has left us. He made my first Bond film sound brilliant!”