Sir George Martin on why he decided to sign the Beatles when nobody else was interested.

In recognition of his services to the music industry and popular culture, record producer, composer, sound engineer, and musician George Martin was knighted in 1986. Following a career spanning 55 years, he has decided to retire.

George Martin’s role as the producer of Liverpool band the Beatles, often referred to as the ‘Fab Four’ earned him the nickname the ‘Fifth Beatle’. He dismisses this title as nonsensical.

There were only four Beatles.

He worked well with the Beatles over a long period of time because they were a good team. Martin signed the Beatles in 1962, after everyone else had turned them down because

They were terrific, they were great.

He was unaware of the band before this time, however they knew of Martin from his work with The Goons Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe.

At first Martin did not think the Beatles had it in them to write a number one record because, 

The kind of songs they were giving me we’re not great, I mean things like ‘PS I Love You’ and ‘One After 909’, you know, not exactly world shattering songs. 

He did not think ‘Love Me Do’ was good enough to be a number one but from ‘Please Please Me’ onward things changed completely.

What attracted him to the Beatles was their presence and charisma and their charming, cheeky personalities.

Success never changed them they were always arrogant little devils, they were the same people then that I knew later.

This episode of ‘Kenny Live’ was broadcast on 23 May 1998. The presenter is Pat Kenny.