The other Beatle George

George Martin at the EMI REDD.51 Stereosonic 4-track mixing console, where almost all of the Beatles recordings were made until "Abbey Road"
George Martin at the 1959 EMI REDD.51 Stereosonic 4-track console, where almost all of the Beatles recordings after “A Hard Day’s Night” and before “Abbey Road” were produced.

George Martin made it past the 50th anniversary of “Rubber Soul,” the last album engineered by the late Norman “Hurricane” Smith. It would have been nice for him to have lived to see the 50th anniversary of “Revolver,” the first album engineered by Geoff Emerick, but it was not to be.

Cilla fades to black

Cilla White with Ritchie Starkey
Cilla White with Ritchie Starkey

Cilla White was a coat room girl at the Cavern Club, and like other Liverpool natives she found her future in popular music. Switching her name from White to Black, Cilla joined Brian Epstein’s stable of performers, working with George Martin and Paul McCartney.

Cilla Black and Paul McCartney
Cilla Black and Paul McCartney, recording ‘Step Inside Love,’ 1968

Although Cilla never achieved the fame in America that was enjoyed by Dusty Springfield and Petula Clark, she was very popular in England, where she was a household name to generations of fans. Cilla passed away earlier today.

Capitol-ism: from Bozo to the Beatles – 2

Click here to see a post from five years ago about Dave Dexter, Jr., who was responsible for much of the worst, and some of the best, about the Beatle records in America, on Capitol. I’m finally getting around to finishing the series.

The link between the Beatles and Bozo the Clown is Alan Livingston, as explained at this link by Bruce Spizer, the Beatles-in-America expert. Spizer can be heard in this 2010 edition of Bob Malik’s radio program, “The Beatle Years.”

Spizer is the best source for understanding the convoluted story of how screwed up Capitol’s handling of the Beatles was, not only before “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” but long after, thanks to the confidence — considered by many to be misplaced — that Alan Livingston had in Dave Dexter, Jr. Some of the source material that Spizer presents shows, however, that once it was obvious the Beatles would be bigger than big, Livingston began to second guess Dexter’s judgment.

Livingston gives Dexter authority over selection both foreign singles and albums.
Livingston gives Dexter authority over selection of both foreign singles and albums — by coincidence on the very day that the Beatles auditioned at EMI!
Dexter's rejections must be reviews by others.
Records rejected by Dexter must be submitted for review — the day that the Beatles arrived in New York!
Dexter realizes his position and requests a review panel be formed.
Livingston realized Dexter’s compromised position and orders that a review panel be formed.

Next up you will hear Dexter himself talking about the Beatles, and I will explain how I made my peace with the Dexter-ization of the Beatles sounds and selections heard on Capitol Records.

The Quartet Practiced in the Park

“Just Four Guys with Ray Whitaker” is a podcast from WMVY — Martha’s Vineyard Radio. Ostensibly it’s about the Beatles, but the Fab Four are often a springboard for Whitaker to offer his take on various things musical and muse-ical. A month ago he did this exceptionally mind-expanding show about the grooviest, trippiest genre of music — the short-lived, psychedelic era of Acid Rock.