George Martin was a music producer in London, on the prowl for rock ’n’ roll acts in the early 1960s, when he came across a band that had been turned down by every record company in town.
He wasn’t bowled over by the demo tapes, but, as he later recalled, “there was an unusual quality of sound, a certain roughness that I hadn’t encountered before....something tangible that made me want to hear more, meet them and see what they could do.”
A month later, Martin offered the group a contract. So began his long relationship with the Beatles.
As arranger, orchestrator and occasional player later in the group’s career, Martin was...