They’ve Got the Contract. Now What?

The first thing George Martin had to do once he decided to sign them in July, 1962 was to determine which of them was to be the front man and star. What? Front man? Well, in Martin’s defense, all of the big groups of the day all had one star singer, a focal point. It just was not done to have an entire group act as star. He, at first, decided to make Paul the front man and leader of the group. Then had second thoughts about changing them.

I couldn’t imagine a group being successful as a ‘group.’ Then, after some thought, I realized that if I did so (make one of them the leader) I would be changing the nature of the group. Why do that?

~ George Martin
(All You Need Is Ears, 1994)

It hadn’t been done, but George Martin was willing to take the chance. For that, alone, we owe the man a large measure of thanks.

For their first real session, Martin had told the Beatles to learn and be ready to record Mitch Murray’s song “How Do You Do It?” (You might remember the version eventually recorded by Gerry and the Pacemakers). The Beatles went up home to Liverpool to make their own arrangement of it but must have agreed not to put too much of their charm into the recording. They had original songs they wanted to record.