Joe Meek  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Joe Meek (born Robert George Meek; 5 April, 1929 in Newent, Gloucestershire3 February, 1967 in London was a pioneering English record producer and songwriter acknowledged as one of the world's first and most imaginative independent producers.

His most famous work was The Tornados' hit "Telstar" (1962), which became the first record by a British group to hit #1 in the US Hot 100. It also spent five weeks atop the UK singles chart, with Meek receiving an Ivor Novello Award for this production as the "Best-Selling A-Side" of 1962.

Meek's other notable hit productions include "Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O" and "Cumberland Gap" by Lonnie Donegan (as engineer), "Johnny Remember Me" by John Leyton, "Just Like Eddie" by Heinz, "Angela Jones" by Michael Cox and "Have I the Right?" by The Honeycombs, "Tribute to Buddy Holly" by Mike Berry. Meek's concept album I Hear a New World is regarded as a watershed in modern music for its innovative use of electronic sounds.

Joe Meek was also producing music for films, most notably Live It Up! (US title Sing and Swing), a 1963 pop music film starring Heinz Burt, David Hemmings and Steve Marriott, also featuring Gene Vincent, Jenny Moss, The Outlaws, Kim Roberts, Kenny Ball, Patsy Ann Noble and others. Meek wrote most of the songs and incidental music, much of which was recorded by The Saints and produced by Meek.

His commercial success as a producer was short-lived and Meek gradually sank into debt and depression. On 3 February, 1967, using a shotgun owned by musician Heinz Burt, Meek murdered his landlady before turning the gun on himself. Aged only 37, he died eight years to the day after his hero, Buddy Holly.





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