Knighthood for `Fifth Beatle' George Martin

LONDON June 15, 1996 (AP) - George Martin, the man they call the fifth Beatle, received a knighthood in Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Honors list Saturday.

The 70-year-old Sir George, as he now becomes, produced the Beatles' records from the first hit, "Love Me Do," in 1962, to the "Beatles Anthology," over the past few months.

None of the three surviving Beatles has received a knighthood. The queen honored the quartet in 1965 as MBEs, or Members of the Order of British Empire. Paul McCartney has been regarded as a prospective "Sir," but George Martin beat him to it.

It was a good year for the music world.

Van Morrison, who sang Northern Ireland's unofficial anthem, "Days Like This," for President Clinton in Belfast last year became an OBE, Officer of the Order of British Empire, the rank above MBE.

Winners of the British Empire honors do not receive titles but can put the letters of the award after their names. There are no financial awards attached to any of the honors.

The honors list totals 1,041 awards, of which 62 are for political service. The queen's own birthday is April 21, but the official birthday of the monarch is observed on a June Saturday so there is a chance of good weather for the annual Trooping the Color ceremony.

Although they are made in the queen's name, the honors are decided by the government, often to reward loyal service to the governing party, but also on public recommendation for community service.

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