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George Martin Honored By Beatles Widows at Grammy Event

July 14, 2008 10:39 AM ET

Famed Beatles producer George Martin was honored with the Grammy Foundation Leadership award by the widows of John Lennon and George Harrison at a ceremony Saturday night in Los Angeles. Both Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison chaired the event, which honored Martin's humanitarian and charitable efforts. While Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were both listed as "event chairs," neither was in attendance. Several artists came out to honor the "Guinness World Records' most successful producer ever," with Jeff Beck, Michael McDonald, Tom Jones, Burt Bacharach, pianist Dave Grusin and the band America all performing at the event, all of whom had previously worked with Martin after the producer's work with the Fab Four. "Awards don't come much better than this," said the 82-year-old Martin. "I've been so lucky to work with so many wonderful people, and great talent all my life."

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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