Sixties pop star Bill Forbes was a talented musician growing up in Huddersfield.
He’d already become a regular on the pop show “Oh Boy!” and when he and his band The Contrasts got the chance to work with record producer George Martin, they jumped at the opportunity.
Now, as tributes pour in to Sir George, the man known as the Fifth Beatle who died this week at the age of 90, Bill has recalled that working relationship.
And he admitted: “When we first went to his office, The Beatles were there and we were introduced.
“I remember talking to John Lennon, telling him I wrote songs, and offered to write a few songs for him. He laughed!”
Bill, now 81 and living in Honley, said Martin was a “brilliant” record producer.
“We are so proud that we were able to say that we had worked for years with one of the greatest music producers in the world.
“He even played piano on our biggest hit Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind” saying it added to the depth”.
Bill, who had become a recognised solo singer, met fellow Huddersfield musician John Armitage in 1963 when he invited him to become singer with the band, called The Contrasts.
The duo went on to work together for years, penning many well-known numbers.
“Some of our other compositions were Call Me, Click When You’re In Love, Believe In Me, My Cherie and Every Part Of Your Body.
“They were all recorded at Abbey Road Studios under the supervision of George Martin and Norrie Paramour.”
Pictures: The Beatles in Huddersfield
Bill was a pop star in the 1950s when he appeared regularly on Oh Boy and later on Cool For Cats and Thank Your Lucky Stars. He released 16 singles, his main hit being Too Young. Then he married and moved to Huddersfield where he still lives.
“We got our big break as The Contrasts when we had a summer season at Butlins in Skegness. “The crowds loved Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind and I believe someone got in touch with Mr Martin. He called us to his office in Manchester to sign us up.
Watch: Tribute to George Martin, the Fifth Beatle
“The Beatles were there and had just had their first hit with Love Me Do.
“We went down to London to record the song at Abbey Road and it was released. It didn’t chart here but it did well in the United States.
“It’s great that they still play it on music shows about the 60s.
“It was wonderful working with George Martin on several other songs. They were brilliant days”.
The Contrasts comprised John Armitage - leader and rhythm guitarist, born in Huddersfield; Bill Forbes - singer, bongo and piano player, born in Ceylon; Dave Brearley - bass guitar, born in Halifax; Teddy Stevens - lead guitar, born in Huddersfield; John Boyle - drums, born in Halifax.