Robert George Meek, better known as Joe Meek, was a songwriter and record producer. He left a legacy
Meek’s interest in music came from a young age and grew as he enlisted in the British Air Force. After serving, he worked as an audio engineer and at an electricity board. During this time he was able to learn much of his craft and even produced his first record.
In 1956 he had his first major success as a producer. He modified the piano sections of “Bad Penny Blues” by Humphrey Lyttelton and the song became a hit.
In 1960 Meek co-founded Triumph Records. From the start, Triumph struggled with production and distribution as an independent label. The company eventually failed and Top Rank and Pye Records purchased many of the licenses to its recordings.
Meek was back at it the following year, though. He founded RGM Sound the following year and quickly got his first hit. In all, he would go on to land three songs at the #1 spot on the UK charts.
During his career, Meek worked with close to a hundred artists in total including worldwide successes like Tom Jones. More interesting, however, might be the fact that he passed up chances to work with both The Beatles and David Bowe.
Sadly, on February 3rd, 1967 Meeks was found dead after killing himself and his landlady.
He left behind a legacy of music that is hard to match. In 2008, over 1800 unreleased tapes he recorded sold at auction for a reported 200,000 Euro.
Since his passing, Meek has been honored with multiple awards. The Music Producers Guild now gives an award in his name and the New Musical Express, a British music publication, named Meek the greatest producer of all time.