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Today, George Harrison of the Beatles would have been 70.

Beatle George

Beatle George

Harrison was the youngest member of the Fab Four and was known as the “Quiet Beatle”, being rather shy. He admired John Lennon and Paul McCartney and wanted to write music like them.

For the first few years, his compositions were summarily rejected and Harrison had to contend himself with playing guitar and singing lead vocal on a few Lennon/McCartney compositions. but from the album Help he would usually have two or three of his own songs on each Beatles album. Over time, his music would often be heavily influenced by traditional Indian music and Harrison became a skilled sitar player.

In my opinion, by the time the Beatles split up, Harrison’s songs were at least as good as those of Lennon and McCartney. Frank Sinatra called his “Something” (written for his first wife Patty) the best love song in the last half century. Ironically, George and Patty separated in 1974.

In 1988, Harrison got together with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne and together they formed the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys. Handle with Care from the band’s first album features Harrison on lead vocal and guitar.

George Harrison died of cancer in November 2001. He is survived by his second wife Olivia and their son Dhani.