Pop music, Musical Artist
1929 – 1967
Who was Joe Meek?
His best-remembered hit is the Tornados' "Telstar", which became the first record by a British group to reach No.1 in the US Hot 100. It also spent five weeks atop the UK singles chart, with Meek receiving an Ivor Novello Award for this production as the "Best-Selling A-Side" of 1962.
Meek's other hits include "Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O" and "Cumberland Gap" by Lonnie Donegan, "Johnny Remember Me" by John Leyton, "Just Like Eddie" by Heinz, "Angela Jones" by Michael Cox, "Have I the Right?" by the Honeycombs, and "Tribute to Buddy Holly" by Mike Berry. Meek's concept album I Hear a New World, which contains innovative use of electronic sounds, was not released in his lifetime.
Meek also produced music for films such as Live It Up!, a pop music film which featured Gene Vincent, the Outlaws pop group, jazz musician Kenny Ball and others. Meek wrote most of the songs and incidental music, much of which was recorded by the Saints and which Meek produced.
His commercial success as a producer was short-lived, and Meek gradually sank into debt and depression. On 3 February 1967, using a shotgun owned by musician Heinz Burt, Meek killed his landlady and then himself.