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Dick James, Publisher of Early Beatles Music, Dies in London

February 06, 1986|From Times Wire Services

LONDON — Dick James, a one-time band singer who made millions publishing the music of the Beatles and Elton John, died Saturday of an apparent heart attack at age 65 in his penthouse home here.

James was a band singer best-known for the theme from "The Adventures of Robin Hood," a British television series seen in the United States in the late 1950s. The producer of that theme was Beatles musical director George Martin, and it was through Martin that James met the Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein.

The year was 1962, and the foursome from Liverpool were without a publishing house for their soon-to-be-famous songs. James formed Northern Songs Co. and that move made him a millionaire and a major force in British music publishing.

In 1967, James signed another unknown but promising performer and composer named Elton John.

Last year, James' other company, Dick James Music, was sued by John for royalties and copyrights the singer claimed were taken unlawfully from him.

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