Best known as one half of '60s hitmakers Peter & Gordon, Peter Asher later enjoyed great success as a producer. Born in London on June 22, 1944, he was the older brother of Jane Asher, longtime girlfriend of the Beatles' Paul McCartney. While attending the Westminster School for Boys, he first met fellow student Gordon Waller, and together they began playing together as a duo. Asher's connection to the Fab Four was a crucial one, as he and Waller were often given unrecorded Lennon-McCartney songs to perform, most notably their first and biggest hit, 1964's decidedly Beatlesque "World Without Love." After Peter & Gordon disbanded in 1968, Asher was named the director of A&R at the Beatles' Apple Records label, where he signed a then-unknown James Taylor and agreed to produce the singer/songwriter's debut solo LP. The album was not a success, but Asher maintained that Taylor held great potential, and he resigned his post at Apple to move to the U.S. to serve as Taylor's manager, a partnership which endured over several decades. He also emerged among the principal architects of the mellow California rock sound prominent during the '70s, producing records for Linda Ronstadt, J.D. Souther, Andrew Gold, and Bonnie Raitt. In the decade to follow, Asher also helmed hit albums for artists ranging from Cher to 10,000 Maniacs.
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