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Tony Martin (singer)

From Academic Kids

Tony Martin (born December 25 1913) is an American actor and traditional pop singer.

Born Alvin Morris in Oakland, California, he received a soprano saxophone as a gift from his grandmother at ten. In his grammar school glee club, he became an instrumentalist and a boy soprano singer. He formed his first band, named "The Red Peppers," when he was only a high schooler, eventually joining the band of a local orchestra leader, Tom Gerun, as a reed instrument specialist, sitting alongside the future bandleader Woody Herman. In the mid-1930s, he left Gerun's band to go to Hollywood to try his luck in films. It was at that time that he adopted the stage name, Tony Martin.

He was a featured vocalist on the George Burns and Gracie Allen radio program. In the movies, he was first cast in a number of bit parts, including a role as a sailor in the movie Follow the Fleet (1936), starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. He eventually signed with 20th Century-Fox and then MGM in which he starred in a number of musicals. At the same time, between 1938 and 1942, he made a number of hit records for Decca.

In World War II, he first joined the United States Navy, but as a result of rumors (without any factual basis) that he had gotten an officer's commission through bribery he left the navy and joined the United States Army Air Corps. Though he had an outstanding record in the military, the rumors hurt his professional reputation and the major record labels refused to sign him. He eventually signed with Mercury Records, then a small independent run out of Chicago. He cut 25 records in 1946 and 1947 for Mercury, including a 1946 recording of "To Each His Own" which became a million-seller. This prompted RCA Records to offer him a contract, which he signed in 1947 after satisfying his contract obligations to Mercury.

In 1937 he married Alice Faye, and in 1941 they were divorced. Martin was (and still is) married for over half a century, beginning in 1948, to Cyd Charisse.

He appeared in many film musicals in the 1940's and 1950's. His rendition of "Lover Come Back To Me" with Jane Powell in Deep In My Heart - based on the music of Sigmund Romberg and starring Josť Ferrer - was one of the highlights of Hollywood musicals.

Hit records

  • "Domino" (1951)
  • "I Hear a Rhapsody" (1952)
  • "Here" (1953)
  • "I Said My Pajamas (and Put on My Prayers)" (1949) (duet with Fran Warren)
  • "There's No Tomorrow" (1949) (based on the Italian song "O Sole Mio," which also furnished the tune for Elvis Presley's "It's Now or Never.")
  • "To Each His Own" (1946)
  • "Walk Hand in Hand with Me" (1956)

Filmography


External links

  • Tony Martin bio on The Interlude Era (http://home.earthlink.net/~jaymar41/tmartin.html) site
  • Tony Martin bio on the Oldies.com (http://www.oldies.com/artist/biography.cfm/id/2715.html) site
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