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Tony Martin

in the film Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)
Background information
Birth name Alvin Morris
Born December 25, 1913 (1913-12-25) (age 96)
San Francisco, California,
United States
Genres Big band
Traditional pop
Occupations Actor/Singer
Years active 1934–present
Labels Decca, Mercury, RCA Victor

Tony Martin (born December 25, 1913)[1] is an American actor and traditional pop singer.



Tony Martin was born as Alvin Morris in San Francisco, California[1] to Jewish immigrant parents. He received a saxophone as a gift from his grandmother at the age of ten.[citation needed] 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 at Oakland Technical High School, eventually joining the band of a local orchestra leader, Tom Gerun, as a reed instrument specialist, sitting alongside the future bandleader Woody Herman. He attended Saint Mary's College of California during the mid-1930s.[citation needed]

After college, 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. On the show Gracie Allen playfully flirted with Tony, often threatening to fire him. She'd say things like "Oh Tony you look so tired, why don't you rest your lips on mine." 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 Metro Goldwyn Mayer 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.

Martin was featured in the 1941 Marx Brothers film (their last for MGM), The Big Store. In it, he played a singer and performed Tenement Symphony, which was written by Hal Borne who became his long-time musical director.[2]

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 Forces.[citation needed] As a corporal he was assigned to Capt. Glenn Miller's band, then was promoted to technical sergeant in the Air Transport Command and stationed in India, where Brig. Gen. William H. Tunner, commanding the Hump Airlift, put him to work as an entertainer, forming a troupe of amateur talent from the command and taking it around the various bases to perform. Though he had an outstanding record in the military,[citation needed] 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, Illinois. 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 Victor records to offer him a contract, which he signed in 1947 after satisfying his contract obligations to Mercury.

He appeared in many film musicals in the 1940s and 1950s. His rendition of "Lover Come Back To Me" with Joan Weldon in Deep in My Heart - based on the music of Sigmund Romberg and starring José Ferrer - was one of the highlights of that film.[citation needed] As of 2009, he is still doing live performances.


Recent singing career

Tony Martin continues to perform on tour today. Two recent performances in New York City took place on October 21, 2007, and October 22, 2007, at Feinstein's at the Regency Hotel. Martin, aged 93, received good reviews. He told stories and memories of his days in Hollywood performing alongside iconic names such as Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Rita Hayworth, Judy Garland, Lana Turner and his wife, who was still alive at that time, Cyd Charisse. He then performed noted songs from his career, including "Begin the Beguine", "Let's Face the Music and Dance", "You Stepped Out of A Dream", and "A Foggy Day". On January 8, 2009, Tony Martin, a 95 year old widower, returned to the stage at San Francisco's Hotel Nikko in the Rrazz Room to sing many of his hit songs from the motion pictures he had been in.[citation needed]


In 1937 he married Alice Faye, with whom he had starred in several films and in 1941 they were divorced. Martin was married to Cyd Charisse from 1948 until her death in 2008 – 60 years - one of the longest Hollywood marriages on record. They had one son together - Tony Martin Jr., born in 1950. He also adopted Charisse's son, Nicky, from her previous marriage.

Hit records

Year Single Chart positions
1938 "The Moon Of Manakoora"(with Ray Noble) 15
"I Hadn't Anyone Till You"(with Ray Noble) 4
"You Couldn't Be Cuter"(with Ray Noble) 16
"My Walking Stick"(with Ray Noble) 17
"Now It Can Be Told"(with Ray Noble) 13
1939 "South of the Border" 16
1940 "It's a Blue World" 2
"Fools Rush In" 14
1941 "Tonight We Love" 5
1942 "To Each His Own" 4
1946 "Rumors Are Flying" 9
"I'll Dance At Your Wedding" 23
1948 "Hooray For Love" 21
"Confess" 25
"For Every Man There's a Woman" 30
"It's Magic" 11
1949 "If You Stub Your Toe On the Moon" 17
"Circus" 24
"There's No Tomorrow" 2
"Marta" 15
1950 "I Said My Pajamas (and Put On My Prayers)"(with Fran Warren) 3
"Valencia" 18
"La Vie En Rose" 9
1951 "A Penny a Kiss"(with Dinah Shore) 8
"In Your Arms"(with Dinah Shore) 20
"Would I Love You" 19
"I Get Ideas" 3
"I Apologize" 20
"The Musicians"(with Dinah Shore, Betty Hutton & Phil Harris) 24
"Vanity" 18
"Over a Bottle of Wine" 17
"Domino" 9
1952 "Kiss of Fire" 6
"Some Day" 24
"Lunna Rossa" 27
"Dance of Destiny" 27
1953 "April In Portugal" 17
"Sorta On the Border" 26
1954 "Stranger In Paradise" 10 6
"Here" 5
1956 "Walk Hand In Hand" 10 2
"It's Better In the Dark" 60
1957 "Do I Love You (Because You're Beautiful)" 82
1965 "Talkin' To Your Picture" 133
1967 "Theme from the Sandpebbles (And We Were Lovers)" 22



External links


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