Tony Martin (entertainer)

Infobox musical artist

Name =Tony Martin
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Alvin Morris
Born = birth date and age|1912|12|25
Oakland, California, United States
Genre =Big band music, Traditional Pop
Years_active = 1930s–Present
Label = Decca, Mercury, RCA Victor
Spouse = Alice Faye (1937-1941) (divorced)
Cyd Charisse (1948-2008) (her death)

Tony Martin (born December 25 1912) is an American actor and traditional pop singer.


Martin was born Alvin Morris in Oakland, California to Jewish immigrants from Poland. 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 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 in Moraga during the mid-1930s. 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.

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. 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, 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 Hollywood musicals. As of 2008, he is still doing live performances.

inging Career Today

Last of the old Hollywood musical actor-singers still alive, 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, then 94 years old, got good reviews. He told stories 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."


In 1937 he married Alice Faye, and in 1941 they were divorced. Martin was married to Cyd Charisse from 1948 until her death in 2008, almost a Hollywood record for marital success. They had one son together - Tony Martin Jr., born in 1950.

Hit records

*"To Each His Own" (1946)
*"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.")"
*"I Said My Pajamas (and Put on My Prayers)" (1949) "(duet with Fran Warren)"
*"Domino" (1951)
*"I Get Ideas" (1951)
*"I Hear a Rhapsody" (1952)
*"Here" (1953)
*"Walk Hand in Hand" (1956)


*"Follow the Fleet" (1936)
*"The Farmer in the Dell" (1936)
*"Murder on a Bridle Path" (1936)
*"The Witness Chair" (1936) (scenes deleted)
*"Poor Little Rich Girl" (1936)
*"Back to Nature" (1936)
*"Sing, Baby, Sing" (1936)
*"Pigskin Parade" (1936)
*"Banjo on My Knee" (1936)
*"The Holy Terror" (1937)
*"Sing and Be Happy" (1937)
*"You Can't Have Everything" (1937)
*"Life Begins in College" (1937)
*"Ali Baba Goes to Town" (1937)
*"Sally, Irene and Mary" (1938)
*"Kentucky Moonshine" (1938)
*"Up the River" (1938)
*"Thanks for Everything" (1938)
*"Winner Take All" (1939)
*"Music in My Heart" (1940)
*"Ziegfeld Girl" (1941)
*"The Big Store" (1941)
*"Till the Clouds Roll By" (1946)
*"Casbah" (1948)
*"Hollywood Goes to Bat" (1950) (short subject)
*"Two Tickets to Broadway" (1951)
*"Clash by Night" (1952) (Cameo)
*"Here Come the Girls" (1953)
*"Easy to Love" (1953)
*"Deep in My Heart" (1954)
*"Hit the Deck" (1955)
*"Meet Me in Las Vegas" (1956) (Cameo)
*"Quincannon - Frontier Scout" (1956)
*"Let's Be Happy" (1957)
*"Dear Mr. Wonderful" (1982) (Cameo)

External links

*Tony Martin bio on [ The Interlude Era] site
*Tony Martin bio on the [] site
*Tony Martin bio on the [ Feinstein's] site
*imdb name|id=0553149|name=Tony Martin
* [ Photographs and literature]

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