Freddy Martin

Picture of Freddy Martin

Freddy Martin's childhood was filled with challenges. He was bounced around by various relatives, but spent the majority of his younger years in an orphanage.  Martin started out as a drummer, then moved on to learn saxophone, the instrument that would define his career.

Martin led his own band while he was in high school, then played in various local bands after leaving school.  His playing style was heavily influenced by Guy Lombardo.  In fact, Lombardo had a chance to hear Martin's band and at one point recommended Martin to fill in on a date that Lombardo's band couldn't fulfill.  That event gave Freddy Martin the break he needed.

By the early 1930's, Martin was cutting records for both Columbia and Brunswick.  He became quite popular in the Hotel Ballroom circuit, and his band at the time had the "sweet" sound that was popular with the public.  

As the Swing Era took hold, Martin adapted with a bit of a "hotter" sound but retained his smooth style and his band rode the craze into the 1940's.  Freddy also had a great ear for vocalists.  During his career he employed singers Merv Griffin, Buddy Clark and Helen Ward.   His popularity as a bandleader led him to Hollywood where he and his band appeared in a handful of films, including Seven Days' Leave, Stage Door Canteen, Melody Time and a few others.

Martin continued to record throughout the 1950's and into the 60's.  You can hear the sweet, smooth, saxophone of Freddy Martin right here on Swing City Radio.

Listen to: On A Slow Boat To China by Freddy Martin and His Orchestra

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