Freddy Martin

Freddy Martin

Freddy Martin (December 9, 1906 – September 30, 1983) was an American bandleader and tenor saxophonist.

After graduation from high school, Martin accepted a job at the H.N. White musical instrument company. When Lombardo was playing in Cleveland, Martin tried giving Lombardo some saxophones, which proved unsuccessful. But, Lombardo got to hear Martin's band. One night, when Guy could not do a certain date, he suggested that Martin's band could fill in for him. The band did very well and Martin's career got started. But, the band broke up and he did not form a permanent band until 1931 at the Bossert Hotel in Brooklyn.

At the Bossert Marine Room, Martin pioneered the "Tenor Band" style that swept the sweet-music industry. With his own tenor sax as melodic lead, Martin fronted an all-tenor sax section with just two brasses and a violin trio plus rhythm. The rich, lilting style quickly spawned imitators in hotels and ballrooms nationwide. "Tenor bands", usually with just the three tenors and one trumpet, could occasionally be found playing for older dancers well into the 1980s.

The Martin band recorded first for Columbia Records in 1932. As the company was broke and signing no new contracts, the band switched to Brunswick Records after one session and remained with that label till 1938. During his tenure at Brunswick/ARC, half of his recordings were issued on ARC's stable of budget priced labels (Banner, Conqueror, Melotone, Oriole, Perfect, Romeo, and Vocalion) as well as scores of non-vocal takes issued on ARC's special theater use label, sold only to movie theaters as background music. In 1938, he signed with RCA Victor and was assigned to Bluebird. The band also recorded pseudonymously in the early 1930s, backing singers such as Will Osborne.

Martin took his band into many prestigious hotels, including the Roosevelt Grill in New York City and the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. A fixture on radio, his sponsored shows included NBC's Maybelline Penthouse Serenade of 1937. For Martin, real success came in 1941 with an arrangement from the first movement of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1 in B♭ minor. Martin recorded the piece instrumentally, but soon lyrics were put in and it was re-cut as "Tonight We Love" with Clyde Rogers' vocal – becoming his biggest hit. It sold over one million copies by 1946, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.

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Listen to Freddy Martin on Swing City Radio.  We are a Big Band Radio Station playing a wide selection of Big Band and Swing music.

Swing City Radio plays Freddy Martin - Listen to our station and hear the songs:
All or Nothing at All
The Hut-Sut Song
Jingle, Jangle Jingle
Rose O'Day
That Old Black Magic

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