San Francisco, California, USA
Brown - Dark
Claim to Fame
Vocal Pop, Traditional Pop, Show Tunes, Stage & Screen
Elegant, Sophisticated, Romantic
Has Detailed Data (New)
Profile Bio Text
Singer and actor Tony 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 1937 he married Alice Faye, and in 1941 they were divorced.
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 Jose Ferrer - was one of the highlights of Hollywood musicals. By 1941 his top billing for The Big Store read the Marx Brothers with Tony Martin.
The 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."
As of 2009, he is still doing live performances.
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.
Full Name at Birth
Alvin Morris (December 25, 1913 – July 27, 2012), known professionally as Tony Martin, was an American actor and popular singer. His career spanned over seven decades, and he scored dozens of hits between the late-1930s and mid-1950s with songs such as "Walk Hand in Hand" and "Stranger in Paradise". He was married to actress and dancer Cyd Charisse for 60 years until her death in 2008.
Cause of Death
Place of Death
Los Angeles, California, USA
Has Detailed Data (105)
Has Detailed Data (76)
Music Profile Complete
Edward Clarence Morris
Music Genre (Text)
Big band, Traditional pop
Decca, Mercury, RCA Victor, Motown
Couple Profile Source
Oakland Technical High School, Oakland, CA
Saint Mary's College, CA
www.nndb.com/people/641/000042515/, www.britannica.com/biography/Tony-Martin-American-singer-and-actor, www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=94473175
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