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Martin, Tony (I) Biography




biography of Martin, Tony (I)

Alvin Morris
25 December 1913, San Francisco, California, USA
27 July 2012, Los Angeles, California, USA (natural causes)
5' 11"
Born Alvin Morris, the son of immigrants from Poland, Tony Martin received a soprano saxophone on his tenth birthday. In his grammar school glee club, he became an instrumentalist and soprano pop singer. When in high school, he then formed his first band called "The Red Peppers", eventually joining a local orchestra leader, Tom Gerun, as a reed instrument specialist, sitting along with a future band leader, 'Woody Herman' (qv). In the mid-1930s, Martin left Gerun to go to Hollywood, where he would go under his stage name, "Tony Martin". in 1937, Martin married 'Alice Faye (I)' (qv). After their divorce, he married 'Cyd Charisse' (qv) in 1948 - a marriage which lasted sixty years. Martin starred in hit movies such as _Follow the Fleet (1936)_ (qv), _The Farmer in the Dell (1936)_ (qv), _Pigskin Parade (1936)_ (qv), _The Holy Terror (1937)_ (qv), _Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937)_ (qv), _The Big Store (1941)_ (qv), _Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)_ (qv), _Casbah (1948)_ (qv), _Clash by Night (1952)_ (qv), where he is heard on the soundtrack singing "I Hear A Rhapsody", and _Hit the Deck (1955)_ (qv). His numerous signature standard hits include "Kiss Of Fire", "I Get Ideas", "Some Day", "Fools Rush In" and "There's No Tomorrow", for which he is possibly best remembered. From 1954-56, he hosted a weekly 15 minute variety series on NBC-TV. Over the next 40 years, he was a guest on the TV variety series of 'Jack Benny' (qv), 'Dinah Shore' (qv), 'Milton Berle' (qv), 'Merv Griffin' (qv), 'Dean Martin (I)' (qv), 'Nat 'King' Cole' (qv), 'David Frost (I)' (qv), 'Barbara McNair' (qv), 'Johnny Carson (I)' (qv) and 'Ed Sullivan (I)' (qv). He has had many TV acting roles, as well.
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-   'Alice Faye (I)' (qv) (4 September 1937 - 26 March 1941) (divorced)

-   'Cyd Charisse' (qv) (15 May 1948 - 17 June 2008) (her death); 1 child


-   Classic pop singer and occasional actor (_Hit the Deck (1955)_ (qv), _Here Come the Girls (1953)_ (qv), _Casbah (1948)_ (qv)) whose career peaked in the 1950s. His biggest hit was "There's No Tomorrow" (RCA Victor, 1950), which was adapted from the traditional Neapolitan ballad "O Solo Mio" ('Elvis Presley' (qv) later had one of the biggest hits of his career by adapting the same song as "It's Now or Never"). Happily married for sixty years to actress/dancer 'Cyd Charisse' (qv).

-   Very early in his career, he was a sax player, under his real name of Al Morris, in an orchestra headed by Tom Gerun. Among the other orchestra members were unknowns (at the time) 'Woody Herman' (qv) and singer 'Ginny Simms' (qv).

-   One son with his second wife, 'Cyd Charisse' (qv): Tony Martin Jr. He adopted Charisse's son Nicholas from her first marriage.

-   Son Tony Martin Jr. (born on August 28, 1950) died in April 2011, and was survived by 'Liv Lindeland' (qv)-Martin, his wife of almost 30 years, father Tony Martin, Sr. and half-brother Nico Charisse.

-   His first hit record was "Now it Can Be Told" (1938), a song by 'Irving Berlin (I)' (qv) from the film _Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)_ (qv). It was sung on-screen by his then-wife 'Alice Faye (I)' (qv).

-   There was a misunderstanding that led to his discharge from the Navy during World War II, and even though he had served honorably, there were false rumors that he had tried to 'buy' an officer's commission. As a result even after the war, some major labels refused to record him. He finished up the war in the Army, winning a Bronze Star as a noncombatant in the Far East.

-   He was awarded 4 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6331 Hollywood Boulevard, for Motion Pictures at 6436 Hollywood Boulevard; for Radio at 1760 Vine Street; and for Television at 1725 Vine Street in Hollywood, California.

-   Tony was at a Friar's Club Roast for 'Lucille Ball (I)' (qv)/'Desi Arnaz' (qv) in November, 1958, when 'Harry Parke' (qv), having just completed his comedy routine and returning to his seat, collapsed into 'Milton Berle' (qv)'s lap. Berle, hoping to divert the audience from Harry's distress, urged Tony to sing something. His unfortunate song choice was "There's No Tomorrow." Parke died of a heart attack.

-   He appeared in more than 30 films.

-   Twice, songs sung on screen by Martin received Academy Award nominations: "For Every Man There's a Woman" from _Casbah (1948)_ (qv) and "It's a Blue World" from the 1940 film, _Music in My Heart (1940)_ (qv).

-   His parents, Edward and Hattie Morris, were Jewish immigrants from Poland who divorced when he was young, and he considered his stepfather, tailor Myer Myers, his father.

-   Growing up in Oakland, Calif., he took up the saxophone after his grandmother gave him one when he was 10.

-   In high school, he formed his first band and after graduating spent about two years at St. Mary's College in Moraga, Calif., but left to pursue music.

-   For several years, he played and sang with bands in the San Francisco area, including the Tom Gerun Orchestra.

-   His parents wanted him to be a lawyer. He briefly attended St. Mary's, a Christian Brothers college, CA. He says he left college in 1931 when "one of the brothers told me I was flunking everything and should stick to music.".

-   In 1954, on "The Colgate Comedy Hour" hosted by 'Dean Martin (I)' (qv) and 'Jerry Lewis (I)' (qv), he appeared with singer/comedian 'Joe E. Lewis' (qv), who was later portrayed by 'Frank Sinatra' (qv) in the film bio, _The Joker Is Wild (1957)_ (qv). When the show's announcer first introduced "Martin and Lewis", that evening, Tony and Joe E. came on stage, instead.


-   (1959) Unsold pilot: He and wife 'Cyd Charisse' (qv) starred in a pilot for a family dramatic series called "Night People" in which Martin would play a night club singer and Charisse his spouse.

-   (2008) Performed a well-received live performance at Feinstein's cabaret in New York.

-   (1950) Single: "There's No Tomorrow" (RCA Victor)

-   (1938) Single: "Now It Can Be Told" (his first record)

-   (1982) Album: "I'll See You in My Dreams" (Applause Records)


-   Tony Martin, 'Cyd Charisse' (qv), with Dick Kleiner. _The Two of Us._ New York: Mason/Charter, 1976.


-   The war and all my service-connected problems did me one good turn. When I came out I was pretty humble. I had been chopped down to size.

-   [on 'Cyd Charisse' (qv)] She stepped out of a dream.

-   [on being 'Alice Faye (I)' (qv)'s husband] To many people around town, I was Mr. 'Alice Faye (I)' (qv).

-   I think I sound like a fella who's always making a plea through his music. Sort of a plea of sincerity.


-   "The Washington Post" (USA), 31 July 2012, Vol. 135, Iss. 239, pg. B6, by: Adam Bernstein, "Tony Martin, 98: Actor linked with romance in movies, life"

-   "The New York Times" (USA), 31 July 2012, pg. B8, by: Frank J. Prial, "Tony Martin, Debonair Pop Troubadour, Dies at 98"

-   "The New York Times" (USA), 15 January 2009, Vol. 158, Iss. 54,556, pg. C5, by: Stephen Holden, "A Crooner Returns, With a Swing in His Heart"

-   "The New York Times" (USA), 2 February 2008, Vol. 157, Iss. 54,208, pg. B7 & B13, by: Frank J. Prial, "Ready With a Song and a Story at 95"

-   "The New York Times" (USA), 31 January 2008, Vol. 157, Iss. 54,206, pg. E3, by: Stephen Holden, "No Tomorrow? 95 Years of Yesterdays"


-   "TV Guide" (USA), 2 April 1955

-   "Picture Magazine" (USA), September 1952

-   "Cinevie Magazine" (France), 14 December 1948

-   "Popular Songs" (USA), June 1947

-   "Filmski Zurnal" (Yugoslavia), March 1940

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Acting in movies

  1. My Music: Big Band Vocalists (2012) (TV)
  2. That's Amore!: Italian-American Favorites (2008) (TV)
  3. My Music: 50s Pop Parade (2007) (TV)
  4. "Great Performances" (1970) {From Shtetl to Swing (#34.1)}
  5. AFI's 100 Years... 100 Songs: America's Greatest Music in the Movies (2004) (TV)
  6. Ziegfeld Girl Intro (2004) (V)
  7. The Nightclub Years (2001) (TV)
  8. "Biography" (1987) {Ann Miller: I'm Still Here}
  9. "Biography" (1987) {Don Ameche: Hollywood's Class Act}
  10. The Annual American Friends Hebrew University Scopus Awards Honoring Ted Turner (1995) (TV)
  11. Golden Globes 50th Anniversary Celebration (1994) (TV)
  12. That's Entertainment! III (1994)
  13. That's Entertainment! III Behind the Screen (1994) (V)
  14. The 5th Annual Legacy Awards (1993) (TV)
  15. "American Masters" (1985) {You're the Top: The Cole Porter Story (#5.4)}
  16. Happy 100th Birthday, Hollywood (1987) (TV)
  17. The Annual Friars Club Tribute Present a Salute to Liza Minnelli (1987) (TV)
  18. The American Film Institute Salute to Gene Kelly (1985) (TV)
  19. "Looks Familiar" (1970) {(#13.4)}
  20. Dear Mr. Wonderful (1982)
  21. Me olvidé de vivir (1980)
  22. "Donny and Marie" (1976) {(#2.14)}
  23. "Over Easy" (1977) {(1977-12-29)}
  24. "The Hollywood Squares" (1965) {(1977-01-31)}
  25. "Wednesday at 8" (1976) {(#2.4)}
  26. That's Entertainment! (1974)
  27. "ABC's Wide World of Entertainment" (1973) {That's Entertainment! 50 Years of MGM}
  28. "The Barbara McNair Show" (1969) {(1970-01-04)}
  29. "The Merv Griffin Show" (1962) {(1970-06-25)}
  30. "The Merv Griffin Show" (1962) {(1970-09-07)}
  31. "The Name of the Game" (1968) {I Love You, Billy Baker: Part 1 (#3.10)}
  32. "The Name of the Game" (1968) {I Love You, Billy Baker: Part 2 (#3.11)}
  33. "Della" (1969) {(#1.104)}
  34. "Della" (1969) {(#1.22)}
  35. "The David Frost Show" (1969) {(#2.36)}
  36. "The Donald O'Connor Show" (1968) {(1969-05-14)}
  37. "The Hollywood Palace" (1964) {(#6.17)}
  38. "The Joey Bishop Show" (1967) {(#3.137)}
  39. "The Joey Bishop Show" (1967) {(#3.209)}
  40. "The Joey Bishop Show" (1967) {(#3.87)}
  41. "The Joey Bishop Show" (1967) {(#4.45)}
  42. "The Joey Bishop Show" (1967) {(#2.142)}
  43. "The Joey Bishop Show" (1967) {(#3.48)}
  44. "The Pat Boone Show" (1967) {(1968-01-09)}
  45. "The Dean Martin Show" (1965) {(1967-11-16)}
  46. "The Hollywood Palace" (1964) {(#4.27)}
  47. "The Hollywood Squares" (1965) {(#2.10)}
  48. "The Hollywood Squares" (1965) {(#2.6)}
  49. "The Hollywood Squares" (1965) {(#2.7)}
  50. "The Hollywood Squares" (1965) {(#2.8)}
  51. "The Hollywood Squares" (1965) {(#2.9)}
  52. "The Joey Bishop Show" (1967) {(#1.29)}
  53. "The Joey Bishop Show" (1967) {(#1.67)}
  54. "The Joey Bishop Show" (1967) {(#1.77)}
  55. "The Joey Bishop Show" (1967) {(#2.17)}
  56. "The Joey Bishop Show" (1967) {(#2.46)}
  57. "The Joey Bishop Show" (1967) {(#2.68)}
  58. "The Merv Griffin Show" (1962) {(1967-12-29)}
  59. "The Mike Douglas Show" (1961) {(1967-11-02)}
  60. "The Dean Martin Show" (1965) {(1966-11-10)}
  61. "The Dean Martin Show" (1965) {(1966-11-17)}
  62. "The Hollywood Palace" (1964) {(#3.29)}
  63. "The Hollywood Palace" (1964) {(#4.5)}
  64. "The Hollywood Palace" (1964) {(#2.16)}
  65. "The Hollywood Palace" (1964) {(#2.18)}
  66. "The New London Palladium Show" (1965) {(1965-11-28)}
  67. "The Hollywood Palace" (1964) {(#1.14)}
  68. "The Hollywood Palace" (1964) {(#2.10)}
  69. "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962) {(1963-09-26)}
  70. The 34th Annual Academy Awards (1962) (TV)
  71. "Death Valley Days" (1952) {The Unshakable Man (#10.24)}
  72. "The Merv Griffin Show" (1962) {(#1.30)}
  73. "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962) {(1962-11-05)}
  74. "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962) {(1962-11-23)}
  75. The 33rd Annual Academy Awards (1961) (TV)
  76. "The Donna Reed Show" (1958) {Tony Martin Visits (#3.24)}
  77. "The Garry Moore Show" (1958) {(#4.3)}
  78. "The Steve Allen Show" (1956) {The Movie Premiere of 'Can-Can' (#5.22)}
  79. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#14.8)}
  80. The 31st Annual Academy Awards (1959) (TV)
  81. "Chelsea at Nine" (1957) {(1959-10-15)}
  82. "Startime" (1959/I) {Meet Cyd Charisse (#1.13)}
  83. "The Dinah Shore Chevy Show" (1956) {(#2.21)}
  84. "The George Burns Show" (1958) {Tony Martin Visits (#1.6)}
  85. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#11.33)}
  86. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#11.39)}
  87. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#12.6)}
  88. Let's Be Happy (1957)
  89. "The Dinah Shore Chevy Show" (1956) {(#1.6)}
  90. "The Dinah Shore Chevy Show" (1956) {(#2.4)}
  91. "The Nat King Cole Show" (1956) {(#3.1)}
  92. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#10.36)}
  93. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#11.9)}
  94. Inside Beverly Hills (1956) (TV)
  95. Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956)
  96. Quincannon, Frontier Scout (1956)
  97. "Arthur Godfrey and His Friends" (1949) {Spring Holiday}
  98. "Person to Person" (1953) {(#3.40)}
  99. "The Walter Winchell Show" (1956) {(#1.10)}
  100. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#9.33)}
  101. "Val Parnell's Sunday Night at the London Palladium" (1955) {(#1.39)}
  102. Hit the Deck (1955)
  103. The 27th Annual Academy Awards (1955) (TV)
  104. "MGM Parade" (1955) {(#1.5)}
  105. "Shower of Stars" (1954) {All-Star Line-Up (#1.10)}
  106. "Shower of Stars" (1954) {High Pitch (#1.9)}
  107. "The Tony Martin Show" (1954)
  108. Deep in My Heart (1954)
  109. General Foods 25th Anniversary Show: A Salute to Rodgers and Hammerstein (1954) (TV)
  110. "The Jack Benny Program" (1950) {The Jam Session Show (#5.2)}
  111. "The Milton Berle Show" (1948) {(#6.26)}
  112. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#7.24)}
  113. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#8.1)}
  114. Christmas with the Stars (1953) (TV)
  115. Easy to Love (1953)
  116. Here Come the Girls (1953)
  117. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#6.19)}
  118. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#6.38)}
  119. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#6.42)}
  120. "Four Star Revue" (1950) {(#3.2)}
  121. "The Colgate Comedy Hour" (1950) {(#2.31)}
  122. "The Colgate Comedy Hour" (1950) {(#3.12)}
  123. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#5.40)}
  124. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#5.48)}
  125. Two Tickets to Broadway (1951)
  126. "The Colgate Comedy Hour" (1950) {(#1.26)}
  127. "The Colgate Comedy Hour" (1950) {(#1.32)}
  128. "The Colgate Comedy Hour" (1950) {(#1.42)}
  129. "The Milton Berle Show" (1948) {(#3.24)}
  130. Screen Snapshots: Hollywood Goes to Bat (1950)
  131. "The Saturday Night Revue with Jack Carter" (1950) {(#1.5)}
  132. "The Milton Berle Show" (1948) {(#1.33)}
  133. "The Milton Berle Show" (1948) {(#1.54)}
  134. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#2.21)}
  135. Casbah (1948)
  136. Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)
  137. Meet the Stars #6: Stars at Play (1941)
  138. The Big Store (1941)
  139. Ziegfeld Girl (1941)
  140. Music in My Heart (1940)
  141. Screen Snapshots Series 19, No. 5: Art and Artists (1940)
  142. Winner Take All (1939)
  143. Kentucky Moonshine (1938)
  144. Sally, Irene and Mary (1938)
  145. Thanks for Everything (1938)
  146. Up the River (1938)
  147. Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937)
  148. Life Begins in College (1937)
  149. Sing and Be Happy (1937)
  150. The Holy Terror (1937)
  151. You Can't Have Everything (1937)
  152. Back to Nature (1936)
  153. Banjo on My Knee (1936)
  154. Follow the Fleet (1936)
  155. Murder on a Bridle Path (1936)
  156. Pigskin Parade (1936)
  157. Poor Little Rich Girl (1936)
  158. Sing, Baby, Sing (1936)
  159. The Farmer in the Dell (1936)
  160. Foolish Hearts (1935)

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