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Tony Martin

Tony MartinAKA Alvin Morris

Born: 25-Dec-1913
Birthplace: San Francisco, CA
Died: 27-Jul-2012
Location of death: West Los Angeles, CA
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Hillside Memorial Park, Culver City, CA

Gender: Male
Religion: Jewish
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Singer, Actor

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: There's No Tomorrow

Military service: US Navy; US Army Air Corps

One look at the album cover and you know Tony Martin made music for another era. He started as a saxophone player, forming his Red Peppers band while he was still in high school. He played sax with Woody Herman at the 1933 Chicago World Fair, but came to fame primarily as a vocalist. His biggest hits included a 1946 recording of "To Each His Own", "There's No Tomorrow" in 1950 (to the tune of the Italian ballad "O Solo Mio"), and the amusing 1950 novelty tune "I Said My Pajamas (and Put on My Pray'rs)".

After the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Martin did double duty during the war, first serving in the US Navy, then the US Army. In his first assignment after Army boot camp, he sang for Glenn Miller's Army Air Forces Training Command Orchestra, but he later saw serious action, and won the Bronze Star.

After World War II he was a semi-regular on Walter Winchell's Lucky Strike Hour on radio, and in the early 1950s he hosted The Colgate Comedy Hour three times -- like Saturday Night Live, the show had a different host each week. From 1954-56 he hosted his own 15-minute The Tony Martin Show on NBC, singing a song, briefly chatting with a celebrity guest, and then asking viewers to stay tuned for the network's prime time nightly newscast. Martin's singing voice was sweet, but his on-screen charisma was minimal, and by the late 1950s he was an occasional guest star on The George Burns Show and Arthur Godfrey and His Friends.

He had a movie career as well, though most of his films are little remembered today. A clip of Martin and Jane Powell singing "Hallelujah", the finale from Hit the Deck, was featured in the MGM retrospective That's Entertainment, and in The Big Store, one of the Marx Brothers' lesser efforts, Martin played the disinterested new owner of the department store. Not counting numerous cameos and bit parts, his best film was the amusing bagpipe musical Let's Be Happy with Vera-Ellen, and his worst was probably Quincannon - Frontier Scout, with a non-singing Martin in the old west trying to find out how Indians obtained weapons of mass destruction -- repeating rifles.

In the 1960s he toured with his wife, singer and dancer Cyd Charisse, and in the early 1970s he recorded a uniquely lounge-lizard spin on "Aquarius" ("When the moon is in the seventh house...") from Hair. He was not related to the Tony Martin who replaced Ozzy Osbourne as vocalist for Black Sabbath.

Wife: Alice Faye (actress, m. 1936, div. 1940, d. 9-May-1998 cancer)
Wife: Cyd Charisse (actress and dancer, m. 15-May-1948, d. 17-Jun-2008, two sons)
Son: Nico Charisse, Jr. (stepson, b. 7-May-1942 in Charisse's first marriage to Nico Charisse)
Son: Tony Martin, Jr. (b. 29-Aug-1950, d. 10-Apr-2011)

    High School: Oakland Technical High School, Oakland, CA

    Hollywood Walk of Fame 6436 Hollywood Blvd. (motion pictures)
    Hollywood Walk of Fame 1760 Vine Street (radio)
    Hollywood Walk of Fame 6331 Hollywood Blvd. (recordings)
    Hollywood Walk of Fame 1725 Vine Street (television)

    Dear Mr. Wonderful (24-Aug-1982)
    Let's Be Happy (8-May-1957)
    Hit the Deck (3-Mar-1955)
    Deep in My Heart (9-Dec-1954) · Singer -- Robert Mission
    Easy to Love (26-Nov-1953) · Barry Gordon
    Here Come the Girls (22-Oct-1953) · Allen Trent
    Clash by Night (18-Jun-1952) [VOICE]
    Two Tickets to Broadway (20-Nov-1951) · Dan Carter
    Casbah (Apr-1948) · Pepe Le Moko
    Till the Clouds Roll By (5-Dec-1946) · Gaylord Ravenal
    The Big Store (20-Jun-1941)
    Ziegfeld Girl (25-Apr-1941) · Frank Merton
    Music in My Heart (4-Jan-1940)
    Thanks for Everything (23-Dec-1938)
    Kentucky Moonshine (20-May-1938)
    Sally, Irene and Mary (4-Mar-1938)
    Ali Baba Goes to Town (22-Oct-1937)
    Life Begins in College (1-Oct-1937)
    You Can't Have Everything (3-Aug-1937)
    Banjo on My Knee (11-Dec-1936) · Chick Bean
    Pigskin Parade (23-Oct-1936) · Tommy Barker
    Sing, Baby, Sing (21-Aug-1936)
    Poor Little Rich Girl (24-Jul-1936)

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