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Collection Guide
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Register of the Martin (Freddy) Collection, Pt. 2, c1930-1980
Mss280  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Freddy Martin collection consists largely of the arrangements Martin's various bands played over the nearly fifty years of his career as a band leader. Series I consists of more than 4000 manuscript band scores with parts. Series II consists of other types of music, including published sheet music, published arrangements and manuscript lead sheets. Series III consists of Freddy Martin biographical materials, including correspondence, lists of arrangements, photographs, programs and memorabilia.
Background
Freddy Martin (1906-1983) was a band leader/saxophonist during the Swing Era and after. He was known for his beautiful tone. Raised in Ohio orphanage, Martin learned instruments in the orphanage band. Encouraged by Guy Lombardo, he formed his own group (1932) and began to play dance clubs in New York and Chicago. Martin appeared on several radio programs during the 1930s and became identified with dance arrangements of popular classics, the most famous of which was probably his theme song, "Tonight we love," derived from the opening melody of Chaikovskii's First Piano Concerto (1941). Martin came west in 1941, first establishing himself at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco and later at the Cocoanut Grove of the Amabassador Hotel in Los Angeles, where he remained for more than twenty-five years. In later years, Martin helped foster a nostalgia craze for the "Big Band Sound." He toured the nation with his group playing arrangements made famous by the many bands of the Swing Era (1965-1980). More a performer and administrator than an arranger, Freddy Martin farmed out the work of creating a "Martin Sound" over fifty years to many arrangers. Among those represented in this collection, Bob Ballard was certainly Martin's principal arranger from 1950 to 1983, but others, including Murray Arnold, Ray Austin, Elmer Feldkamp, Del Lampe, Terry Shand, Eddie Sheasby and Fred Van Eps are also well-represented.
Availability
Collection is open for research.