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Tony Martin

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Biography

A popular crooner of the 1940s and '50s, Tony Martin's deliberate delivery and romantic ballads were more in keeping with vintage movie musicals than the currents that would shape the pop music of the last half of the 20th century. Taking his inspiration from singers like Russ Columbo, he had already been in some Hollywood musicals by the time he made his first hit record in 1938, "Now It Can Be Told" (with the Ray Noble Orchestra). Drafted into the Navy during World War II, rumors that he'd bribed his way into an officer's commission made work tougher to find after his discharge from the armed forces. A brief but fairly successful stint on Mercury in 1946-1947 helped get things going again, after which he moved to RCA and enjoyed many pop hits over the next decade. He also got a lot of work in radio and television, and performed with considerable success on the cabaret circuit with his wife, dancer/actress Cyd Charisse. ~ Richie Unterberger
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