|Birth name Kurt Kohn|
Name Ray Martin
|Origin Vienna, Austria|
Also known as Marshall Ross
|Born 11 October 1918 (1918-10-11) |
Died 7 February 1988(1988-02-07) (aged 69)
Occupation(s) Music director, composer, conductor, orchestra leader
Ray Martin (Raymond Stuart Martin; born Kurt Kohn and later anglicised his name) (11 October 1918 - 7 February 1988) was a British-Austrian orchestra leader. He was noted for his light music compositions. Allmusic journalist, Bradley Torreano stated "Ray Martin created a legacy for himself in British popular music through his work with his orchestra during the 1950s. His regular appearances on radio and television kept him in the public spotlight, while his position at EMI Records made him an influential producer at the label. His use of pseudonyms has blurred the path of his career through the years, making his many contributions even harder to keep track of. But his original compositions are what really made him popular; tracks like "Marching Strings" have become stables of many public and city bands and orchestras since their release".
- Ray martin and his orchestra million dollar melodies 1958 full vinyl album
- Selection of his light music titles
- Chart singles
Ray martin and his orchestra million dollar melodies 1958 full vinyl album
Raymond Stuart Martin was born in Vienna, Austria, and was initially a violinist. He went to the State Academy of Music and Fine Art in Vienna. In 1938, he immigrated to England and was a Carroll Levis discovery. Around this time, Ray was viewed by the British government as possible German spy during World War II, so he was arrested and placed on the Dunera ship that took him and many others to Australia where he was interned at Hay, Tatura and Loveday prisoner of war camps. He returned to England in October 1941 joining the British Army having been officially cleared. As he was multilingual, he served in the Intelligence Corps for six years. He became an arranger and composer for the Royal Air Force Band. During this time, he also managed to rescue his brother, who was imprisoned in a concentration camp or possibly a prisoner of war camp. After the war's end, he worked in radio for the British Forces Network in Hamburg, Germany, and later formed his own orchestra for a programme called Melody from the Sky which had over 500 performances.
He became the conductor of the BBC Northern Variety Orchestra and also worked for EMI as a record producer and arranger. In this period he wrote many scores for TV and movies, including the score to the acclaimed Diana Dors film Yield to the Night in 1956. He moved to the U.S. in 1957, where he worked on both Broadway and Hollywood productions. In 1959 he arranged two LPs of Classic U.S. Television Themes named Impact and Double Impact on RCA-Victor for Buddy Morrow and his Orchestra - one of the first such collections on record.
Martin composed more than 2,000 works, many of which were recorded for RCA and Polydor.
He returned to the UK in 1972, but was comparatively unproductive. In 1980 he moved to South Africa, where he died in Johannesburg, from cancer in 1988 at the age of 69.