Friday, July 15, 2016
AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Martha Tilton
Song:And The Angels Sing
Liltin' Martha Tilton was a big band singer best known for her stint with Benny Goodman in the late 30s. And The Angels Sing topped the charts in 1939 and it's probably Martha's signature song. She was born Nov. 14, 1915 in Corpus Christi, TX but she grew up in Los Angeles. While still in high school, she sang with bandleader Sid Lippman on his Coconut Grove radio show. Then she left high school to join Hal Grayson's band. After three years, Martha joined Jimmy Dorsey's band and appeared in the film Topper. Then Benny Goodman came to Los Angeles to film Hollywood Hotel. He was looking for a new singer as Helen Ward had just left the band. Martha auditioned and she toured with Goodman for the next couple of years. She became the first non classical singer to appear at New York's Carnegie Hall when she appeared on Goodman's landmark 1938 concert. Martha recorded several hits while with the Goodman band. But And The Angels Sing was probably her biggest hit and it became her signature song. The song was written by Goodman trumpeter and later bandleader Ziggy Elman and Johnny Mercer. When Mercer founded Capitol Records in 1942, Martha was one of the first to record for Capitol. While recording for Capitol in the 40s, she appeared on the Fibber McGee and Molly and Campana Serenade radio shows. Martha also appeared in films and her voice was frequently used to dub for actresses who didn't sing. The most significant of these was Martha dubbing for Barbara Stanwyck in the 1941 film Ball Of Fire. After Martha left Capitol for Coral in 1949, she continued to appear on radio and TV usually with singer Curt Massey. She also appeared as herself in the 1956 film The Benny Goodman Story. This 2CD comp from Jasmine Records covers Martha's entire career. Martha continued to appear on Los Angeles TV in the 60s. After appearing in the 1975 TV movie Queen of the Stardust Ballroom, she retired. Martha Tilton died on Dec. 8, 2006 at age 91. Here's Martha Tilton with Ziggy Elman performing And The Angels Sing 1955.