Scope and Content
Title: Martin (Freddy) Collection, Pt. 1,
Date (inclusive): c1930-1980
Collection number: Mss280
Creator: Fred Martin Jr.
Extent: 222 linear ft.
University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these
materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Martin (Freddy) Collection, Pt. 1, Mss280, Holt-Atherton
Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library
Martin, Freddy (1906-1983)
Ambassador Hotel (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Big bands -United States
Big band music -United States
Band musicians -United States
Big bands -California
Band musicians -California
Los Angeles (Calif.) -History -Sources
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.
Scope and Content
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.
NUMBERS ON ARRANGEMENTS IN SERIES I BOXES CORRESPOND TO NUMBERS ASSIGNED TO INDIVIDUAL
ARRANGEMENTS BY FREDDY MARTIN'S LIBRARIAN. Martin used several numbering systems over the
lifetimes of his various bands. The dominant system (Boxes 1-115) was apparently
developed in the mid-1950s. The 3,529 arrangements in this group were numbered
consecutively as they entered the band's repertoire. Martin's librarian produced an
alphabetical file on 3x5 cards that connected the user to the appropriate number. NUMBERS
IN THIS DOMINANT SYSTEM ARE GIVEN IN THE FOLLOWING ALPHABETICAL INDEX OF ARRANGEMENTS
SIMPLY AS NUMBERS WITHOUT ANY QUALIFYING LETTERS OR OTHER SIGNS.
Some ten years earlier a Martin librarian took previously alphabetized clumps of
arrangements then in use and numbered them consecutively. The earliest of these
arrangements bearing a date was created in 1936. Oddly, this numbering sequence begins
with titles beginning in the "T"s, proceeds backwards into the "S"s, then jumps to the
"H"s and so on without apparent logic. None of the titles in this group (Boxes 116-124)
is found in the newer lists. Here numbers are penciled into the upper lefthand corner of
the score and then circled. Occasionally numbers are given as "G-#," "A-#," or "B-#."
What these letters signify has not been determined. NUMBERS IN THIS SYSTEM ARE PRECEDED
IN THE FOLLOWING ALPHABETICAL INDEX OF ARRANGEMENTS BY THE LETTER"E"(for "early").
Several of the scores in this group numbered 200 and higher bear titles or other markings
indicating that they were used on the Jack Carson Radio Show. These arrangement numbers
are preceded by the letters "JC" (for "Jack Carson"). Martin conducted the "house band"
on this program for at least two seasons (1943-44 and 1945-46). There are 424 "early"
numbers and of these 9 arrangements are missing. There are also 4 repeated numbers, thus
the total number of surviving early numbered arrangements is 419. (Boxes 116-124).
In the early 1950s the Martin Band had its own television shows. The first of these,
probably a local show originating in Los Angeles, was called Band of Tomorrow
(1950-1951?). Martin's librarian marked arrangements in this series "BofT-#." The
arrangements were placed in rough alphabetical order before being numbered consecutively
from BofT-1 through BofT-75. Titles of 18 of these arrangements are known only because
they were found on a handwritten list in Martin's papers. Nothing at all is known about
another 38 of the "BofT" series. Indeed, more than two-thirds of these arrangements were
missing when Holt Atherton Special Collections acquired the Martin Collection. Altogether
there are 19 surviving "BofT" arrangements (BOX 125).NUMBERS IN THIS SYSTEM ARE PRECEDED
IN THE FOLLOWING ALPHABETICAL INDEX OF ARRANGEMENTS BY THE LETTERS "BofT".
For one season Martin appeared weekly on a national television program sponsored by Hazel
Bishop Lipstick (1951). His librarian assigned Hazel Bishop Show arrangements numbers
roughly corresponding to the order in which the arrangements were used on the shows and
marked them "HB-#." There are 209 extant arrangements in this group, although a
handwritten list confirms the former existence of others (Boxes 127-130). NUMBERS IN THIS
SYSTEM ARE PRECEDED IN THE FOLLOWING ALPHABETICAL INDEX OF ARRANGEMENTS BY THE LETTERS
Sometime probably in the late 1960s or early 1970s, Martin's librarian began a
supplementary numbering system for use on road trips and at nostalgia concerts. This
system renumbers arrangements in the dominant alphalist mentioned above and is easily
identified by its use of large stamped numbers in the upper right hand corner of parts
and scores The clustering of certain functional types of music around certain
numbers---Latin dance tunes, ca 300-325; Show Tune medleys, ca 500-550; and Waltzes, ca
600-614---suggests that this numbering system was created for quick "subject" access to
key portions of the larger collection. Although some arrangements in the "stamped numbers
list" date from the 1940s, the list also contains nearly all of Bob Ballard's last
arrangements for FM dating from 1975 through 1980. Many of the parts bear the smaller
pencilled numbers of the dominant alphalist as well as their stamped numbers and it
therefore seems best to assume that the two lists were used in tandem. NUMBERS IN THIS
SYSTEM ARE PRECEDED IN THE FOLLOWING ALPHABETICAL INDEX OF ARRANGEMENTS BY THE LETTER "S"
(for "stamped"). The best sources for titles on the "stamped numbers list" are two
documents in Series III, Box 1: "Freddy Martin Library Index" and "Florida Index." Titles
on these lists seem to indicate that they were prepared as recently as the mid-1970s.
Both of the "indexes" arrange titles by tempo and/or type of dance. The highest number
occurring in either index is "612" and together the two indexes list 195 arrangements. Of
this complement only twenty titles do not occur on the dominant alphalist. Most of these
are songs that became popular after 1965. The stamped numbers arrangements that came to
Holt Atherton in the Freddy Martin Band's traveling cases have been boxed as a separate
group even though most of them could have been interfiled with the dominant alphalist
parts and scores. They apparently constitute Freddy Martin's last repertoire (Boxes
There is also, as one might expect, a substantial quantity of unnumbered arrangements in
the Freddy Martin Collection (BOX 126). One bloc of these, seemingly dating from the
1930s, consists largely of waltzes and Latin American dance pieces. It is possible that
Martin's band played this kind of music less frequently after the War and that the music
was factored out of the band's repertoire before Martin's librarian adopted any numbering
system. No scores exist for any of these earely unnumbered arrangements. Although a few
of the "newer" unnumbered arrangements date from somewhat earlier, many of them were done
in the 1970s by Martin's principal arranger of that decade, Bob Ballard. Judging by the
frequency with which TV and film title themes occur in this list, it seems likely that
several of the arrangements were prepared ad hoc for awards ceremonies. At least some of
the others were probably items in the FM Band's standard repertoire that were simply
never numbered. Several of this group are characterized on their scores as "disco"
arrangements. These must have been among the last arrangements prepared for the Martin
orchestra. Many of these arrangements feature scores as well as parts. ARRANGEMENTS IN
THIS GROUP ARE INDICATED BY THE DESIGNATION "NO#".