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Martha Tilton Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trivia (9)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Corpus Christi, Texas, USA
Died in Brentwood, California, USA  (natural causes)
Nickname Liltin' Martha Tilton
Height 5' 1½" (1.56 m)

Mini Bio (1)

She became a notable vocalist of the Big Band Era and known around the circuit as the "Liltin' Miss Martha Tilton." Born on November 14, 1915, this trim, Texas-born blonde was the fortunate product of a musical family, with her parents actively playing the piano and singing at home while she grew up. The family moved to Los Angeles when Martha was but seven months old. With a naturally gifted voice, she began as an unpaid teen singer on local radio but it wasn't long before she attracted an agent and started getting paid bookings at such venues as the Coconut Grove with Al Lippan's band.

Martha eventually joined singer Jo Stafford and others to form a swing chorus for Benny Goodman on his radio show. She became Goodman's lead vocalist after his former girl singer parted ways, and hit the big time with the song "And the Angels Sing." She stayed with Goodman for over three years recording, performing one-nighters and singing on the airwaves. In 1942, Martha became one of the first artists to record for Capitol Records, staying with the company until 1949. During the war years she also appeared in a handful of movies and was prominently featured in Swing Hostess (1944) and Crime, Inc. (1945). Other movies coming her way usually featured her as a specialty singer as opposed to incorporating her into the plot. Songs from some of those movies included lovely renditions of "Let's Capture That Moment," "What a Fool I Was," "I'm Guilty" and "Say It With Love."

In later years she earned her own radio programs ("Liltin' Martha Tilton Time") and proceeded solidly into the 1950s, often finding TV singing work to supplement her income. Some of her bigger recording hits included "How Are Things in Glocca Mora," "Time After Time," "I Should Care," "A Stranger in Town," and "I'll Walk Alone." Martha married an aerospace executive in 1953, yet continued her career and appeared as a guest vocalist in the Goodman biopic The Benny Goodman Story (1956) starring Steve Allen reprising her solid hit "And the Angels Sing." Within a few years she retired permanently to raise three children.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (3)

Jim Brooks (3 May 1953 - 8 December 2006) ( her death) ( 2 children)
Leonard K. Vannerson (1 April 1940 - ?) ( divorced)
David A. Thomas (? - 3 July 1937) ( divorced)

Trivia (9)

Younger sister Liz Tilton sang with Ken Baker in the mid-1930s and with Buddy Rogers at a later date. She also sang with Bob Crosby in 1941 and Jan Garber in 1942.
Provided a number of singing voices for film stars including Barbara Stanwyck,
Initially with Jimmy Dorsey and his band, she sang with Artie Shaw and Billy Mills in the post-Goodman years.
Among her later albums was "We Sing the Old Songs" (1957), a mix of older songs and recent standards with Curt Massey, who later became well-known for singing the theme song to the CBS rural series Petticoat Junction (1963).
Was a member of the 1930s vocal group Three Hits and a Miss.
During World War 2, Martha toured the world with Jack Benny, Carole Landis and Larry Adler. They performed hundreds of shows for the servicemen stationed overseas.
After retirement, Martha's hobbies were Golf, Tennis, Needlepoint, Reading, & Swimming.
Her 1947 song "That's My Desire" was featured in the 2011 video game L.A. Noire (2011).
Was known as "The Liltin' Miss Martha Tilton".

Personal Quotes (1)

I'm very grateful for what happened to me. I was well paid for what I loved doing most -- singing.

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