~  The Impeccable Al Martino ~
He's A Vocal Icon Of Beautiful Songs 
The Impeccable Al Martino
By Frank E. Dee

What can one really say about this vocal genius who has swayed the world with his hit songs?  All too infrequently, a voice  will emerge from the mulitiude ... to be heard and remembered.  Such a voice belongs to the impeccable Al Martino, an Italian, Philadelphian who was destined to scale the heights in the vocal world.   Al Martino without any doubt, is one of the all time great singers of today.  

 Martino has become a legend of song worldwide.  And, ... He continues to thrill worldwide audiences wherever he appears,  be it in his concerts, night club  appearances.  His recordings  are a treasure chest to add in anyone's personal  collection. 

Still today Mr. Martino, continues to sing as beautiful as the first song he turned into a gold winner in 1952: "Here In My Heart".  In this new Century,  Al Martino, is singing as great as ever.  As we enter the start of a new millennium, Al Martino will still be known in my honest opinion, as an Impeccable Vocal Genius.  His songs that he made famous speak for his great vocal talent. 

Where did it all begin?

It began in Philadelphia, the state known as "The Capital Of Entertainers."  In a interview with Martino, by my good friend Joe Curreri, who is a Nationwide Freelance writer from Philadelphia.  In an article written by Joe Curreri.   He pointed out that Martino, was inspired by the late Mario Lanza, another Philadelphian.  In that interview, Martino said:  "Iím hanging around the corner on Broad and Tasker," recalls Martino.  "Things are tough."  Everybodyís broke, including me.  And thereís some kind of parade going on and whoís the star of the parade?  Mario Lanza.  I looked at Mario and said to myself, Ďsure, Marioís got a great voice.  But if he can make it singing, so can I.í  So I went right to New York and with luck, I made it.  And I owe it all to Mario.  Heís the one who inspired me." 

In 1952 Al Martino, made the disc world sit-up and take notice with one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded, "Here In My Heart."  This was the song that launched Martino to stardom.  It was this song that became his first million seller.  Not only did Al Martino have a worldwide hit record.  On November 14, 1952, Al Martino was also the very first American recording artist to be listed on Englandís first chart of hits, with his great vocal rendition of "Here In My Heart." 

As I remember, Martino was riding a comet of hit songs from 1952-to-1953. At that time he toured Europe thrilling audiences with his beautiful voice, before returning back to his homeland America, only to launch a string of 34 hot 100 single hits. 

Al Martinoís voice and his hit song of "Here In My Heart," inspired my taking vocal lessons at the age of 16 years old.  Although Iíve also been a fan of other great singers.  Iíve always said it was Al Martino who really was my inspiration to study voice and jump in and out of singing at local pubs in my neighborhood as a teen. 

I have always been fascinated when I heard people say: "Al Martino, or so called ĎJohn Doe singersí have become over night successes".  That to me has always been pure bunk.  There is no such thing as instant stardom.  Because audiences, fans or whoever.  Do not really know the hard knocks that singers have gone through to reach their successful goal of fame.  They all had to pay their dues one way or another by struggling in their early years of working numerous night club gigs, before their lucky brake came along.  And Iím sure there were night clubs that they didnít even want to sing in.  But they sang every chance they got to step forward into the fame they worked hard at.  Because there is no such thing as a "Free Lunch."  It takes work, work, and constant drive to achieve oneís goal.  I believe Mr. Martino, was one of these individual singers who remembers how it was coming up the ladder of success, and what its like now. 

There exists no doubt that for sheer sensuousness of spontaneity, Al Martino, must be ranked as one of the best of any singer of our time.  His vocal emission served as a singing lesson in perfect vocal placement.  As I have said about other certain singers who sing and not croon.  My opinion for what its worth. I believe that Al Martino has never recorded a bad song.  Some may have not become big hits, but they were certainly beautifully sung by Mr. Martino.  And to me they were hits. 

I can remember back in the 50ís as though it was just last year, going to our local record hops in the neighborhood, and the Disc Jockey at that time was Bill Marlowe, who became my radio mentor.  It was a hot summers night in 1952, that Marlowe played Alís recording "Here In My Heart" and the flip side of the recording titled: "I Cried Myself To Sleep Last Night." By the way, if you never heard Al Sing "I Cried Myself To Sleep Last Night."  This song should have been a seperate smash hit for him.  Its listed as one of the great songs in my memory bank of Al Martino hits. 

I remember dancing to both of these two beautiful songs.  (that's when M-U-S-I-C- was Music, and not N-O-I-S-E...Thank God.) In those days when an artistís record was featured at the record hops, after the tune was played, everyone would applaud.  Martino without doubt received numerous applauds from us  teenagers who were fans of Martino and he became one of our idols.   

I remember saying to impress my date that evening.  "Someday I will be a Disc Jockey, just like Bill Marlowe, who will be playing Al Martinoís recordings on my own radio show and at record hops."  As faith would have it, in the early 60ís I became a general manager of 16 weekly papers and wrote a column on entertainment, and wrote numerous articles on great singers such as Martino.  In the 70ís while working as a entertainment writer for the weekly papers.  I finally achieved my goal in becoming a Disc Jockey at the now defunct WHET in Waltham, Mass, with my mentor Bill Marlowe, who was my best friend and  was known as "king of the Airwaves", radio, if you will. 

I concentrated on featuring various vocalists per day on my show weekly.  Al Martino, did become a steady feature once a week and during the week on my show.  I dedicated my show to those who remembered the singers of the 50ís.  My goal then was to continue to promote the great legends such as Martino, and his songs.  On the days I would feature strictly Al Martino.  People would call in to ask to hear Alís recordings, and to dedicate them to their friends.  I had to have someone taking the calls, because the response from Martino fans was overwhelming.   

On one particular call that came in.  The question was asked by a new-up coming teenager of the 70ís:  "Who is Al Martino?"  I responded back in an anger mode, over the air:  "He sells newspapers at the corner of Tremont Street Boston."  But through this remark, the young boy called in every week when I featured Martino, and the young boy became a loyal fan of Martino.   

During the 70ís at this station we had a "Program Director" who Bill Marlowe, and Yours Truly drove out of his job, due to the constant playing of Martino and numerous other singers of the 50ís.  The program director didnít like us featuring all Italian singers on our shows.  Of course the program director did not know how to appreciate good singers who sang, lyrics that were understandable, even if he fell over the words.  But the Italian section of Boston, was so supportive with phone calls asking us to continue to play Alís recordings, Jerry Vale, Lanza etc, etc.  finally the program director was fired.  ...And thank God, we were allowed to play the good music. 

I remember when the program director wanted Bill Marlowe and Yours Truly to start playing "Rock ĎNí Roll" music on our shows.  We use to take the records and used them as Frisbees and sail them out the window and at the walls.  I never converted over to "Rock ĎNí Roll" and neither did Marlowe.  We both continued to feature Al Martinoís recordings.  We were about the only two that kept with the good format of playing good Martino songs and the other great singers of the 40ís and 50ís. 

Although I have never met Al Martino.  I continue to promote and honor this great Singer on the worldwide web:  The Impeccable Al Martino, truly a giant of a man of song, who continues to sing the great songs of yesteryear, and songs of today.  Al Martino has remained one of the pillars of great songs, ever since he has recorded his first hit song. 

So wide are the coloristic and dynamic rage of the Martino voice, he has the rare advantage of being able to sing  high notes as well as the middle register and low notes with ease.  For example one of his albums Iím honored to own, titled: "The Exciting Voice Of Al Martino."  On this album the golden Martino voice projects great vocal Bel Canto placement.  His rendition of "Granada" and "Nessun Dorma" along with the rest of the songs, are indeed impeccable.  I mean what pop singer sings "NESSUN DORMA" as beautifully as Al Martino? 

In this new 2000 century, genertaion of Rock, Rap, or whatever.  Al Martino, to me will always be one of the great voices of all generations.  Now music lovers everywhere and at anytime can have the thrill of experiencing the glorious sound of Martino.  The Internet is loaded where you can buy Al Martino's recordings, tapes, CD's. You can buy Alís recordings by visiting our Album section.  There you will find numerous music dealers who continue to sell Martinoís recordings.  Do yourself a favor purchase some of Al's great music, and enjoy an evening with Al, as your singing host in the comfort of your own home. 

But better yet, you can also listen to Al's recordings while you scanning the Internet on my good friends website Jim Hartley's "WORLDS FAVORITE  RADIO STATION in our Al Martino Link Section.  What better way is it to scan the Internet and hear Al Martino singing one of your favotite songs??  Check it out.