Martha Tilton and the Catrobat

I first heard and saw Martha Tilton on a short fifteen minute television show called the Curt Massey Show. She and Curt Massey took turns singing songs accompanied by Joe “Country” Washburn’s small band. Country Washburn had once been part of the famous Ted Weems Orchestra and the infamous Spike Jones Orchestra.  I was 9 or 10 years old when I first saw this show. The show was broadcast at 6:30 PM Monday to Thursday on KRCA TV Channel 4 in Los Angeles. (now KNBC), It was on in the late 1950’s early 60’s preceding the Jack Latham News and the Huntley Brinkley Report. In those days, the news broadcasts were 15 minutes long on NBC. The Curt Massey Show was cancelled after the assassination of President Kennedy, to provide more time for expanded news broadcasts. I enjoyed the show while it lasted.

Martha Tilton’s real claim to fame came as the singer for Benny Goodman’s band 1937 until the end of 1939.  She sang on many of their hit records, on the radio broadcasts, and she had her moment at their famous concert at Carnegie Hall. She made several big selling records in the 1940’s when she went on her own. After her stint with Curt Massey, she participated in many big band celebrations and reunions, some of which were hosted by our old friend Chuck Cecil. They were great friends as well.

This record Where Flamingos Fly was not a big hit for Martha Tilton. I stumbled on  it while I was looking for another record. But, I really liked it. My characters Dan and Leilani found it on the radio by accident  in my novel, The Catrobat. It caught the moment at the end of their trip down Route 1. Dan plugged in and turned on the radio and joined Leilani on the sofa in the rental. They heard Martha Tilton sing Where Flamingos Fly as they finally settle into their room. It caught their moment together.  At, last, they are on their Honeymoon, postponed until after the World War II, after Dan’s near brush with death, and his recuperation from pneumonia. Anyway, I thought Where Flamingos Fly captured that moment.

Martha Tilton; she was a fine lady and wonderful singer.   For more on Martha Tilton, go to her website.

You Tube thanks to Daredo

About Richard Rollo

I am a retired Community College Instructor. I taught Political Science 1 American Government for 22 years in Southern California. I am originally from Northern Minnesota. My earliest years were spent in the living quarters of a rural Duluth Winnipeg & Pacific Railway Depot. Then my family joined the great 1950's migration to Southern California where I joined up with fellow baby boomers in overcrowded schools.
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