Archive of Photographs, Correspondence, and Ephemera Relating to the Career of Double Bass Player Leslie "Tiny" Martin
Very good. Leslie "Tiny" Martin (1921-1989) was a nationally renowned double bass player who played with the Seattle Symphony Orchesta, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and dance bands led by Ted Weems, Gene Krupa, Skinnay Ennis, and others. A Washington native and son of a voice teacher, Martin was first hired by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra at the age of 16, and was its principal bassist from 1947-1957, when he was hired away by BSO conductor Arthur Fiedler. He remained with the BSO for three decades, retiring in 1987. He was also actively involved with the American Federation of Musicians. This archive includes 32 photographs (most 8" x 10") of Martin, primarily in a range of performance venue, but also posing with or clowning around with fellow musicians. The photos appear to span most of his career, and include images of the SSO, BSO, All-Northwest Orchestra (Portland, OR, 1937), Gene Krupa Band, and others we have not identified. Also in the archive are 12 letters to Martin pertaining to job offers, salary negotiations, and similar matters. Correspondents include Arthur Fiedler, Carl Bricker (Music Director of the SSO), and representatives of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Society, and Boston Tour Orchestra. There is an unsigned contract for Martin to play with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra for the 1950-51 season--a position he turned down, as evidenced by a handwritten letter from fellow bassist Georges Moleux asking for his reasons. There is just one letter written by Martin in the archive. Having just arrived in Brisbane, Australia, from the Philippines on a tour with other BSO members, he writes to his wife describing his last day in Manila (with particular empahsis on the food) he describes his last day in the Philippines, his flight (which involved boozing with friends), the scenery (and food) in Brisbane, and the failure of the "completely incompentent" BSO management to have their return flight arranged. He also reports that "My spot in the headlines of the Brisbane paper has given me a lot of noteriety here. I went for a walk with K.V. Smith today and people stopped me on the street for an autograph and once character yelled at me across the street 'Give us a good show tonite Tiny!' Some fun." The archive also includes some miscellaneous ephemera such as newspaper clippings, a caricature of Martin, and a receipt for purchase of a bass. An interesting collection of materials illuminating the working life of professional muscian in the mid-twentieth century.