The MARTY WENDELL Story 2005 marked Marty Wendell's 40th year as a singer, songwriter, and recording artist. In 1965 he ventured into New York's Greenwich Village with his guitar and was discovered by a producer named Stanley Rowland who recorded him at A1 Studios in New York City. Marty grew up in Ticonderoga in upstate New York. As a child his favorite thing was an old Philco radio. Strongly influenced by the rockabilly artists on Sun Records from Memphis, TN he entered a church talent show. His first time singing in front of a live audience cemented his desire to sing and write songs. In his college years he began to do more performances and had the opportunity to meet a talent agent, Jerry Teifer, who worked out of the famous Brill Building in New York. Jerry was the first to introduce Marty to Johnny Cash. On the strength of the second release of his self-penned 'Hey Hey Mama' on Ferus Records with Tom Wilde at the helm, Marty was booked to open for Cash in1968, the year that catapulted him to superstardom with his live album recorded at Folsom Prison. Marty's next release 'An Ode To Burtis Dean' received national airplay and 'Bring The Circus Back To Town' had international exposure courtesy of Armed Forces Radio. The last of his singles for Kee Records was a Carl Perkin's song, 'Daddy Sang Bass'. Perkins, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member, cited Marty as 'a good talent'. Marty worked out of Washington, DC for three years being booked by the Claiborne Agency that handled mainly Rhythm & Blues acts such as Peaches & Herb and Maskman & The Agents. He also became friends with Ralph Rinzler, a founder of the Newport Folk Festival. Ralph also worked for the Smithsonian Institute on a project aimed at the preservation of roots music. He encouraged Marty to continue singing and writing original songs. In the 1970's Marty maintained a grueling schedule of club bookings and in 1977 he began hosting an annual music festival that continued for 20 years. His guests included former Statler Brother, Lew Dewitt, writer of the million selling 'Flowers On The Wall'. Marty became friends with Lew when he was on the Johnny Cash Show. Others included Warner Brother's hitmaker, Bandana, headed up by Marty's long-time friend, Jerry Fox, and Oak Ridge Boy, William Lee Golden. In the early 1980's Marty quit the club circuit and focused on recording and concerts. He has frequently shared the bill with acts such as John Anderson, Lacy J. Dalton, T.G. Shepard, Hee Haw's Hager Twins, bluesman T. Graham Brown and folk icon, Arlo Guthrie. In the 90's he began recording for Orrensong, a label that has given him complete freedom to record new music. His albums for Orrensong include 'Labor of Love', 'The Journey' and 'Over The Edge' which features 2 songs recorded at the legendary Sun Studio, Memphis TN. One of these songs is a duet with Planet Swan, daughter of rockabilly legend, Billy Swan, who had a monster hit 'I Can Help' in 1974 and fronted Kris Kristofferson's band. Marty has taken his music to another level performing songs that have substance and defy labels. Marty and his son, Sean, his guitarist and producer, were guests of Johnny Cash on his final tour. Their friendship survived the decades. In celebration of Marty's 40th Anniversary, Orrensong released "It's Just Me." This album featured songs from the early years with just Marty and his guitar. In 2007 Marty has a new label, Simply 21 Records. His first release is an album called "Rockabilly Heart" which features original songs about growing up at the birth of Rock & Roll. This CD was the brainchild of Marty's son, Sean, who challenged him to write and record some rockabilly songs as this had been him primary influence. Sean produced the album which was recorded live in the studio with the musicians actually playing together, the way it was done in the 50's. The album booklet contains a gallery of classic photos and the liner notes include comments from Marshall Grant, Johnny Cash's original bass player and rockabilly pioneer. A tribute song to Cash is completed by words from the man himself. Marty Wendell is a true artist who continues to record fresh and meaningful music. There is nobody more original.
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