Thursday, December 24, 2009


('Clicca' on photo for enlarged image)
On Christmas Day in 1913, Tony Martin one of our most famous singers and entertainers was born in San Francisco. In 1948, Tony married the famous and beautiful dancer (and actor), Cyd Charisse. Nick Faitos of Santa Cruz , sent me the photo above, taken at the Martin home in Los Angeles (Sept 2007). Sadly, in 2008, Tony (and all of us) lost Cyd to an apparent heart attack. Cyd Charisse starred and danced in some of the most memorable movies of all time, such as “Silk Stockings”, and "Bandwagon" (below) with Fred Astaire, and “Singing in the Rain” with Gene Kelly. Who could ever forget those lovely legs?


And here are some of my favorite Tony Martin big hit records: “To Each His Own”, “There’s No Tomorrow”, “I’ll Take Manhattan”, “I’ll See You In My Dreams” and “I Hear A Rhapsody”.

Happy Birthday, Tony. And thanks to you and Cyd for the all those wonderful memories.
Sempre Avanti! Ivano


Below is the letter by Nick Faito sent with the photos.

Dear Ivan:

Enjoy these photos of the Martins and me. I don’t know if Ill ever take any more. You wouldn’t believe how much we miss Cyd. She was just about the most adorable person I’ve ever known.

Merry Christmas, Nick


Thanks Nick. And a very Merry Christmas to you and your family. And here is an added note from Len " SCHS Class of '54:

Hi, Ivan,
I thought you might be interested in reading a column about Cyd Charisse written by Ron Miller, Santa Cruz High Class of 1956. Ron, as you probably know, was the TV critic for the San Jose Mercury for many years and later became a movie critic for the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain, which owned the Mercury.
Ron's piece on Charisse appears on a web site called "The Columnists" and is at:

Thanks Len. I found the excellent article on Cyd by going to the homepage:
then clicking on Ron Miller's photo and then going to his 2008 archives. The article on Cyd was first posted in June 23, 2008


Ivano said...

BTW Tony: You were born in a very good year. My mother Valentina was born in January 1913.

It's kind of ironic that the number 13 keeps popping up in my life. My badge number when I was a Lieutenant with the San Jose Police was #13. A lot we bought in Monterey was Lot #13. the digits in Our address at Carmel Valley Ranch 1-0-4-7-1 equal 13,
Our current mail box (stack) is no 13, etc.
Overall, I think the number 13 has been fairly lucky for me. I hope it has been with you. ivno

Fred said...

You should note that the man pictured dancing with Cyd Charisse is Fred Astaire. Nice photo, though. Wonderful movie "The Band Wagon".

ivano said...

Mia colpa Fred. You are correct, the dancer in the photo is the famous Fred Astaire (sorry Gene). I will make the correction right now. Thanks Fred. Ivano

Carolina Cariola said...

Thanks Ivano for posting that wonderful article on Tony Martin and Cyd Charisse. And thanks Nick for that wonderful photo taken in the Martin home. That was something special.

You know, Ivano, I remember sitting in a car with one of my bellos (on West Cliff Drive). Among other things, we were listening to music on the Radio.
I remember one of the songs was "Rhapsody in Blue" sung by Tony. It had such meaning for me that night because I was dressed in a blue dress. I really was able to impress my bello that night.
Yes, indeed thanks for the memories Tony (and Cyd). Carrie

Pat Polentoni said...

Carrie: What were you and your bellow smoking. Rhapsady in Blue is a musical composition by George Gershwin. Must have been all the blue smoke in the car. p/p

carolina Cariola said...

Listen Polenta-head, it might not have been Raphsody in Blue, but it was something Blue. With all those wonderful songs Tony recorded there must have been one with Blue in it! CC

Anonymous said...

Carrie: You absolutely right. One of Tony Martin's big hits was "Its a Blue World".


Hey Ivano! Guess what? The San Francisco 49ers have the 13th pick in the draft this year. You think that's lucky? JC

Ivano said...

Let's hope so, Johnny C.. Maybe they should trade their #13 and #17(or #18) to Detroit for their #1 Just think what Ndamukong Suh's pass rushing could do to upgrade the defense from just "Good" to "Dominant". Another Fred Dean in the making. ivn0


Ivano: I rented "Silk Stockings" with Cyd and Fred Astaire. Watched it last night. Incredible dancing by both Cyd and Fred. And Peter Lorie was in it, "singing" and "dancing". Really funny.
Thanks for the memories Tony and Cyd. SS