Ralph Marterie (24 December 1914 - 10 October 1978) was a big-band leader born in Acerra (near Naples), Italy.
Life and career
Marterie first played professionally at age 14 in Chicago. In the 1940s, he played trumpet for various bands. His first job as a bandleader was courtesy of the US Navy during World War 2. He was then hired by the ABC Radio network, and the reputation built from these broadcasts led to a recording contract with Mercury Records. His highest success in the U.S. charts was a cover of "Skokiaan" in 1954. In 1953 he recorded a version of Bill Haley's "Crazy, Man, Crazy", which is generally regarded as the first rock and roll song. His version of "Crazy, Man, Crazy" reached #13 on the Billboard jockey chart and #11 on Cashbox in June, 1953. His recordings of "Pretend" and "Caravan" also made the Top 10. "Caravan" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. In 1957, he hit #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Tricky", and in 1957 he hit #10 with "Shish-Kebab". His compositions included "Dancing Trumpet", "Dry Marterie", and "Carla".
Joel Whitburn's pop chart research books say that Marterie's version of "The Song Of Love" peaked at #84 for the week ending December 26, 1955. However, Billboard magazine did not put out an issue that week and Marterie never recorded this tune; the listing is in fact a copyright trap, to prevent others from stealing Whitburn's work.
He died on October 10, 1978, in Dayton, Ohio.
- Ralph Marterie (1955)
- Music for a Private Eye (1959)
- Marvelous Marterie (1959)
- Dance Band In Town - Esquire Mercury MG20066 Australia
N.B.: A separately published discography of Ralph Marterie's recordings and of his recording sessions is Ralph Marterie and His Orchestra, by Ross Brethour, Charles Garrod, and Edward Novitsky (Zephyrhills, Fla.: Joyce Record Club Publications, 1992; 65 + 5 leaves).