Lilly tribute- |
Don Winter |
The Patriot Lyrics|
A fond memory of mine is one that tells of how Marty was interested in going out of his way to please his fans. He was doing a concert in Kokomo Indiana. It was in the 70's and I had taken my cassette tape recorder, hoping to be able to record his concert. My husband had told me that the sound would probably be bad and I would never get a good recording. We arrived at the Kokomo High School gym (where Marty was playing) and he (Marty) was standing around talking to the fans and signing autographs before his scheduled time.
After a few minutes of just talking to him and enjoying his antics with the fans, I told him that I would like to tape his concert and asked him if he thought my recorder would pick up decently since it was a battery powered portable. He took it from me and looked it over. After a couple of seconds, he asked me how long the tape was good for. I told him it was a 90 minute tape. He asked me if that's all the time I expected him to be on stage, adding that if the audience was in a good mood and he was in a good mood, he may sing for two or three hours. I told him that I had an extra 90 minute tape with me.
He asked me for it. He asked me to go up to the stage with him. I followed him to the stage and to the corner of it where they had a piano set up. He placed my recorder under the piano seat. He told me to turn the recorder on whenever I wanted to start recording, and let him know (he said I'd have to wait up next to the stage for the first few minutes of the intro) and then, after that, HE would personally keep track of the timing of the tape and STOP to turn the tape over (you had to manually turn the tape to play the other side). I thought to myself, "he'd" be so busy, there was no way he'd remember to do that. He did.
After about 35 minutes, he'd check his watch. Another few minutes, between songs, he announced to the audience that he had to 'work' for his money and went over to the piano, reached under the piano seat and turned over my tape. He made a joke about him not being able to afford to buy his records so he had to do it this way. Then, he asked me (I was in my seat out in the audience, not believing he just did what he did) when he asked me if I thought his timing was in sinc with mine. I said it was pretty close. He then asked me how I was liking the show. I said it was perfect. He asked me if I had a song I wanted to hear since I was taping it, and I told him that I had heard him play the harmonica on the radio during an interview and asked him if he had one that he could play. He said that his bus driver (I think he said his name was 'Oakie')taught him to play it and that he thought the harmonica was on the bus. He yelled at Oakie and asked him if he minded getting the harmonica from the bus. A few minutes later, Oakie came on stage with the harmonica and handed it to Marty. Of course, in true Marty antics, Marty made a joke about it being full of 'slobbers' but he'd just add to them. He played the harmonica just for me. That evening was terrific and the show that he put on was more than superb.
Marty had a lot of talent as everyone who has ever seen him knows. But even more, he had a personality that just would not quit. He treated his fans like they were part of his family and he respected them and never once let them think he was above or better than they were. He had a smile and handshake for everyone.
The day Marty passed away, the world lost a beauty (with both his voice and his personality) that will never be duplicated. A voice of angels came from out of the desert of Arizona and God called that angelic voice home to make heaven more beautiful. He is and always will be sadly missed by the fans who were lucky enough to see and hear him perform in person, as only Marty performed.
This, as I said above is just one on many Marty memories that I treasure. I have been delighted to share this one with you.