Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Born in Sparta, Tennessee, his father and two of his sisters played music professionally. From childhood, he began learning the fiddle and ukelele, as well as the guitar and in his early teens left home to go to Nashville to pursue a full-time career as a country musician.
During the 1940s and early 1950s he toured extensively with a group of and was part of regular musical performances on radio. In 1954, Martin founded his own band and for a short time was part of the Grand Ole Opry. He hired Colonel Tom Parker as his manager and eventually would work as the opening act for some of the early Elvis Presley concerts. Martin typified the "country stompin'" music, with his enthusiastic fiddling while dancing around on stage. For almost five decades he was a popular entertainer making numerous appearances throughout the United States and Europe. He also recorded a number of records on which he performed on the fiddle and sang vocals.
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