Music Industry Manager And Executive Mary Martin Dies At 85

NASHVILLE (CelebrityAccess) – Mary Martin, a music industry stalwart known for her uncanny ability to identify and nurture talent, has passed away. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum shared the announcement on social media. She was 85.

Kyle Young, CEO of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, reflected on Martin’s significant impact: “Time and again, Mary Martin spotted great talents and elevated their careers. She connected Bob Dylan to her friends, the Hawks, who became the Band early on. She managed Leonard Cohen in his first musical outings, then guided the budding solo careers of Van Morrison, Rodney Crowell and Vince Gill. At Warner Bros., she signed future Country Music Hall of Fame member Emmylou Harris, at RCA she helped sign and develop Clint Black and Lorrie Morgan, and she encouraged a young Keith Urban to move from Australia to Nashville. Mary’s unerring feel for songs and performers was legendary, and she was a fierce ally for the artists she represented.”

Born in 1939 in Toronto, Canada, Martin’s renowned career began in New York in 1962 as the executive assistant to artist manager Albert Grossman. Grossman was a pivotal figure who managed the careers of legends like Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, and Peter, Paul & Mary. Venturing out on her own in 1966, Martin became instrumental in the early careers of Leonard Cohen and Van Morrison.

In 1972, Martin joined Warner Bros. Records in New York. Here, she played a crucial role in signing Emmylou Harris, Leon Redbone, and The Marshall Tucker Band. As the ’70s closed, Martin shifted to Los Angeles, returning to artist management and working closely with Rodney Crowell and Vince Gill. Her influence extended beyond management; she also assisted Crowell in producing records for artists like Rosanne Cash and Guy Clark and helped establish successful fan clubs and merchandising operations.

Martin’s journey took her to Nashville in 1985, where she became Vice President of RCA Records. She worked with notable artists such as Clint Black, Paul Overstreet, Aaron Tippin, and Lorrie Morgan during her tenure.

In 1991, Martin transitioned to a role as Executive Director of the Earth Communications Office (ECO), a nonprofit where she oversaw fundraising and other initiatives. Her career flourished as she consulted for Asylum Records from 1994 to 1996, and in 1999, she became Vice President of Mercury Records. She won a Grammy in 2002 for her work on the Hank Williams tribute album Timeless, featuring a star-studded lineup including Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Keith Richards.

Martin’s legacy was further cemented when she was inducted into SOURCE’s Hall of Fame in 2007 and honored at the Louise Scruggs Memorial Forum in 2009. Her career has been a beacon of inspiration for countless music industry professionals, especially women.

As of now, details regarding memorial services for Mary Martin have not been announced.


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