Stan Martin, a longtime champion of the great American songbook in his role as a radio personality, died this morning at Lenox Hill Hospital from complications of a stroke. He was 64.
Martin began his career with WPIX-FM's "Pix Penthouse." He later worked for the country music station WHN-AM and for the first all-sports radio station in America, WFAN-AM. From 1972 to 1982, he was a member of the personality line-up at New York's well remembered WNEW-AM. He also served as syndicated host, producer and writer of Solid Gold Country, heard in over 200 markets for Dick Clark's United Stations Radio Networks.
As program director of WPEN-AM in Philadelphia, Martin revamped that station's format and led it to a 6.9 share, the highest of any major market station airing that type of programming at that time. Under Martin's directorship, WPEN-AM won the Marconi Award from the National Association of Broadcasters for "Nostalgia Station of the Year" in 1992.
Next on his list of endeavors, Martin made WQEW-AM -- an outlet of The New York Times -- into "the home of American popular standards," rising from program director to vice president-station manager to acting general manager of the station while maintaining an on-air shift. His programs featured such stars as Tony Bennett and Rosemary Clooney live in the studio, and he hosted live broadcasts from such Manhattan nightspots as the Blue Note and the Rainbow Room. David Kenney, host of the WBAI radio show "Everything Old is New Again," commented to TheaterMania this afternoon that "It was a great loss for radio to lose WQEW, and now to lose Stan is another great loss for radio and for the American songbook."
A U.S. Army veteran, Martin graduated with honors from New York University's Gallatin School and later taught at NYU as an adjunct professor of communications. A founding member of the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs (MAC), he also wrote regularly for a variety of publications and was known for his voice-over work.
Martin is survived by his mother, Sylvia Feuerman; sisters Rochelle Levy-Steinhardt and Pamela Findling; brother-in-law Herb Steinhardt; nieces Cindy Levy and Merek Findling; nephew Dr. Scott Jordan Levy and his wife, Elizabeth Levy; and great-niece Brenna Michelle Levy.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the ALS Association of Greater New York, 116 John Street, New York, NY 10038; or to the Boys & Girls Republic (formerly the Boys Brotherhood Republic) at 888 East 6th Street, New York, NY 10009. A memorial service will be held at the Plaza Memorial Chapel, 630 Amsterdam Avenue (between 90th and 91st streets) on Friday, January 31 at 11am.