As a Singer, Norma Martin began her Career on Children’s Television (Comedy Capers/Caper Cabaret) with Geoff Harvey, Desmond Tester and Penny Spence early 1963, performing on many Australian TV Shows (Bandstand, The Tonight Show with Dave Allen, In Melbourne Tonight With Graham Kennedy, The Ernie SigleyShow (Melbourne and Adelaide), The Mike Walsh Show etc. etc.) and Live venues across Australia and New Zealand.
She worked with Dave Guard (ex-The Kingston Trio) at the age of eighteen joining his group for a ABC TV show called Dave’s Place in Australia for several months and studied with him various musical concepts.
“Just 5 of Norma’s many appearances on “Bandstand” as a member of “The Bandstand Family”.
NEIL SEDAKA, JUDY STONE & NORMA STONEMAN - "With A Little Help From My Friends" November 2, 1968
"Light My Fire"
November 2, 1968
"Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien"
November 2, 1968
"Son of A Preacher Man"
Fellow member of the group Singer/Bass Player Chris Bonett and Norma then co-formed a Pop Group called The Grape Escape with Guitarist Brian Godden (both also songwriters) and renowned Australian jazz drummer from Adelaide, Laurie Kennedy. The Grape Escape, signed to RCA Records,were based in Melbourne and achieved much recognition before sadly breaking up. (Wine bars and fashion collections quickly used the name friends of the group originally thought of and many years later David and Norma had their wedding reception at The Grape Escape Wine Bar Bistro, sadly no longer, in McMahons Point, Sydney.)
Norma , solo, performed in New Zealand, an 8 months’ gig in Noumea singing in French loving the French/Pacific Island ambience, 5 months in a show in South Vietnam in 1969 performing to U.S. troops, spent 4 years in London, auditioning for shows and performing in very varied gigs and recording sessions, doing a lot of back-up vocals and herself releasing a Reggae single “Tell Me” under the name of Casey Blake again for RCA (written by Kerr/Maitland).. ‘Tell Me’ was the first Reggae recording ever released in The U.K.
“Tell Me” Casey Blake Words & Music - Kerr/Maitland (click 'play' and then ''full screen'
Back in Sydney Norma continued work across OZ TV and live venues as before, then with a duo called The Charade with other member David Cooper, Norma sang backup vocals on huge worldwide hit Winter In America for good friend Doug Ashdown, whom she had met on Dave’s Place. With The Charade, then as a solo artist again and also filling in a spot with The Claire Poole Singers, Norma performed in many shows with Maestro Tommy Tycho, (and whom she has known and worked with since she was sixteen, as a guest on “Studio A with Stuart Wagstaff”), touring Australia in Tommy’s shows featuring the music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Jerome Kern.
For several years Norma appeared in many TV Commercials, Oil of Ulan, Freedom Carpet Cleaner (1st ever ad), Surprise Peas (1st ever ad), including lead parts in 100 ‘Percenters’ like McDonalds, Colgate, Nescafe (also singing the theme) and too many others to mention. June Reilly casting agent.
Norma started singing with The David Martin Big Band on a show of Duke Ellington music,and it was with fine accomplished pianist husband David Martin on their 1980 honeymoon she met the legendary Hank Jones in a New York 42 nd Street Cafe, where he was playing solo piano. David and Norma both being great fans, they were thrilled when Norma was invited to sing 2 songs Just In Time and The Very Thought Of You (very slowly) with Hank Jones that night in New York.
Husband David formed The David Martin Quintet in Sydney, featuring James Morrison and Dale Barlow, both then 16 years old, Darcy Wright andAlan Turnbull, and Norma singing standards and her jazzier original songs. This group was often augmented to The David Martin Big Band also, playing various venues but mainly The Paradise Jazz Cellar up in Sydney’s Kings Cross.
Twenty-two years later all the original members of David’s The David Martin Quintet and Norma were reunited for a special recording in a studio about to move premises, coincidentally called The Paradise Studios, owned by OZ legend, Billy Field. The title of the CD became The David Martin Quintet Reunion 2002 - Last Session In Paradise. It’s a ripper.
Norma released her album Mothers Day Music for Everyday in 2008 which is more middle-of-the-road music.
Why not check it in CD Baby online for this year's Mother's Day? (just click CD Baby logo)
Why not check it out for next Mothers Day?
This followed Norma's 2007 release of her plaintive song Sanctuary, a different style again.
Gorgeous Australian Singer Emma Pask with her unique and beautiful voice recorded a wonderful version of Norma's standard Introduce Me To Your Friend, the song being picked up by other singers, most notably perhaps Jazz Singer Mitzi Zilka in The U.S. Norma will include her version in her upcoming Big Band album (see below).
Now in 2011 Norma has released her New Album! NORMA MARTIN BIG BANDIT!
Recorded at James Morrison Studios in Sydney, Norma, as Producer, has recorded and released fabulous Big Band Arrangements of 13 of her songs and 1 of James Morrison's with The David Martin Big Bandit Orchestra on Norma Martin BIG BANDIT!
Please see 'Norma Martin Big Bandit' for further information