Marty Conn Entertainment

About Marty Conn

When Marty Conn was only four years old, he came to the realization he was destined to entertain, and a passion for music also developed around this age. While attending a family wedding, Marty became fascinated with the drums. After much contemplation, he convinced his father to ask the band if he could
sit in for a session.

The band playing at the wedding thought it would be cute to have little four-year-old Marty try to play the drums, and gave him the brush to use.  Not good enough thought Marty—(who was still Marvin Cohen at the time) he wanted the drumsticks. He proceeded to impress not only family and friends; however, the band as well thought this little boy could keep a good rhythm! The drummer came back on’ however, Marty liked the limelight too much to give up his fifteen minutes of fame just yet.  So, he jumped out in front of the band, and proceeded to tap dance.  Of course, he had never tap danced before-it didn’t matter. He kept the beat, and the audience adored the lively little boy!

Once the music pulsed through his ears, there was no turning back. Shortly after the wedding, he took a pair of his shoes to the shoemaker, and said his mother approve of putting taps on his shoes. With a hesitation from the shoemaker, Marty reassured him by saving, “Don’t worry, my Mother will pay.” When little Marty came home, and his mother heard the tapping of his shoes, she marched him right back to the shoemaker. Luckily, after a prodding from the shoemaker, and the look on Marty’s face, she let him keep the taps.

Marty’s father was President of Economy Produce. As early as five years old, Marty would dress up in a suit and hat, carry his briefcase, and a rubber cigar, and head off to work with his Dad. “I adored my Dad-I learned absolutely everything from him.”

Marty never really knew the meaning of “age appropriate”. To him, there was a whole new world out there, and wasting another minute out of it was just not on his agenda-the good life, and what he could achieve was happening now.

At age 12, Marty desperately wanted to join the Musicians Union; however, a requirement, was a member needed to be at least 16 years of age. However, Marty was in luck because his father happened to have connections with the Unions, and Marty was given an audition with the Musician’s Union. Then, with a smudged answer here, and a missed question there, 12-year-old Marty became a member of the Union.

Sammy Kaye’s band was in town to play the Terrace Room, at the Statler Hotel. Coincidently, their drummer took ill. And in desperate need for a drummer, they called the one and only Musicians Union for a replacement.

Only a few members in the Union knew Marty’s real age, so when his name came up, they sent this 12-year-old boy to play drums for Sammy Kaye’s Band.

When the band’s manager opened the door, to find a kid, he was a bit worried; however, Marty convinced Sammy Kaye to give him a chance. He played well, throwing the sticks in the air, and giving the audience a thrill with his lively performance. During drum breaks, Marty would get himself even more notice by dancing for the crowd.

All during his school career at Alexander Hamilton Jr. High School, Marty was busy playing in bands, working at the food terminal for his Dad, drumming, and dancing in his tuxedo, at the Terrace Room, with names like; Kenny Rogers, Steve Lawrence, Edie Gorme, Jay Leno, Bobby Darin, Arsenio Hall, and Jackie Mason.

Bob Crosby introduced Marty Cohn, as Marty Conn, just once, and the name was born for the first time. His name has been Marty Conn ever since. On top of it all, he also performs close to about 100 impressions.

At age 15, Marty decided to go on the road with Bob Crosby Orchestra instead of attending school, at John Adams High School. Marty became a band member at the Palace Theatre that year, and convinced his parents this was his destiny. He became part of Bob Crosby’s Band after a night at the Palace Theater. Marty’s parents brought him, along with a huge crowed, to see the band play. Marty convinced the band to take him under their wings, and let him sit in for a session.

When Marty Conn was 21, he pleaded with Lou Washerman, the head of Music Corporation of America (MCA); he could handle a job as an agent for MCA. Their offices were on 9th Street, in the Union Commerce Building.

Truth be told, Marty had not reached age 12, and he had never been an agent. However, Marty knew what he wanted. Unfortunately, he was offered a job as a file clerk. When Marty asked for the title “Executive Vice President,” his request was rejected by the owner.

Marty thought he could just do it on his own. He asked his father if he could sub-rent the office two floors down. Upon this agreement, Mary Conn Agency was born. After some time, Marty was made Vice President of the Music Corporation of America.

After some time, and precious experience dealing with talent, Marty decided to open Marty Conn Agency, and developed the Conn Orchestras.  Saturday nights would bring 30-40 of his “house bands” and they would perform around the city, including the famous Lawrence Welk Orchestra, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, and Lionel Hampton.

Marty was becoming “the” agent for many household-named bands. He booked their rooms, travel, and venues including Doris Day (he dated Ms. Day among many other celebrities). He started Tony Bennet when he booked him, at Moe’s Main Street. When Marty’s mother was in the hospital, with cancer, George Bush called to wish her well.

One day when Marty Conn entered a National Drum Contest, he was disqualified for tossing the drumsticks in the air, and using other theatrical techniques. He requested to try again, in two days, and knowing what the audience liked, Marty won first place.

Still under age 21, he was playing at the Cedar Point ballroom. That is the day he will always remember, and the day his life changed forever when he met a beautiful woman named Norma. After six months passed, Marty got on his knee, and asked Norma for her hand. Of course, she accepted. They had a huge wedding at the Masonic Temple, with many famous, and infamous, people attending including Doris Day, Frank Sinatra, the heads of the unions, including Teamsters and Food Terminal workers, and even professional boxers were guests at the wedding.

Marty started another business where he managed artists such as Billy Long, Tommy Dorsey, and Glen Miller. About 20 years ago, he left, and started yet another business-the one he is still in to this day.

Marty's life is never been without drama, he was the last agent to interview Bob Hope, and he also interviewed Glenn Ford from his hospital bed. Bill Clinton played with The Marty Conn Band, in Arkansas with, yes, President Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy. To this day, Marty Conn Entertainment still books events at the White House including; Inaugural Balls of George Bush. In fact, when George Bush was inaugurated, Marty was pretty ill, and was not going to be able to attend the gala event.

Marty Conn managed the careers of such people as Barbara Streisand, Mike Douglas, Kenny Rogers, Steve Lawrence, Eddie Gorme, Jay Leno, Bobby Darin, Arsenio Hall, and Jackie Mason and Tony Bennet.

In time, The Marty Conn Radio Talk Show was launched from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., on Saturday, with Norma Conn doing the commercial spots. The producer's first choice was Marty; however, he knew Marty was too busy, and decided he and his wife would do it for fun.

During his maiden show, Marty promised to have big-star names; however never told the station the celebrity's names. Just before show time, Marty picked up the phone, and made three calls. The first call was to Bob Hope, then Michael Douglas, and Tony Orlando. Marty always delivers on his word.

Marty thought about moving out of Cleveland; however, Mayor Mike White of Cleveland, begged him to stay. Marty owns a record label, and has authorized a few titles.

A dear friend shared something very important with Marty, and that's to give something back to our community. Marty Conn donates his artist's time, and a portion of profits to many charitable organizations, in the area. Bart Wolstein and Gordon Gund have made lasting impressions on Marty Conn's life, too. "These people have taught me a ton, not just about business; however, friendship, and what's really important, these are great friends Marty always says "I believe in making stars."

Of his late wife, Norma, his three daughters, four granddaughters, and three grandsons, he is probably the proudest man in the world.

In the end, Marty Conn makes everyone he meets at least feel like a star!

* Marty Conn had a top syndicated radio show on WRMR where he did the Hollywood Report & What's Happening in Cleveland, Monday through Friday. Plus Marty interviewed the top celebrities in the country, and did commercials for major clients on Sundays 9-11 p.m.

*Marty Conn, who was considered one of the top five drummers in the world, endorses Ludwig Drums.

*Marty Conn Enterprises has managed major television, recording, movie, and Broadway stars, as well as major sports stars.

*Marty Conn used to be Chairman of the Board of Embassy Records.



Listen to Marty's Interview with Woody Fraser - click here
To purchase a copy contact The Conn Team at 216.849.3545.

Marty's Radio Show Sponsors:
Giovanni's Ristorante
25550 Chagrin Blvd
Cleveland, OH 44122

50 years oF star making

Just a small sampling of Marty's bookings:

Frank Sinatra Bob Hope Al Martino
Willie Nelson Frank Sinatra, Jr. Nancy Sinatra
Tony Bennett Connie Stevens Louis Armstrong
Helen Reddy Diane Carroll Jackie Mason
Buddy Hackett Kool & the Gang Anita Baker
Air Supply Aerosmith Genesis
Arsenio Hall Eddy Murphy Barbara Streisand
Jay Leno    

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