Trade Martin, is one of those names that perhaps is not too well known, for music fans of the 50’s y 60’s, but if I tell you that the guitar that sounds in “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love” by Solomon Burke, in “Our Day Will Come” by Ruby & The Romantics, in “Twist & Shout” by The Isley Brothers, or in “Chapel Of Love” by The Dixie Cups, are his work, maybe this will catch your attention and you want to know more about this character.
Trade Martin is an American Singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, arranger and producer. He was born in November 19, 1943, in Union City New Jersey. Also known as John N. Lione.
Trade Martin’s musical career begins in the late 1950’s, when he began to collaborate with Johnny Power from the Doo Wop band Johnny & the Jokers recording for the Harvard Records label. In 1960 Martin and Power partnered to create the Rome Record label, which only existed until 1962. Although Martin and Power had a very good nose for talent, the label could not compete in distribution with much larger labels. They recorded Del & the Escorts, The Glens or The Earl, The Earl recorded their first three singles on this label, but it was in 1963 with their song Never for Old Town Records when they achieved great success. Martin generally played all the instruments and made all the arrangements for these groups. In 1963, after the disappearance of Rome label, Martin continued his solo career, which he has never stopped doing since 1959. He recorded a whole series of singles and ep’s for different labels, most of them for Coed label, very interesting albums ranging from instrumentals, Doo Wop, in a style very similar to Ernie Maresca or Dion, Soul or Mod Jazz. Unfortunately, there is no disc that collects them. In 1971 he formed a trio with Al Gorgoni and Chip Taylor and recorded a complete LP, titled “Gotta Get Back To Cisco” on Buddah Records. This was followed by a couple more Lp’s, but already alone. However, his main activity and success were based on his work as a studio musician, producer, arranger and composer, functions that he has performed over the years. Martin has produced and worked with countless artists from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, artists and producers such as Eric Andersen, Ellie Greenwich, Lesley Gore, The Tokens, Ian and Sylvia, Rick Nelson, B.B. King, Joey Dee & The Starlighters, B.T. Express, Pam Russo and Solomon Burke, Phil Spector, Burt Bacharach. In addition, songs composed by him as “Take Me for a Little While” have been recorded by artists such as Evie Sands, Dusty Springfield, Patti LaBelle & the Bluebelles, Dave Edmunds, Cher, etc; BB King recorded “Peace to the World”; Dave Edmunds and Moon Martin recorded “Don’t You Double Cross Me”, among many others. He has also written and produced a handful of movie soundtracks, primarily during the 1970’s. He currently resides in New Jersey.
This post is dedicated to Leo Castro, who a few days ago, after a phone call, put me on the trail of this artist and made me investigate his work. I hope it will be useful as a distraction in this hard moment that I know he’s living.