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Tony Martell is a veteran American music industry senior executive, and founder of the T.J. Martell Foundation.
Tony Martell’s music industry career spans the 1960s through the 1990s with experience as an A&R director, record label vice president, and record label head primarily with CBS Records (now Sony Music Entertainment) and its subsidiaries. Martell was comfortable working with artists covering a wide range of musical styles including Jazz, Rock, Soul, Pop, Blues, and heavy metal.
In the 1960s and 70s Tony Martell helped direct the careers of such soul music icons as The Isley Brothers, and The O'Jays. In the 1980s Martell was instrumental in bringing both Stevie Ray Vaughan and Ozzy Osbourne to Epic Records. He is credited as Executive Producer on over 50 albums for artists as diverse as Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Isley Brothers, The O'Jays, George Benson, Gerry Mulligan, Jim Hall, Lalo Schifrin, Bill Withers, Patti Austin, George Duke, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Eumir Deodato, and Stanley Turrentine.
In the 1980s, Martell was head of the imprint label CBS Associated Records, which was part of the E/P/A label group (Epic/Portrait/Associate). Martell continued his work with Ozzy Osbourne and also signed The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Electric Light Orchestra, Joan Jett, and Henry Lee Summer among others to the label.
In 1973 Martell’s teenage son T.J. Martell was diagnosed with leukemia and died in 1975 at the age of nineteen. Tony Martell began fundraising efforts for cancer research with a concert in New York City featuring friends Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and Ella Fitzgerald and soon established the T.J. Martell Foundation in memory of his son.
For over thirty years the foundation has been one of the primary charitable organizations associated with the music industry and a leader in funding for innovative leukemia, cancer, and AIDS research (having raised over $225 million dollars). The T.J. Martell Foundation maintains offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville; and sponsors events nationally and internationally.
Currently Martell is retired from the music industry and is involved in the work of the foundation, but his legendary status and long-standing relationships to artists and executives within the music community are invaluable assets to the foundations work.