My inbox is strangely empty, after messages of love flew for days;
this will take some getting used to – I guess we’re in a new phase.
I’m glad to have shared these pages, with so many generous souls.
It feels like one for the ages and I’m sure that our sweet Mandi knows.
A Facebook Post from Mand’s Prayhouse – Mandi Martin
While our beloved friend Mandi was still lucid I had one last talk with her. She said “I don’t want to go. I have too much to do yet.” This would probably be how we’ll all feel facing our end. I offered her some perspective that I hoped would make it easier for her.
“Mandi, what’s happening is that you got spoiled. You’ve lived a life that most people in this world could only dream about. You got to live your life not only creating music that moved those who heard it, but to help many, many others do the same. You got to live your life surrounded by love — by friends who would go out of their way to help you because they knew you would do it for them or you had already helped them.
You gave them warm companionship and a sympathetic ear when they needed it. You ALWAYS made them laugh. You encouraged their musical dreams. You had a wonderful husband in Jerry who loved you more than anything and encouraged everything you did. So though it’s a sad time for you and all of us who love you, you can justly feel that you’ve made a valuable contribution in your very rich life. It’s truly something to celebrate. So don’t feel sad about the time you don’t have. Be joyful for the time you did have.”
She said, “You know, you’re right.” And I think that, despite her sadness, she got past it for a moment. I also think that in her last few days the procession of friends coming to tell her goodbye, recall their stories with her, play music for her and to express their love made it easier for her to let go. Thank you all for that!
And I add this now. Mandi, knowing you’ll hear this too.
Len Chandler and I personally thank you for the thousands of hours you contributed to the Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase. I won’t forget the many times we watched the sun come up putting the LASS monthly Musepaper to bed in time to race to the printer. Thousands of songwriters can thank you for creating the system for our 22 Songwriters Expos that insured that as many writers as possible got heard. And every year you organized the volunteers, “Mandi’s Expo Elves” to get it done. You were always a vital, creative and tireless part of our team and an unparalleled evangelist for LASS.
You inspired everyone with 3 pinball marathons and world records. (Mandi’s take on this tells you a lot about who she is: http://mandimartinmusic.com/
For 38 years I got to share your love and friendship. I’ve been privileged to have been part of so many aspects of your life and both JoAnn and I have cherished your friendship, love and laughter more than you’ll know.
Thanks to John Braheny for this beautiful article. Those of us around the L.A. music scene will miss the incredible laughter and energy of Mandi Martin. Her life will be one of great consequence for a lot of songwriters still working – her legacy will be kept going by her son Matthew. All of us wish Mandi’s family our deepest sympathies.
If you’re on Facebook, visit Mandi’s Prayhouse – Mandi Martin link to read all the love on those pages.
Mandi’s Prayhouse is a testament to Mandi’s powers of positive persuasion – bringing people together… during her incredible life and beyond.
3/20/1945 – 4/30/2012
Veteran music producer/singer/songwriter MANDI MARTIN
has made a career out of making —and breaking— records.
( But not just the kind you listen to… )
The former Columbia, RCA and Epic recording artist — who produced and sold her first record in the early ’60s when she was still in high school — just happens to be the reigning Guinness World Record holder at pinball endurance.
MARTIN was indoctrinated to the game in the early ’70s by some of its most avid players: Waylon Jennings, Tompall Glaser, and Tennessee DJ Captain Midnight, who would face off in the wee hours of the night between writing and recording sessions while she was a staff songwriter for ABC Music Publishing (MCA) in Nashville.
The trio taught her the nuances of flipper control, and she soon began showing them how to play all night on a single quarter.
Her pinball prowess followed her to Los Angeles in the mid-’70s, where she set a new Guinness pinball-playing world record in 1978 with a time of 140 hours and 32 minutes.
Within a few months that record had been broken, until MARTIN struck back in 1979, turning in a 505-hour performance that stood for 21 years, until — incredibly — MARTIN broke her record again in March 2000. She holds the current Guinness World record at 555 hours, 55, minutes, and 55 seconds of continuous pinball play.
Martin’s amazing pinball endurance mirrors the success and longevity of her career in the music industry…
She began her professional music career in 1961 when, as a senior at Montebello (CA) High School, she wrote, produced, sang, and sold the record “Picture of Love”/”Then You’ll Know I Care” to American Records.
While still a student, she graduated to singing background with industry giants Sam Cooke and Ricky Nelson, Jan & Dean, Chad & Jeremy, Barry Goldberg, Johnny Rivers,The Seeds, Brian Wilson and Jimmy Buffett among other greats.
Before the decade was over, she’d managed Tangerine Music Publishing for Ray Charles(who taught her how to engineer and honed her production skills); and, as an artist, had signed recording contracts with Candix, Columbia, RCA, and Epic.
In 1971, MARTIN landed on the country charts with her self-penned / self-produced “Nice Girl” on Prince Records. By this point in her career, the songstress’ tunes had been published by some of the biggest names in Nashviille and L.A.: Pat Boone‘s Cooga Mooga Music, Al Gallico, April-Blackwood, Almo/Irving, and Criterion.
While under contract as the first signed staff songwriter for ABC Music (MCA) in Nashville, MARTIN relocated to Los Angeles in 1973, and began producing country, folk and R&B artists, including veteran Len Chandler and newcomer Oleta Adams.
Beginning in 1974, MARTIN began her tenure serving on the boards of several music industry associations and non-profits. She served for 23 years as:
- Co-producer, Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase (LASS), an internationally renowned organization that showcased many top songwriters (including Dianne Warren, Alan O’Day, Stevie Nicks, and Lindsey Buckingham)
- Co-producer, 23 annual Songwriter Expos, the flagship event of LASS
- Associate editor, Songwriters Musepaper, the monthly trade publication of LASS
- President, Organization of Women in Music (1978-79)
- Board of Governors, The Recording Academy (Los Angeles Chapter), which annually bestows the prestigious GRAMMY® Awards (10 years)
- Board of Directors, LAWIM (Los Angeles Women in Music)
In 1982, MARTIN married the love of her life, pioneering holographer Jerry Fox. Thirteen years and one day after their wedding, he suddenly collapsed and died on June 28, 1995. Since Fox’s passing, MARTIN has remained ever-active in the music community, whose members she credits with helping her cope during her time of mourning.
In 1997, MARTIN formed Mandi Martin Productions and re-focused her music career toward music production, songwriting, and (in her weakest moments!) artist management.
She has since produced records for:
- Country singer/songwriters Kate E. Oyler and Robin Bolden.
- Guitarist/writer/artist and former member of The Flying Buritto Bros. John Beland
- Contemporary Christian artist Deanna D’Amico
- Joseph Bowman Scruggs
- Long Island hard rock band Dead & Dreaming
- Pop/alternative/folk singer/songwriter Amy Kuney, whose EP was named Music Connection Magazine‘s highest rated indie CD of 2006
- Pop/rock/soul singer/songwriter Nick Daugherty, who was named one of Music Connection Magazine’s Top 100 Unsigned Artist for 2009
- Barry Keenan
- 3 Keepin’ Lane
UPDATE, September 2009
This summer saw the release of Nick Daugherty’s first album “Movin’ Higher“ to much critical acclaim.
Besides working on completing Nick’s project, Mandi is currently working on a second single for Barry Keenan and continuing production on the newly formed band, 3 Keepin’ Lane.
Mandi is always looking for exciting new talent to work with. If you’re looking for a producer, please check out the production page for more info.
Thanks to friends, there are many more photos to view online on Facebook at Mandi’s Prayhouse – Mandi Martin. Leave a few words for our friend, who’s probably sailing somewhere today off the coast of KatManDu.
JOHN BRAHENY (Bra HAY nee) is in demand as a top consultant for songwriters, performers and industry entrepreneurs. He was one of 5 national nominees in the Best Music/Performer/Artist Development Executive category of NARIP’s (Natnl. Assn, of Record Industry Professionals) 2011 Best In The Biz. He is a consultant and screener for Taxi.com, the worlds leading independant A&R company and offers valuable feedback on songwriting craft and business and career strategies for performers.
He is one of the most respected people in the music industry, and, more specifically, in the songwriting community. He is referred to as “the songwriter’s best friend” for his tireless efforts to create education and discovery opportunities for songwriters, to help bring public attention to songwriting as an art form and to champion songwriters’ rights. His activities in these areas include:
Co-founded and directed (with Len Chandler) the legendary Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase (LASS).
This national non-profit service organization for songwriters (1971-’96), which BMI sponsored for 18 years, was the first on-going, organized weekly showcase exclusively for contemporary songwriter/performers in the Los Angeles area. During the early years of the organization they provided exposure and encouragement to an impressive list of later-to-be-successful new writers and writer/artists in all genres including Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham, Janis Ian, Warren Zevon, Karla Bonoff, Stephen Bishop, Jules Shear, Wendy Waldman, Steve Seskin and the world’s most successful contemporary songwriter, Diane Warren, for whom Braheny and Chandler critiqued over 150 songs when she was only 15. The live showcases evolved into an international membership organization whose members could submit songs on tape to industry professionals by mailing them in from anywhere in the world for the weekly Cassette Roulette and Pitch-A-Thon sessions.
Braheny and Chandler were responsible for innovating songwriter events and activities that serve as models for organizations all over the world. Among them:
- The Songwriters Expo, which for 20 years, starting in 1977, was the largest and most comprehensive annual education and discovery event for songwriters in the world.
- The first weekly series of live interview sessions with more than 600 industry professionals and hit songwriters.
- Created Cassette Roulette and Pitch-A-Thon, the first weekly, open-to-anyone opportunities to get songs critiqued by publishers and heard by producers and record company reps.
- The first Professional Membership category to provide private, in-house opportunities and personal referrals for exceptional songwriters. Among the successes of this program were hits by Tiffany and Starship.
Author and Journalist
Braheny wrote the best-selling and highly acclaimed Writer’s Digest book, The Craft and Business of Songwriting (Writer’s Digest Books 1988, 1995, 2002. 2007), now in its 3rd Edition. The National Academy of Songwriters called the book “A veritable songwriters bible. This is the definitive work on the subject of songwriting.”
He had previously written the Songwriters Handbook for the American Song Festival, a bi-weekly “Songmine” column for Music Connection Magazine, and has contributed to Songwriters Market, Songwriter Magazine, Keyboard Magazine, Musician Magazine, The Musician’s Business and Legal Guide, American Songwriter, andMusic Biz Magazine among others.
Along with more than 600 interviews with music industry professionals and hit songwriters at the weekly Songwriters Showcase sessions and Songwriters Expo panels, Braheny conducted and edited more than 150 interviews for the Songwriters Musepaper, the monthly magazine of the Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase.
For several years he co-hosted Samm Brown’s For The Record, a weekly music industry interview and call-in show on KPFK (90.7 FM) in Los Angeles.
John’s expertise in interviewing songwriters is so well known and respected that in 1997 he was commissioned by Disc Marketing Inc.’s In-flight division to conduct an ongoing series of 55 interviews with both legendary and contemporary hit songwriters for United Airlines’ in-flight audio Salute to Songwriters Channel. The channel was a favorite on Air Force One. In November 2000, John was presented with an award by United Airlines in recognition of his contribution to their winning the international WAEA Avion Award in 2000 for “Best Overall Inflight Entertainment.”
Braheny continues to be in demand to conduct songwriting/music business seminars for colleges, universities and organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada.
He has taught songwriting and music industry classes at UCLA, Grove School of Music and the Trebas Institute. He created the “Anatomy of a Hit” class at Musicians Institute in Los Angeles to teach new songwriters the elements of hit songs and records as well as marketing and sociological factors that influence the success or failure of records. He used contemporary hits in all styles as well as classic examples through the past 70 years. He also taught a Music Business Overview class at the Los Angeles Recording School for three years and currently teaches at The Songwriting School of Los Angeles.
Braheny maintains a high profile in music industry. He has served three terms on the board of Governors of the L.A. Chapter of the Recording Academy (who present the Grammys) and edited their newsletter, The L.A. Record. He is past-president ofCalifornia Copyright Conference, an organization of entertainment attorneys, music publishers and record company executives. He has served on the board of directors of the National Academy of Songwriters (NAS), the Songwriters Guild of America, and on the boards of advisors for many songwriters organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada including JPFolks.com, the largest network of independent artists.