Thursday, March 31, 2011

"Christy Crunch"


Federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May may or may not be a great addition to Parliament, to national political life or to fine dining. She may or may not have a one-note or full-piano agenda.

But we know these things for sure:

- She is running against Conservative incumbent, Gary Lunn, Minister of State for Sport.

- Mr. Lunn is the second worst parliamentarian in Canadian history, the worst, of course, being Hedy Fry.

- Elizabeth May is the leader of a federal party that gathered one million votes last time round and that collects substantial federal election spending from our federal government.

- A consortium of TV broadcasters (CBC, CTV, Global, Radio-Canada & TVA) have decided that Elizabeth May is not worthy of participation in televised debates.

Since when are entertainment conglomerates the rightful holders of democratic freedoms in this or any other country?

Barbara Yappy, in her column today, presents the oldest and dumbest argument in favour of the TV execs' decision: "They [the Green Party] are not part of the parliamentary play in this country. They have no seats in either the House of Commons or the Senate."


Is this what we really want in Canada? The same old, same old tired old white men babbling about the size of their...programs?

I say, "The more the merrier."

To date, Elizabeth May has not proven herself to be a circus clown, a pot advocate, a nun in politician's clothing or Linsay Lohan's evil twin.

She is the leader of a registered and legitimate political party.

It is unlikely that she or her candidate in my riding will get my vote.

But I do want to hear their arguments.

Maybe because I have this quaint, old fashioned notion of democracy.

Silly me.

One day I will grow up and think like the CBC.

Which, of course, will be the same day, I watch Peter Mansbridge interview someone.

Monday, March 28, 2011


This is an election about nothing.

Jack Layton forced the election for the same reason that a dog licks himself - because he can.

This is an election about the three P's: Power, Politics and Putzes.

Harper may or may not be the warmest, cuddliest guy on earth, and you may not think of him first when you ask yourself, "Whom should I invite for coffee this morning?"

But so what? Has he wrecked the country? Has he done anything as criminal as the Liberal Sponsorship mess of a decade ago?

What are the issues for this election?

Health care? (Costs out of control. Service fabulous on Tuesdays, the shits on Wednesdays.) Education? (Third rate. Run by the Teachers' Unions.) Productivity? (Unknown. Less than zero. No skilled labour force. No apprentices.) The military? (Proud and in harm's way every day, unloved and under financed.)

Not at all. None of these issues is at play.

We are one of the least productive nations on earth. Our economy is run entirely by the service industries ("Can I put some Cinnamon sprinkles on that for you, Ma'am?) and foreign grabs on real estate. And the every diminishing natural resources.


This all a vainglorious $300 Million hit in the taxpayers' pocket.

It's all for cheesy sound bites and posturing.

I've reached the point where the sight of Mr. Mustache (Fast Eddy Felson, above) and Professor Iggy Pop actually make me sick.

I don't believe for a second that these stick figures have me or you at heart.

Eat a bagel, don a turban, kiss a baby - I'm throwing up already.

And no sooner will the poop from this Cavalia be shoveled off the sawdust, then we'll have to watch Christy Palin mount her steed and costs us another $100 Million or so.

Try keeping the libraries open instead.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Gavin Walker has been broadcasting "The Jazz Show" on CITR radio 101.9 FM continuously since 1984.

You can listen in every Monday from 9 to Midnight.

Gavin and I have only been friends for 45 years.

In this photo, taken
March 19, by another local jazz aficionado, Ron Hearn, Gavin is wailing with Joey DeFrancesco at Corey Weeds' Cellar Jazz Club right here on West Broadway.

Gavin is not only a great historian, broadcaster, and story teller of the Jazz saga, but it doesn't hurt that he is( and has been for a lifetime) a sax and bass player and a guy with an astute, educated and trained ear.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Methadone is six times more addictive than heroin.

It is almost impossible to get free of a methadone addiction.

How do I know this?

Because for 44 years, since 1967, I have been dealing with addictions issues, for the first ten years running an abstinence program that is still turning our clean and sober citizens today.

I have never met an addict who profited in any way from using methadone.

Now, pharmacists, doctors, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists - they're a whole other bag of tea.

They make money on this poison. They build careers. They get to speak in public.

Here is yesterdays headline in the Vancouver Courier:

Residents oppose methadone clinic proposal in troubled Vancouver neighbourhood

Strathcona association pans plan

The coverage by staff writer Sandra Thomas is, as always, excellent.

Let me assure you that this story has been going on for close to 50 years now.
With startling regularity, some genius or other decides it's time to spread more of this disease. And, as always, the pusher (pharmacy/doctor/shrink) wants the latest clinic opened across from a school.

Let me assure you that this is what happens outside methadone clinics.

Dope fiends shoot dope.

So, methadone or no methadone, the addicts will be dealing drugs and behaving like sewer rats, all in full view of the neighborhood.

Their idiocy will infect everything around them. depend on it.

Their is no better place for a new methadone clinic.

Because methadone is a failed idea.

t simply doesn't work.

It only clouds the issue and makes matters worse.

Citizens in the Strathcona neighbourhood are right to oppose this sickness with all their might.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


For my money, the three most beautiful women ever to grace the screen were Audrey Hepburn, Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor.

It didn't hurt that all three were fine actresses.

Elizabeth Taylor died yesterday in Los Angeles. She was 79.

Read the most comprehensive obituary in the New York Times.

For over 700 photos, go to IMDB, The Internet Movie Database.

Below, you will find two videos.

The second is from "A Place in the Sun," the George Stevens 1951 film version of Theodore Dreiser's novel, "An American Tragedy."

The first is from one of my all-time favorite movies, "Giant," another George Stevens film (1956), this one taken from Edna Ferber's book of the same name.

In both movies, she is in love with a man played by a gay actor - Montgomery Clift an "A Place in the Sun," and Rock Hudson in "Giant."

In "Giant," Taylor, age 24 at the time of filming, plays a woman from the age of 15 or so to a grandmother in her 60's. She was magnificent.

She made some real duds, but she also made some of the best movies ever made including, in addition to the two mentioned here, "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"

Her mad, unusual life was stormy and tempestuous and completely her own. She may have been half crazy for all we know, but she was utterly herself.

She was terribly clever and crafty about the ruthless movie business and amassed a small fortune.

She was known to be kind and caring and a great friend.

For better or for worse, for all, she was a part of our lives for so many years.

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor

Monday, March 21, 2011


There's an odd tone to this morning's front page headline in The Sun.




If drunk drivers face a six YEAR wait or six DECADE wait to get back on the road, that is just fine with me.

There are few people in our midst who are more hateful, irresponsible and unworthy of our sympathies than the barbarians who drink and drive.

It is not possible to be alive on this earth and have missed the message.

Of course, drinking drivers know that what they are doing is mortally treacherously wrong.

But, scariest of all - THEY DON'T CARE.

Yet, one gets the feeling reading this piece that somehow we are supposed to feel that these non-citizens are being hard done by.


Read the story and tell me what you think.

Sunday, March 20, 2011



Whether these changes are good or bad depends in part, on how we adapt to them. But, ready or not, here they come

1. The Post Office. Get ready to imagine a world without the post office. They are so deeply in financial trouble that there is probably no way to sustain it long term. Email, Fed Ex, and UPS have just about wiped out the minimum revenue needed to keep the post office alive. Most of your mail every day is junk mail and bills.

2. The Check.
Britain is already laying the groundwork to do away with checks by 2018. It costs the financial system billions of dollars a year to process checks. Plastic cards and online transactions will lead to the eventual demise of the check. This plays right into the death of the post office. If you never paid your bills by mail and never received them by mail, the post office would absolutely go out of business.

3. The Newspaper. The younger generation simply does not read the newspaper. They certainly do not subscribe to a daily delivered print edition. That may go the way of the milkman and the laundry man. As for reading the paper online, get ready to pay for it. The rise in mobile Internet devices and e-readers has caused all the newspaper and magazine publishers to form an alliance. They have met with Apple, Amazon, and the major cell phone companies to develop a model for paid subscription services.

4. The Book. You say you will never give up the physical book that you hold in your hand and turn the literal pages. I said the same thing about downloading music from iTunes. I wanted my hard copy CD. But I quickly changed my mind when I discovered that I could get albums for half the price without ever leaving home to get the latest music. The same thing will happen with books. You can browse a bookstore online and even read a preview chapter before you buy. And the price is less than half that of a real book. And think of the convenience! Once you start flicking your fingers on the screen instead of the book, you find that you are lost in the story, cannot wait to see what happens next, and you forget that you are holding a gadget instead of a book.

5. The Land Line Telephone. Unless you have a large family and make a lot of local calls, you do not need it anymore. Most people keep it simply because they have always had it. But you are paying double charges for that extra service. All the cell phone companies will let you call customers using the same cell provider for no charge against your minutes

6. Music. This is one of the saddest parts of the change story. The music industry is dying a slow death. Not just because of illegal downloading. It is the lack of innovative new music being given a chance to get to the people who would like to hear it. Greed and corruption is the problem. The record labels and the radio conglomerates are simply self-destructing. Over 40% of the music purchased today is "catalog items," meaning traditional music that the public is familiar with. Older established artists. This is also true on the live concert circuit. To explore this fascinating and disturbing topic further, check out the book, "Appetite for Self-Destruction" by Steve Knopper, and the video documentary, "Before the Music Dies."

7. Television. Revenues to the networks are down dramatically. Not just because of the economy. People are watching TV and movies streamed from their computers. And they are playing games and doing lots of other things that take up the time that used to be spent watching TV. Prime time shows have degenerated down to lower than the lowest common denominator. Cable rates are skyrocketing and commercials run about every 4 minutes and 30 seconds. I say good riddance to most of it. It is time for the cable companies to be put out of our misery. Let the people choose what they want to watch online and through Netflix.

8. The "Things" That You Own. Many of the very possessions that we used to own are still in our lives, but we may not actually own them in the future. They may simply reside in "the cloud." Today your computer has a hard drive and you store your pictures, music, movies, and documents. Your software is on a CD or DVD, and you can always re-install it if need be. But all of that is changing. Apple, Microsoft, and Google are all finishing up their latest "cloud services." That means that when you turn on a computer, the Internet will be built into the operating system. Therefore, Windows, Google, and the Mac OS will be tied straight into the Internet. If you click an icon, it will open something in the Internet cloud. If you save something, it will be saved to the cloud. And you may pay a monthly subscription fee to the cloud provider.

In this virtual world, you can access your music or your books, or your whatever from any laptop or handheld device. That is the good news. But, will you actually own any of this "stuff" or will it all be able to disappear at any moment in a big "Poof?" Will most of the things in our lives be disposable and whimsical? It makes you want to run to the closet and pull out that photo album, grab a book from the shelf, or open up a CD case and pull out the insert.

9. Privacy. If there ever were a concept that we can look back on nostalgically, it would be privacy. That is gone. It has been gone for a long time anyway. There are cameras on the street, in most of the buildings, and even built into your computer and cell phone. But you can be sure that 24/7, "They" know who you are and where you are, right down to the GPS coordinates, and the Google Street View. If you buy something, your habit is put into a zillion profiles, and your ads will change to reflect those habits. And "They" will try to get you to buy something else. Again and again.

All we will have that cannot be changed are Memories.
19 Facts About The Deindustrialization Of
America That Will Blow Your Mind

United States is rapidly becoming the very first "post-industrial" nation on the globe. All great economic empires eventually become fat and lazy and squander the great wealth that their forefathers have left them, but the pace at which America is accomplishing this is amazing. Americawas at the forefront of the industrial revolution. America showed the world how to mass-produce everything from automobiles to televisions to airplanes. The great American manufacturing base crushed Germany and Japan in World War II.

Now we are witnessing the deindustrialization of
America. Tens of thousands of factories have left the United States in the past decade alone. Millions upon millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost in the same time period. The United States has become a nation that consumes everything in sight and yet produces increasingly little. Do you know what our biggest export is today? Waste paper. Yes, trash is the number one thing that we ship out to the rest of the world as we voraciously blow our money on whatever the rest of the world wants to sell to us. TheUnited States has become bloated and spoiled and our economy is now just a shadow of what it once was. Once upon a time America could literally out produce the rest of the world combined. Today that is no longer true, but Americans sure do consume more than anyone else does in the world. If the deindustrialization of America continues at this current pace, what possible kind of a future are we going to be leaving to our children?

Any great nation throughout history has been great at making things... So if the
United States continues to allow its manufacturing base to erode at a staggering pace how in the world can the U.S. continue to consider itself a great nation? We have created the biggest debt bubble in the history of the world in an effort to maintain a very high standard of living, but the current state of affairs is not anywhere close to sustainable. Every single month America goes into more debt and every single month America gets poorer.

So what happens when the debt bubble pops?

The deindustrialization of the
United States should be a top concern for every man, woman and child in the country. But sadly, most Americans do not have any idea what is going on around them.

For people like that, take this article, print it out, and hand it to them. Perhaps what they will read below will shock them badly enough to awaken them from their slumber.

The following are 19 facts about the deindustrialization of
America that will blow your mind...

#1 The United States has lost approximately 42,400 factories since 2001. About 75 percent of those factories employed over 500 people when they were still in operation.

#2 Dell Inc., one of
America’s largest manufacturers of computers, has announced plans to dramatically expand its operations in China with an investment of over $100 billion over the next decade.

#3 Dell has announced that it will be closing its last large
U.S. manufacturing facility in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in November. Approximately 900 jobs will be lost.

#4 In 2008, 1.2 billion cell phones were sold worldwide. So how many of them were manufactured inside the
United States. Zero.

#5 According to a new study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute, if the U.S. trade deficit with China continues to increase at its current rate, the U.S. economy will lose over half a million jobs this year alone.

#6 As of the end of July, the
U.S. trade deficit with China had risen 18 percent compared to the same time a year ago.

#7 The United States has lost about 5.5 million manufacturing jobs since October 2000.

#8 According to Tax Notes, between 1999 and 2008 employment at the foreign affiliates of
U.S. parent companies increased an astounding 30 percent to 10.1 million. During that exact same time, U.S. employment at American multinational corporations declined 8 percent to 21.1 million.

#9 In 1959, manufacturing represented 28 percent of
U.S. economic output. In 2008, it represented 11.5 percent.

#10 Ford Motor Companies recently announced the closure of a factory that produces the Ford Ranger in
St. Paul, Minnesota. Approximately 750 good paying middle class jobs are going to be lost because making Ford Rangers in Minnesota does not fit in with Ford's new "global" manufacturing strategy.

#11 As of the end of 2009, less than 12 million Americans worked in manufacturing. The last time less than 12 million Americans were employed in manufacturing was in 1941.

#12 In the United States today, consumption accounts for 70 percent of GDP. Of this 70 percent, over half is spent on services.

#13 The United States has lost a whopping 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.

#14 In 2001, the
United States ranked fourth in the world in per capita broadband Internet use. Today it ranks 15th.

#15 Manufacturing employment in the
U.S. computer industry is actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.

#16 Printed circuit boards are used in tens of thousands of different products.
Asia now produces 84 percent of them worldwide.

#17 The United States spends approximately $3.90 on Chinese goods for every $1 that the Chinese spend on goods from the
United States.

#18 One prominent economist is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the
U.S. economy by the year 2040.

#19 The U.S. Census Bureau says that 43.6 million Americans are now living in poverty and according to them that is the highest number of poor Americans in the 51 years that records have been kept.

So how many tens of thousands more factories do we need to lose before we do something about it?

How many millions more Americans are going to become unemployed before we all admit that we have a very, very serious problem on our hands?

How many more trillions of dollars are going to leave the country before we realize that we are losing wealth at a pace that is killing our economy?

How many once great manufacturing cities are going to become rotting war zones like
Detroit before we understand that we are committing national economic suicide?

The deindustrialization of
America is a national crisis. It needs to be treated like one.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Delta pilot on approach to Tokyo during earthquake

I'm currently still in one piece, writing from my room in the Narita crew hotel.
It's 8am. This is my inaugural trans-pacific trip as a brand new, recently
checked out, international 767 Captain and it has been interesting, to say the
least, so far. I've crossed the Atlantic three times so far so the ocean
crossing procedures were familiar.

By the way, stunning scenery flying over the Aleutian Islands. Everything was
going fine until 100 miles out from Tokyo and in the descent for arrival. The
first indication of any trouble was that Japan air traffic control started
putting everyone into holding patterns. At first we thought it was usual
congestion on arrival. Then we got a company data link message advising about
the earthquake, followed by another stating Narita airport was temporarily
closed for inspection and expected to open shortly (the company is always so

From our perspective things were obviously looking a little different. The
Japanese controller's anxiety level seemed quite high and he said expect
"indefinite" holding time. No one would commit to a time frame on that so I got
my copilot and relief pilot busy looking at divert stations and our fuel
situation, which, after an ocean crossing is typically low.

It wasn't long, maybe ten minutes, before the first pilots started requesting
diversions to other airports. Air Canada, American, United, etc. all reporting
minimal fuel situations. I still had enough fuel for 1.5 to 2.0 hours of
holding. Needless to say, the diverts started complicating the situation.

Japan air traffic control then announced Narita was closed indefinitely due to
damage. Planes immediately started requesting arrivals into Haneada, near Tokyo,
a half dozen JAL and western planes got clearance in that direction but then ATC
announced Haenada had just closed. Uh oh! Now instead of just holding, we all
had to start looking at more distant alternatives like Osaka, or Nagoya.

One bad thing about a large airliner is that you can't just be-pop into any
little airport. We generally need lots of runway. With more planes piling in
from both east and west, all needing a place to land and several now fuel
critical ATC was getting over-whelmed. In the scramble, and without waiting for
my fuel to get critical, I got my flight a clearance to head for Nagoya, fuel
situation still okay. So far so good. A few minutes into heading that way, I was
"ordered" by ATC to reverse course. Nagoya was saturated with traffic and unable
to handle more planes (read- airport full). Ditto for Osaka.

With that statement, my situation went instantly from fuel okay, to fuel minimal
considering we might have to divert a much farther distance. Multiply my
situation by a dozen other aircraft all in the same boat, all making demands
requests and threats to ATC for clearances somewhere. Air Canada and then
someone else went to "emergency" fuel situation. Planes started to heading for
air force bases. The nearest to Tokyo was Yokoda AFB. I threw my hat in the ring
for that initially. The answer - Yokoda closed! no more space.

By now it was a three ring circus in the cockpit, my copilot on the radios, me
flying and making decisions and the relief copilot buried in the air charts
trying to figure out where to go that was within range while data link messages
were flying back and forth between us and company dispatch in Atlanta. I picked
Misawa AFB at the north end of Honshu island. We could get there with minimal
fuel remaining. ATC was happy to get rid of us so we cleared out of the
maelstrom of the Tokyo region. We heard ATC try to send planes toward Sendai, a
small regional airport on the coast which was later the one I think that got
flooded by a tsunami.

Atlanta dispatch then sent us a message asking if we could continue to Chitose
airport on the Island of Hokkaido, north of Honshu. Other Delta planes were
heading that way. More scrambling in the cockpit - check weather, check charts,
check fuel, okay. We could still make it and not be going into a fuel critical
situation ... if we had no other fuel delays. As we approached Misawa we got
clearance to continue to Chitose. Critical decision thought process. Let's see -
trying to help company - plane overflies perfectly good divert airport for one
farther away...wonder how that will look in the safety report, if anything goes

Suddenly ATC comes up and gives us a vector to a fix well short of Chitose and
tells us to standby for holding instructions. Nightmare realized. Situation
rapidly deteriorating. After initially holding near Tokyo, starting a divert to
Nagoya, reversing course back to Tokyo then to re-diverting north toward Misawa,
all that happy fuel reserve that I had was vaporizing fast. My subsequent
conversation, paraphrased of course...., went something like this:

"Sapparo Control - Delta XX requesting immediate clearance direct to Chitose,
minimum fuel, unable hold."

"Negative Ghost-Rider, the Pattern is full" <<<>

"Sapparo Control - make that - Delta XX declaring emergency, low fuel,
proceeding direct Chitose"

"Roger Delta XX, understood, you are cleared direct to Chitose, contact Chitose

Enough was enough, I had decided to preempt actually running critically low on
fuel while in another indefinite holding pattern, especially after bypassing
Misawa, and played my last ace...declaring an emergency. The problem with that
is now I have a bit of company paperwork to do but what the heck.

As it was - landed Chitose, safe, with at least 30 minutes of fuel remaining
before reaching a "true" fuel emergency situation. That's always a good feeling,
being safe. They taxied us off to some remote parking area where we shut down
and watched a half dozen or more other airplanes come streaming in. In the end,
Delta had two 747s, my 767 and another 767 and a 777 all on the ramp at Chitose.
We saw to American airlines planes, a United and two Air Canada as well. Not to
mention several extra Al Nippon and Japan Air Lines planes.

Post-script - 9 hours later, Japan air lines finally got around to getting a
boarding ladder to the plane where we were able to get off and clear customs. -
that however, is another interesting story.

By the way - while writing this - I have felt four additional tremors that shook
the hotel slightly - all in 45 minutes.



Tuesday, March 15, 2011


March 14, 2011

Hugh Martin, 96, Songwriter of Judy Garland Standards

Hugh Martin, the composer, lyricist, arranger and pianist best known for creating the Judy Garland standards “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “The Boy Next Door” and “The Trolley Song,” died on Friday at his home in Encinitas, Calif. He was 96.

His death was confirmed by his niece Suzanne Hanners.

The three songs with which he is most identified all belonged to the score of the 1944 MGM musical “Meet Me in St. Louis.” Although Mr. Martin shared songwriting credit with his longtime collaborator, Ralph Blane, who died in 1995, Mr. Martin insisted in his autobiography, “Hugh Martin: The Boy Next Door” (2010), that he had written all three songs by himself. Mr. Martin and Mr. Blane, who met as cast members in the 1937 Broadway revue ”Hooray for What?,” both wrote words and music, usually independently of each other, before combining their efforts, having agreed to share credit on everything.

Garland initially refused to sing the holiday ballad, which began, “Have yourself a merry little Christmas/It may be your last,” until that second line was softened to “Let your heart be light.” “They’ll think I’m a monster to that little Margaret O’Brien,” he recalled her protesting.

“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is one of a triumvirate of achingly wistful seasonal ballads from World War II (the others are “White Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”) to have transcended their era. In his book “American Popular Song: The Great Innovators, 1900-1950” the composer Alec Wilder described it as “the most honest and genuine of all the attempts to wish one well musically in a season which otherwise has come to be symbolized by guilt and the dollar sign.”

Mr. Martin wrote the music and lyrics for five Broadway musicals: “Best Foot Forward” (1941, with Mr. Blane), “Look Ma, I’m Dancin’!” (1948), “Make a Wish” (1951). “High Spirits” (1964, on which he collaborated with Timothy Gray on book, music and lyrics) and the 1989 stage version of “Meet Me in St. Louis,” for which he wrote new songs.

Besides “Meet Me in St. Louis” his film credits include the movie version of “Best Foot Forward” (1943), “Abbott and Costello in Hollywood” (1945), “Athena” (1954), “The Girl Rush” (1955) and “The Girl Most Likely” (1958), all with Mr. Blane. On his own he wrote the songs for a 1958 television musical, “Hans Brinker.”

Born in Birmingham, Ala., on Aug. 11, 1914, Hugh Martin studied music at Birmingham Southern College. He intended to be a classical musician until he discovered George Gershwin.

“ ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ changed my life,” he recalled in a conversation with the singer and pianist Michael Feinstein in the liner notes for their 1995 album, “The Hugh Martin Songbook.”

“It was Gershwin and Kern and Arlen,” he said. Those three were my top-echelon people.”

A letter he wrote to Richard Rodgers about vocal arrangements on Broadway earned him an invitation to arrange “Sing for Your Supper” for the Rodgers and Hart show “The Boys From Syracuse” in the style of the Boswell Sisters, and he began a distinguished career as a Broadway and nightclub arranger.

While working with Garland on “A Star Is Born,” he left the picture after a dispute about how to sing “The Man That Got Away,” which he didn’t want her to belt. As the musical director of “Sugar Babies” years later, he faced a similar conflict about interpretation with Ann Miller.

His score for a movie short about the primitive artist Grandma Moses, orchestrated by Mr. Wilder, became the semiclassical “New England Suite.”

In his autobiography Mr. Martin wrote of his onetime amphetamine addiction, from which he recovered. In his later years he became a Seventh-Day Adventist and an accompanist for the gospel singer Del Delker, who recorded a religiously slanted version of his holiday standard: “Have Yourself a Blessed Little Christmas.”

Mr. Martin is survived by a brother, Gordon, of Birmingham.