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Martha Farkas Glaser

Martha Farkas Glaser (February 15, 1921 – December 3, 2014) was the manager, producer, and business partner of jazz musician Erroll Garner. She was also a civil rights activist.[1] Though she was best known for her role as Garner's manager, she was also a prolific writer of lyrics and poetry.

Martha Farkas Glaser
Born(1921-02-15)February 15, 1921
Duquesne, Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedDecember 3, 2014(2014-12-03) (aged 93)
Other names
  • Martha Glaser
  • Martha Gleicher
  • Martha Glaser Gleicher
CitizenshipAmerican
EducationWayne State University
Occupation
  • Civil Rights activist
  • Manager
  • Publicist
  • Author

Contents

Early life and educationEdit

Glaser was born in Duquesne, Pennsylvania, to parents Samuel and Pearl Farkas, Hungarian immigrants who emigrated to the Pittsburgh area.[2][3] She had a sister named Bella Rosenberg.

Glaser graduated from Southwestern High School in Detroit, Michigan and then earned her Bachelor's degree in Government with minors in Economics, Sociology and History from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1942.[4]

CareerEdit

After college Glaser worked for the Metropolitan Detroit Youth Council and as a compliance officer for the War Manpower Commission. She also held a position in the publicity department of the Greater Detroit and in the Wayne County Union council. During this time she promoted and was involved with local leaders in the community to maintain food subsidies. She was active in organizing the efforts of local trade union and non-unionized workers. She continued her education during this time by studying radio script writing. It was during this time that she decided to take a career in journalism and public affairs, but after the Detroit race riot of 1943 she was a major participant in addressing race relations by helping to form the Entertainment Industry Emergency Committee to halt "race hatred."[4] After these positions, she worked for the City of Chicago Mayor's Commission on Human Relations from about 1944 to 1946. She handled publicity, press relations, fact-finding and specialized in press releases addressing issues related to race relations. She also arranged events for the commission. She was a featured speaker on radio shows and public functions on activities of the commission. After leaving this job, she accepted a job with the Disc Company of New York City.[5] In 1946, Glaser worked for the City of Chicago Mayor's Commission on Human Relations.[5]

In the early 1950s Glaser met jazz pianist Erroll Garner composer of the standard "Misty".[6] Though recorded by a wide variety of performers, Garner's version of "Misty" was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1991.[7]

ArchivesEdit

Glaser maintained the collection of Erroll Garner original recordings and records during her lifetime. The collection was given to the University of Pittsburgh by her estate.[8][9][10][11][12] Examples of records contained in the archives include Glaser's:

  • Correspondence
    • Letters of reference
    • Condolence letters[13]
    • Between Garner's family and Glaser
  • Legal papers
  • Banking records
  • Documentation of royalties
  • Trust Agreement and Will[14]

Recordings from the archives and preserved by Glaser have been released and included songs that have been published for the first time in September 2016.[1] In the recent release of archived recordings, Glaser can be heard during the studio recordings give instructions to Garner from the control booth.[15][16]

During her lifetime, Glaser maintained the largest collections of Garner's work.[17]

Personal lifeEdit

She went by various names. In 1947, she called herself Martha Gleicher. By 1949, she took the name of Martha Glaser Gleicher.[18]

BibliographyEdit

  • Doran, James (1985). Erroll Garner, the most happy piano. Metuchen, N.J: Scarecrow Press and the Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University. ISBN 0810817454.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Chinen, Nate (August 9, 2016). "Erroll Garner Recordings Unearthed for a New Album". New York Times. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  2. ^ "Music As Written". Billboard. April 28, 1962. p. 20.
  3. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths". New York Times. February 22, 2015. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  4. ^ a b "RIP Martha Glaser December 3, 2014". Jazz News You Can Use. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Wright, Thomas H. "Thomas H. Wright letter to 'Whom It May Concern' a letter of reference" (December 31, 1948) [a letter of reference for Mrs. Martha Gleicher]. Erroll Garner, Box: 14, File: 14. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Library System, Archive Service Center: University of Pittsburgh.
  6. ^ "Brief Biographical / Historical Sketch". University Library System. University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  7. ^ "GRAMMY Hall Of Fame". GRAMMY.org. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  8. ^ Niederberger, Mary (June 15, 2015). "Jazz musician Erroll Garner's materials donated to Pitt library". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  9. ^ "Black History Month: Erroll Garner". KDKA News, CBS Pittsburgh. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  10. ^ "Jazz musician Erroll Garner's materials donated to Pitt library". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  11. ^ "Erroll Garner Jazz Project". Modern Works Music Publishing. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  12. ^ Chinen, Nate (September 16, 2015). "Erroll Garner's 'Concert by the Sea' Gets a New Sound". New York Times.
  13. ^ "Subseries 3. Erroll Garner and Martha Glaser". University Library System (unpublished private letters held by the University of Pittsburgh). University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  14. ^ "Subseries 2. Martha Glaser Legal, folders 31-45". University Library System (unpublished private letters held by the University of Pittsburgh). University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved June 8, 2017documents of various dates
  15. ^ "Legacy Recordings and Octave Music Set to Release Ready Take One, A Brand New Album of 14 Unreleased Studio Performances by Legendary American Jazz Pianist/Composer Erroll Garner, On Friday, September 30". PR Newswire. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  16. ^ Greenblatt, Mike (October 29, 2016). "'Ready Take One,' 14 Newly Discovered Erroll Garner Studio Performances Released by Legacy/Octave [REVIEW]". Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  17. ^ "The Pop Life; An Erroll Garner Trove". The New York Times. December 11, 1985. Retrieved June 8, 2017.
  18. ^ "Series VIII. Martha Glaser, AIS.2015.09, 1921–1977, box 68, folder 1". University Library System (unpublished private letters held by the University of Pittsburgh). University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved June 8, 2017documents of various dates