robert martin

Robert "Bobby" Martin, the son of two opera singers from Philadelphia, is a conservatory-trained french horn player, a gifted athlete, and he sports a genius IQ. Robert taught himself to play piano and all the brass instruments in elementary school; he learned all the reed instruments shortly thereafter. Although he had attracted the attention of professional baseball scouts as an all-star shortstop, he decided to pursue a career in music.

In the late 70's, Martin recorded and toured with the Pop Group "Orleans", before joining Zappa's band in the summer of 1981. He recorded and toured with Zappa until December 1984.

In 1986 he toured with Michael McDonald. Footage of the 1986/01/30 concert (a professional recording) in Japan exists.

Robert Martin was a band member of The Band From Utopia.

In 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, Robert Martin was special guest at the Zappanale Festival in Bad Doberan, Germany.
In 2010, Robert Performed with Collectif LeBocal and with The Central Scrutinizer Band.

June 15 & 22, 2011, Bobby Marquis aired an interview with Robert Martin on CKCU-FM, Ottowa's community radio station.

In 2011, Robert Martin returned to the Zappanale festival where he performed with Project/Object and with Chris Opperman.

August 2012, saw Robert Martin at Zappanale again, where he performed with Gargantua, Dead Dino Storage, and Bogus Pomp. The above picture was taken Robert's guest appearance with Bogus Pomp. Picture by Bazbo.



  good god: good god
    (1972, lp, aus, atlantic sd-7243) – incl. ‘king kong’ (frank zappa)
  1977 spinners- spinners (french horn)   
  1978 bramlett, bonnie- memories (keyboards, saxophone)   
  1978 moody blues- octave (horn, saxophone, horn arrangements)  
  orleans: forever
    (1979, lp, usa, ??) - feat.robert martin on piano, organ, tenor/baritone sax, vocals
  orleans: orleans
    (1980, lp, usa, ??) - feat.robert martin on horn, french horn, keyboards, vocals
  david sanborn: as we speak
    (1981, lp, usa, warner brothers) - feat. george duke, robert martin

davidsanborn_aswespeak.jpg (12709 bytes)

  1981 phillinganes, greg- significant gains (backing vocals)  
  1982 osborne, jeffrey- jeffrey osborne (french horn)  
  1982 fitzgerald, ella- best is yet to come (cello)  
35 frank zappa: ship arriving too late too save a drowning witch
   (1982, lp, usa, barking pumpkin)

  1982 burdon, eric- comeback (saxophone)   
  1982 burdon, eric- unreleased eric burdon (harmonica, keyboards, saxophone)   
36 frank zappa: the man from utopia
   (1983, lp, usa, barking pumpkin)

  1983 midler, bette- no frills (organ, synthesizer, keyboards)   
  bobby martin: bobby martin
    (1983, lp, usa, mca records)
  1984 james, jamie- big one (bass, keyboards, saxophone, vocals)   


frank zappa: them or us
   (1984, 2lp, usa, barking pumpkin)


frank zappa: frank zappa meets the mothers of prevention
   (1985, lp, usa, barking pumpkin) – american version
   (1985, lp, eur, emi) – european version

  1986 carlisle, belinda- belinda (synthesizer, saxophone)  


frank zappa: does humour belong in music?
   (1986, cd, ger, emi)


frank zappa: jazz from hell
   (1986, lp, usa, barking pumpkin)

  1987 trower, robin- passion (keyboards, vocals)  
  1987 pickett, wilson- american soul man (keyboards, horns, arrangements)  
  1987 frank zappa- the guitar world according to frank zappa  


frank zappa: guitar
   (1988, 2cd, usa, ryko)

  1988 frank zappa- you can't do that on stage anymore (sampler)   
  1988 burdon, eric- wicked man (saxophone)   
  1988 vigard, kristen- kristen vigard (saxophone)   
51 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.1
   (1988, 2cd, usa, ryko)


frank zappa: broadway the hard way
   (1988, 2lp, usa, barking pumpkin)

  1988 savoy brown- make me sweat (keyboards)   
  1988 trower, robin- take what you need (keyboards, vocals)  
  1989 smith, preston- preston smith (drums, organ (hammond))  
54 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.3
   (1989, 2cd, usa, ryko)
  1989 mardones, benny- benny mardones (organ, saxophone)   
  1989 savoy brown- kings of boogie (keyboards)   
  1989 queen ida- cookin' with queen ida (horn, keyboards, vocals)  
  1990 mama roo- mama roo (horn, keyboards, vocals)   
  1990 mateos, miguel- obsesion (horn arrangements)  
  1990 williams, andy- i still believe in santa claus (synthesizer, percussion)  
  1991 frank zappa- as an am   
55 frank zappa: the best band you never heard in your life
   (1991, 2cd, usa, barking pumpkin)

56 frank zappa: make a jazz noise here
   (1991, 2cd, usa, barking pumpkin)


frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.4
   (1991, 2cd, usa, ryko)  
  frank zappa: as an am
    (1991, cd, usa, rhino foo-eee records r2 70537)

fooeeerecordsr270537_c.jpg (133936 bytes)

  1991 kottke, leo- great big boy (bass, keyboards, vocals)  
  1991 rippingtons- curves ahead (sax)  
  1991 newman, michael- guitar pleasure (cello)   


frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.5
   (1992, 2cd, usa, ryko)
59 frank zappa: you can't do that on stage anymore vol.6
   (1992, 2cd, usa, ryko)
  1992 carlisle, belinda- her greatest hits  
  1992 lawrence, doc- doc lawrence (piano, organ (hammond), sax)   
  1992 frey, glenn- strange weather (vocals)  
  1992 frey, glenn- strange weather (vocals)  
  1992 path, joshua- headrush (keyboards, saxophone, sax, drum programming)   
  1993 inner circle- best of inner circle: the capitol years (percussion, keyboards, saxophone)   
  1993 spencer, j.- chimera (strings)  
  1993 world of contemporary jazz groups (tenor sax)  
  1994 james, etta- live from san francisco (french horn, keyboards, saxophone, vocals)   
  the band from utopia: a tribute to the music of frank zappa - live vol.1 & 2
    (1994, cd-pro, muffin records) - all compositions by frank zappa; feat.various zappa alumni

  1994 james, etta- live from san francisco (french horn, keyboards, saxophone, vocals)   
  1994 james, etta- live from san francisco (french horn, keyboards, saxophone, vocals)   
  1995 great gospel men- great gospel men (piano)  
  1995 tasby, finis- people don't care (organ, piano, saxophone, vocals)  
  1995 frank zappa- strictly commercial  
  the band from utopia: the band from utopia (1)
    (1995, cd, usa, muffin records productions)  - all compositions by frank zappa; feat.various zappa alumni

  1995 nicks, stevie- live at red rocks (horn, keyboards, vocals)  
  1996 supernatural fairy tales: the progr (bass)   
  1996 neglected orphans- dances with weasels  


frank zappa: have i offended someone?
   (1997, cd, usa, ryko)

  1999 various artists- '80s new wave - millenium party  
  the persuasions: the persuasions sing zappa - frankly a capella
    (2000, cd, usa, earthbeat r2 79832) - all compositions by f.zappa, feat.bruce fowler, mike keneally, robert martin
  the band from utopia: a tribute to the music of frank zappa
    (2001, dvd, ger, tdk dv-jtbfu) - all compositions by frank zappa

  the banned from utopia: so yuh don't like modern art  (2)
    (2002, cd, usa, favored nations) - various compositions by frank zappa; feat.various zappa alumni

  various artists: the purple cucumber
    (2003, cd, italy, auditorium audizioni 01003) = zappa tribute album, incl.fragments of various zappa compositions


frank zappa: trance-fusion
    (2006, cd, usa, zappa records)

  various artists: the frank zappa aaafnraa birthday bundle
    (2006, itunes, -) - feat. frank, moon, dweezil, ahmet & diva zappa


frank zappa: the dub room special
    (2007, cd, usa, zappa records)


frank zappa: one shot deal
    (2008, cd, usa, zappa records)

  various artists: the purple cucumber
    (2008, cd, italy, auditorium audizioni 01003) = zappa tribute, incl.fragments of various zappa compositions  //  reissue of the 2003 album; new artwork
  various artists: the frank zappa aaafnraaa birthday bundle 21 dec 2008
    (2008, itunes, -) - feat. frank, dweezil, ahmet & diva zappa

aaafnraaa2008.jpg (24142 bytes)

project/object: zappanale 20
    (2009, dvdr, ger, private release) - all zappa material / feat. ike willis, don preston, robert martin, denny walley &

  movie / documentary: let's hear it for jimmy carl black
    (2010, dvdr, ger, arf society) - feat. moni black, geronimo black, helmut king, napoleon murphy brock, roy estrada, don preston, bruce bickford, ike willis

docu_jimmycarlblackexpo2009.jpg (48017 bytes)

  lebocal: zappanale 21
    (2010, dvdr, ger, private release) - incl. various frank zappa compositions  //  feat.robert martin

lebocal_dvdr_2010.jpg (15848 bytes)

  the central scrutinizer band: zappanale 21
    (2010, dvdr, ger, private release) - all compositions by frank zappa  //  feat. ray white, robert martin & denny walley

centralscrutinizerband_dvdr_2010.jpg (16050 bytes)

  the muffin men: zappanale 21
    (2010, dvdr, ger, private release) - all compositions by frank zappa  //  feat. ike willis, ray white, robert martin & denny walley
themuffinmen_dvdr_2010.jpg (16083 bytes)
  various artists: the frank zappa aaafnraaaa birthday bundle 21 dec 2010
    (2010, itunes, -) - feat. frank, dweezil, ahmet zappa

aaafnraaaa_2010.jpg (22223 bytes)

  j21: beyond the holographic veil
    (2011, cd, uk, floating world records freem5033) - feat. scott thunes, ed mann, robert martin, don preston, andrew greenaway & marco minnemann
j21_veil.jpg (34064 bytes)

the muffin men: just another band from l4
    (announced, uk, private release) -
feat. denny walley, robert martin, ben watson

mm_justanotherbandfroml4.jpg (37298 bytes)
  the muffin men: live at zappanale 21, bad doberan, august 2010
    (2011, dvdr, ger, private release) - all compositions by frank zappa  //  feat. ike willis, ray white, robert martin, denny walley and ben watson

mm_zappanale_mm.jpg (29945 bytes)

  various artists: zappanale #22 - retrospectacular
    (2011, cd, ger, arf society) - incl. various artists playing frank zappa compositions

zappanale22.jpg (12469 bytes)

  various artists: zappanale 24 - good-bye session
    (2013, dvdr, ger, arf society) - feat. albert wing, mike miller, robert martin, tom fower  //  including various frank zappa themes

z24_goodbyesession.jpg (16937 bytes)


wolfram klug: burt, the nerd
    (2014, cd, switzerland, private release)
- feat. ike willis, tommy mars, arthur barro, robert martin, albert wing, ed mann  //  incl. 'chunga's revenge' (frank zappa)

wolframklug_burtthenerd.jpg (53044 bytes)

  various artists: the frank zappa aaafnraa 2014 birthday bundle
    (2014, download, --, barfko-swill)
aaafnraa2014.jpg (34969 bytes)
  captain cheese-beard: symphony for auto horns
    (2015, cd, bel, mottow soundz) - feat. robert martin

cptcheesebeard_symhonyforautohorns.jpg (30756 bytes)

  the banned from utopia: zappanale 26
    (2015, dvdr, ger, arf society) - all compositions by frank zappa; feat. various zappa alumni
z26_bfu_dvdr.jpg (15211 bytes)
various artists: zappanale # 26
    (2016, 3cd, ger, arf society) - incl. various frank zappa compositions, feat. napoleon murphy brock, ike willis, denny walley, jeff hollie, craig twister steward, ed mann, robert martin, albert wing, ray white, tom fowler, robbie mangano, mats öberg

varart_zappanale26.jpg (27415 bytes)

frank out! featuring robert martin and albert wing: zappa spielt für bach
    (2016, cd, ger, stiftung johann-sebastian) - incl. various frank zappa compositions

frankout_zappanale27hamburg.jpg (31906 bytes)


frank zappa: frank zappa for president
    (2016, cd, usa, zappa records zr 20021)
fz_fzforpresident.jpg (31217 bytes)
  cristian, phil- no prisoner (keyboards, vocals)  
  key largo- saner days (arranger, french horn, saxophone)   
  norman, neil- facing destiny (vocals)  
  orlando, tony- tony orlando (vocals)  
  hope, lynn- morocco (vibes)   
  queen ida- mardi gras (keyboards, vocals)  


bonnie bramlett: memories (1978) - keyboards, saxophone

eric burdon: comeback (1982) - saxophone

eric burdon: unreleased eric burdon (1982) - harmonica, keyboards, saxophone

eric burdon: wicked man (1988) - saxophone

eric burdon: crawling king snake (1994) - saxophone

eric burdon: misunderstood (1995) - harmonica, keyboards, saxophone

eric burdon: f#¢k me...i thought he was dead!!! (1999) - harmonica, keyboards

eric burdon: crawling king snake/soldier of... (2000) - saxophone

eric burdon: live at the roxy/greatest hits... (2001) - harmonica, keyboards

bobby caldwell: heart of mine (1987) - sax (tenor)

belinda carlisle: belinda (1986) - synthesizer, keyboards, saxophone

belinda carlisle: her greatest hits (1992) - synthesizer, keyboards, saxophone

belinda carlisle: belinda [uk bonus tracks] (2003) - synthesizer, saxophone

phil christian: no prisoner  - keyboards, vocals (bckgr)

glenn frey: strange weather (1992) - vocals (bckgr)

graham central station: star walk (1979) - executive producer

bill haley: warner brothers years & more (1999) - organ

lynn hope: morocco  - vibraphone

inner circle: best of inner circle: the capitol... (1993) - percussion, keyboards, saxophone

the intruders: cowboys to girls: the best of the... (1995) - arranger

etta james : live from san francisco (1994) - french horn, keyboards, saxophone, vocals (bckgr)

etta james : love songs (2001) - producer

jamie james : big one (1984) - guitar (bass), keyboards, saxophone, vocals (bckgr)

norman jay: philadelphia 1973-1981 (1999) - arranger, producer

key largo: saner days  - french horn, saxophone

leo kottke: great big boy (1991) - bass, keyboards, vocals (bckgr)

doc lawrence: doc lawrence (1992) - piano, organ (hammond), sax (tenor)

mfsb: love is the message: the best of... (1995) - arranger, producer

mama roo: mama roo (1990) - horn, keyboards, vocals (bckgr)

benny mardones: benny mardones (1989) - organ, organ (hammond), saxophone

bette midler: no frills (1983) - organ, synthesizer, keyboards

stevie nicks: live at red rocks (1995) - horn, keyboards, vocals

neil norman w/ sexton: facing destiny (1990) - vocals (bckgr)

the o'jays: give the people what they want (1995) - arranger

the o'jays: let me make love to you (1995) - arranger

the o'jays: live in london (1998) - producer

the o'jays: year 2000/my favorite person (1999) - arranger

the o'jays: ultimate o'jays (2001) - arranger, producer

tony orlando: tony orlando - vocals (bckgr)

osmond boys: osmond boys (1990) - synthesizer, saxophone

joshua path: headrush (1992) - keyboards, saxophone, sax (tenor), drum programming

billy paul: let 'em in/only the strong survive (1999) - arranger

queen ida & her zydeco: cookin' with queen ida (1989) - horn, keyboards, vocals (bckgr)

queen ida : mardi gras (1994) - keyboards, vocals (bckgr)

the rippingtons with russ: curves ahead (1991) - sax (tenor)

savoy brown: make me sweat (1988) - keyboards

savoy brown: kings of boogie (1989) - keyboards

savoy brown: collection (1994) - keyboards

bunny sigler: bunny sigler (1998) - arranger

preston smith: preston smith (1989) - drums, organ (hammond)

j. spencer : chimera (1993) - strings

finis tasby: people don't care (1995) - organ, piano, saxophone, vocals (bckgr)

the three degrees: turnin' up the heat (1998) - arranger

robin trower: passion (1987) - keyboards, vocals (bckgr)

robin trower: take what you need (1988) - keyboards, vocals (bckgr)

kristen vigard: kristen vigard (1988) - saxophone

bobby vinton & george: as time goes by (1992) - saxophone

andy williams: i still believe in santa claus (1990) - synthesizer, percussion

original soundtrack: rudolph the red nosed reindeer... (1998) - saxophone

various artists: world of contemporary jazz groups (1993) - sax (tenor)

various artists: great gospel men (1995) - piano

various artists: am i black enough for you (1995) - arranger, horn arrangements

various artists: sex & soul, vol. 2 (1996) - horn, string arrangements

various artists: fish-tree-water blues (1999) - french horn, keyboards, saxophone, vocals (bckgr)


semi-official releases

  frank zappa: puttin on the ritz
    (2014, 2cd, ??, goldfish records)
fz_puttinontheritz.jpg (24918 bytes)
  frank zappa: puttin on the ritz
    (2014, 4lp, uk, moonunit records) = 1981/11/17 concert  //  vinyl reissue of the 2 cd set
fz_ritz_4lp.jpg (28740 bytes)
  frank zappa: teenage rockin' combo - dumb all over live 1981
    (2015, 2cd, uk, broadcasting radio records brr5011) = 1981/11/17 new york city concert
zappa_rbr5011.jpg (30898 bytes)
  frank zappa: puttin on the ritz - volume 1
    (2015, 2lp, uk, let them eat vinyl letv206lp) = 1981/11/17 concert  //  vinyl reissue of the 2 cd set
fz_lp_letv205lp.jpg (26062 bytes)
  frank zappa: puttin on the ritz - volume 2
    (2015, 2lp, uk, let them eat vinyl letv206lp) = 1981/11/17 concert  //  vinyl reissue of the 2 cd set
fz_lp_letv206lp.jpg (29227 bytes)
  frank zappa: teenage rockin' combo - dumb all over live 1981
    (2015, 3lp, uk, broadcasting radio records brr4011) = 1981/11/17 new york city concert  //  vinyl reissue of the 2 cd set
zappa_rbr5011.jpg (30898 bytes)





random notes 

     From: unknown

I was looking through promotional material for Leo Kottke, of all people, and it mentioned that his album Great Big Boy (1991) features "Robert Martin, conservatory-trained French horn player and FZ alumnus, on keyboards and bass."  (Bass?)  This is the only mention of him I've ever seen aside from his work with Zappa.

     From: unknown

2 weeks ago, I watched a show on TV ("Schmidteinander" for all the German ppl), where there had a live band playing. A guy named Kal Davies, playing some sort of Soul and Blues, featuring Bobby Martin on keyboards and vocals.

     From: unknown

Let us not forget that Bobby Martin can be seen and heard in mid-80's Stevie Nicks live tunes. He was doing many tours with Stevie Nicks' bands through the 80's (and 90's?).

     From: unknown

His name was indeed bandied about in the early stages of ZU. I can't help you with pre-FZ data, but I can tell you he made one solo album in the eighties (called "Bobby Martin") and currently enjoys the very enviable position of Cybill Shepherd's significant other and musical director.

      Jan van Kemenade sez:

There's a Bobby Martin on backing vocals on a track of Greg Phillinganes 'Significant Ganes' album (1981). Could this be 'our' Bobby Martin??

      From: Chris Cawthray (

while channel flipping, I happened upon the sitcom "Cybill", of which Robert (Bobby) Martin is the musical director.....
anyway, there was a scene in a nightclub where Cybill sings, backed by a piano player (playing bass lines on a synth ontop of the piano), and it sure as hell looked alot like Bobby Martin, and whoever it was, wasn't "faking" the fingers, he actually looked like he was playing was what we were hearing.....

anyway, it was him, it sure as hell wasn't Stevie's Spanking, and it makes me wish even more that Bobby Martin would do a solo record or something...

     From: Patrick Neve (

I heard that Bobby used to play pro baseball before he was with Zappa.  Has anyone else heard this, or know which team?  I thought he was a pitcher or something.

     From: Hedwig&Gerhard Rutschek (

I found a biography of Robert Martin under Robert Martin, the son of two opera singers from Philadelphia, is a conservatory-trained French Horn player. He is also a gifted athlete, and he sports a genius IQ. A classic overachiever, he taught himself to play piano and all the brass instruments in elementary school. He learned all the reed instruments shortly thereafter. In high-school, aside from being a national honor society academic student, an undefeated wrestler, and an unusually gifted gymnast, he was first chair horn in the Pennsylvania All-State Orchestra and Band and number-one bass in the All-State Choir. Although he had attracted the attention of professional baseball scouts as an all-star shortstop, he decided to pursue a career in music. He spent three years at the Temple University College of Music on a full scholarship. Then he auditioned for Mason Jones, principle horn with the Philadelphia Orchestra and was accepted into the prestigious Curtis Institute with Jones. At Curtis, he played week after week under the greatest conductors in the world. After three semesters, the lure of rock and roll drew him away from the classics and into the life of a touring musician, playing R&B, jazz, and rock. There, he utilized all his versatility as a keyboard player, sax player, vocalist, even managing to incorporate the French Horn into his performance arsenal.

In the late 1970's, he came to the attention of the group "Orleans," based out of Woodstock, New York. After a few years of recording and touring with that successful group, he auditioned for Frank Zappa and would perform on all of Frank's tours and live albums from that time on. In between tours with Zappa, he toured as Musical Director for Bette Midler, and toured or performed with Paul McCartney, Michael McDonald, Stevie Nicks, Boz Scaggs, Etta James, and many others. In 1983, he recorded a solo album for MCA Records, featuring all of his vocal, instrumental, and writing talents. He has recorded with Prince, the Moody Blues, Lyle Lovett, Gladys Knight, Glenn Frey, Bobby Caldwell, The Stylistics, The O'Jays, Sheila E, and a long list of other artists. For Wilson Pickett, Robert played keyboards and horns, did all the arrangements and backing vocals and co-produced Pickette's Grammy nominated album. Since 1986, he has owned and operated his own studio and branched out into programming, producing, and music for film and television.
He is currently the composer for the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning television show, "Cybill," on CBS.

     From: Big G (

This may be old hat to all the die-hard a.f.f-z'ers, but I just discovered this. In the latest People magazine, on the last page, there is an article about Robert Martin and Cybill Shepard breaking up. (Nov 98)
Apparently they'd been an item for the last four years. He lived in her home in Encino with her and all the children she'd accumulated from all of her previous relationships. According to People magazine, he abruptly moved out at the end of last October. There's even a picture of the two together. It's definetely him alright and the magazine described him as a "pianist and saxophonist". No mention of his ever playing with FZ though. Bastards.

     From: Jon Naurin (

Here's from an interview with Mr. Martin:


"[...] I was in the choir and during my final year at scool I was a bass. I had no high-range at all at that time. I was the number one low bass in the PA all state choir. Then that summer between high school and college, as I was singing in these bands and playing rock music, my range started to increase. [...] By the time I was in my early twenties, I had this ridiculous range. I could sing really high because I wasn't hurting my voice. I wasn't trying to sound like James Brown or Wilson Pickett and just go for a gravelly sound, so I wasn't hurting my throat. But I never lost my bottom, so I ended up with a four-octave range.

Q: So you were really a boy soprano in the band, no falsetto?

RM: Right (laughs). I would use the falsetto for effect, but I didn't use it because I had to. Interestingly enough, although it doesn't actually seem that unusual when I think of it, my falsetto doesn't really go any higher than my natural voice. I can sometimes squeeze out a top A, both with by falsetto and my natural voice. For most people, the falsetto range goes a lot higher."


     From: Andy Guthrie (

During the very early 70's Bob Martin played South Jersey and Pennsylvania clubs with an amazing group of musicians called "Hereafter". I'm the privileged owner of some recordings from live performances of the group. I never would have known of his membership in Frank Zappa's band had I not tuned in a prerformance of FZ  on a local PBS broadcast in the early 90s.
Amazingly, as a goof or because his voice has such a great soulful quality, FZ featured Bob on a cover of the Allman Bros. "Whippin Post". I have recordings of BM singing background on Hereafter's versions of Allman Bros. "Whipping Post", "Dreams", lead on "Follow Your Heart" by the Sons of Champlin (I think) and Derek and the Dominos' "Layla". He plays French horn on Rod Stewart's "Handbags and Gladrags" (I think that's it) . He and other members of that group (Jerry Antonelli-bass, Jim Selesky-guitar) were an inspiration to many young players during that time. A group of us would think nothing of driving from Jersey to Lancaster, PA to listen to Bob and company play.

     From: Robert Martin (

Dear Everybody,

    I had no idea this information about me was floating around on the web until my best friend from high school e-mailed me about it. It's great to see ongoing interest in FZ's music and alumnae.

    The discography is mostly correct and includes a few things I had forgotten about. Yes, there is another Bobby Martin from Philly who arranged many of the sessions I played French horn on at Sigma Sound in the early 70's. I'm proud to have played on so many hit records from that era, songs like Backstabbers, Love Train, Money, Money, Betcha By Golly Wow, Me And Mrs Jones, etc., etc... Laura Nyro and the Osmonds never happened. That must have been the other Bobby Martin. Anyway, I've been "Robert" since the '88 Zappa tour.

    I'm currently music editoer for Baywatch...hey, it pays the bills! And I am working on a few other projects and my own music, but I'm sorry to say it won't be out anytime soon. It will include some philosophical content based on years of studying my favorite writer, Ayn Rand.
     Yes, I split with Cybill Shepherd in October of '98 (major political and philosophical differences) and a year later happily reconnnected with my former wife, Patsy Pease. I'm happy to be a full time husband and father again.  Thanks for being there, I really appreciate it!
    Having just discovered this series of web pages, I'm waxing quite nostalgic about my tenure with Frank from '81 'till the end. I particularly remember the New York Pier 11 show as being an incredibly fun show. The dependence on cheezy early digital synths was unfortunate but it was more than made up for by the best vocal band in my experience with Frank. It was the only time that I got to sing with both Ray and Ike at the same time, which cut down on my leads a bit, but we had killer range, power and blend.

    Here's some more info for the discography: I played French horn on just about everything that had horn on it that came out of Sigma studios from 1969 through 1974. I don't know exact dates or album titles, but here's the list of artists: the Stylistics, Delphonics, O'Jays, Spinners, Billy Paul, Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes, Teddy Pendergrass, Major Harris, Connie Stevens (it's true), and some others I don't remember. Records of the session dates and players probably exist, but I don't have them.

    I also arranged and overdubbed entire French horn sections and sax sections on the Moody Blues "Octave" album after moving to California. I played off and on with Etta James for 14 years in between other tours, including opening for the Rolling Stones 1978 U.S. tour. We also played at numerous jazz and blues festivals like Monterey, Atlanta, Montreux, Northsea, etc. There are probably videos and bootlegs floating around of some of those concerts. With Etta I also did Midnight Special with George Benson, Dr. John and Van Morrison, and I know there's a video of that.
    I toured briefly with Michael McDonald and did the Tonight Show, Soul Train, and American Bandstand with him in 1986 (all on video somewhere). One other major career highlight was singing "Hey Jude" with Paul McCartney at the Hollywood bowl. It was somewhere around '93 or so, and I was there singing backgrounds for Kenny Loggins, and Paul asked everyone to join him at the end. When it was over, Paul, who didn't know me from Adam, looked across the stage at me and came over and shook my hand before greeting the rest of the singers. I'm sure someone somewhere has a picture of that. It was almost as good as playing with Frank!
    I've got more information and anecdotes, but this is not the kind of keyboard I'd like to be tapping right now. I'll save more goodies for later.
Again, thanks to all for keeping the flame.

-Robert Martin

P.S. Yes, that's me on the Philinganes album.  

    on the discography:

Some of these may be incorrect.  There apparantly is another Robert Martin who arranged and produced a great many soul and R&B groups from the 60's and 70's.  To confuse matters, he worked on a number of albums dealing with the "Philly Sound", where Zappa's Robert Martin is from.  So if you can identify any of the following credits as belonging to the OTHER Robert Martin, or if I have left some out, please tell me!  Thanks, Patrick.

     From: Francis Monkman (
The RM who played on the first Curved Air album is a different guy (now living in NY). We were the two first 'members' of what became Curved Air, and I'm quite sure that was his first (and only) band. Francis Monkman.


frank zappa  / musicians timeline



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