Ray Martin (1918–1988) was born in Vienna where he studied violin and composition at the Academy of Music and Fine Arts before moving to England in 1937. After performing in variety as a solo violin act, he enlisted in the British Army when war broke out. Being fluent in French, German and English, he was recruited for Army intelligence, and later he became a composer, arranger and musical director with the British Forces Network in Hamburg. This led to recording contracts, for which he continued to compose under a variety of names. It was as ‘Marshall Ross’ that he composed Marching Strings
(1952), a piece that became widely familiar when adopted as signature tune for the hugely popular BBC radio and television programme Top of the Form
. Later Martin retired to South Africa.
from notes by Andrew Lamb © 2002