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Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Wild and Mild Sides of Woody Martens

Caravan (Wild And Mild)
Full Album
The Wild and Mild Sides of Woody Martens
Recorded Live in the Fox's Lair of Reynard's Restaurant, Lake Worth, Fla.
Distributed by Danwood Enterprises - Farmland, Indiana
Art Records - ALP-46
1967 (mentioned in an Billboard Magazine/Muntz Stereo ad)

Woody's Mood
Woody Martens At The Hammond Organ
Art Records - ALP-70-S

From the back cover: The organ is a Hammond, model B-3, equipped with two Fisher K-10 space-expander reverberation units. A Leslie speaker, model 31-H, a Leslie speaker, model 122-R, and a Hammond PR-40 are used as tone cabinets. All effects, sounds, and rhythm accompaniment are produced by the artist and the organ - none by artificial means.

These are outstanding private press albums. Apparently Martens made at least two albums. Whoever owned the jacket/album pictured above slid the Woody's Mood LP in with the Wild and Mild jacket. I've included samples from both records. I also found a third LP online titled Wild & Woody.

Martens was inventive, creating a variety of sonic effects to help sell the songs he was covering. It's difficult to date the Wild And Mild album, but at the very least Marten was heavily influenced by exotica. He may have been influenced by Korla Pandit, but that is an just an assumption on my part. This is one of the better space age organ LPs I've heard.

The Woody's Mood LP, recorded live sometime later, features Marten was backed by drums (although the drum levels are low and don't do much in the way of support). This LP features more of a standard 60s lounge groove.

Apparently Martens passed away from cancer at the age of 56 in 1992.

Also see: Woody's Mood (Art Records ALP-70)


  1. Thank You!
    This is a wonderful record. A live recording also have that special extra dimension on top of the stereo. Great also to be able to hear the complete record.
    Thanks again from
    Sten in Sweden

  2. AMEN Ironically when I was in my teens Woody used to play at the Airport In that was in Pontiac Michigan. Woody and our neighbors were fellow musicians and Woody actually taught she and her husband and they in turn taught me.
    What you may or may not have caught on is that Woody could make his Hammond B3 sound like many different things beyond an organ. Take the train on the first track to the birds, to a steel guitar.
    He did this with some very extensive tuning of the electronics of the B3 which are not purely electronics but also has a principal of what is called tone wheels. I was fortunate enough to learn how to configure our B3 and Leslie to practically match settings he used. My Dad thought I was nuts to take perfectly new B3 and tear it down but WOW. Lots of great fun.

  3. I think it was the late 60's my parents took me often to see him at Conley's Motel, Wilkins Twp., PA because I was an organist and ended up playing professionally for 15 years in bands and solo.
    What a genius he was. I am going to attempt to get this album in an electronic format. thank you for sharing this video!!!