L to R- Irv Lichtman, Nat “King” Cole, Marty Ostrow, and Ira Howard

Although I never had a long conversation with Marty Ostrow, who was the editor of Cashbox magazine in the early ‘60s, he did something for me I’ll never forget.

I went up to their offices one day to get a new record I produced reviewed and was directed to see Dick Zimmerman who was a dick in every sense! First he stared at the record, put it up to his ear, then shook it nonchalantly and sailed it across the room into the wastebasket!

When he turned his back on me and started to type, I quietly walked into Marty Ostrow’s office and told him what happened. He stormed into the “Bull Pen” where all of the writer’s had their desks and retrieved my record from the trash. I didn’t hear what Marty was saying, but on the following Monday, my record was one of the top picks of the week!

Ed Silvers (Former CEO of Warner Brothers Music) remembers,“Marty was a close friend and valued contact during my many years as a promotion man for Liberty Records and beyond. We met when he was editor of Cashbox–early 1960’s. He later became an editor of Billboard,
and I lost track of Marty after he joined Rolling Stone.
He will be missed!!”

Producer Jerry Ross (“Sunny”, “98.6”, “Sunday Will Never Be The Same”) adds, “I am  saddened by the the passing of one of the  truly fine gentlemen of our Music Industry as we used to know it. His door was always open. Marty Ostrow, the editor, the friend, #1 with a Bullet!.”

Ira Howard, former Cashbox editor recalls, “I worked with Marty from 1952 to 1965 (he started 2 years ahead of me and stayed a while after me. When Sid Parnes, the then Ed-in-Chief left, I reported to Marty directly.. He was bright and charming and seemed to get along with everybody in the business.”

Irv Lichtman, former Cashbox editor-in-chief, fondly remembers, “Marty was my boss at Cash Box for 19 years. Besides teaching me the ropes of trade reporting, we also had time to have fun, tell jokes (Marty was a master of Yiddish-dialect humor) and listen with great delight to the music of the day. We attended untold numbers of press parties in those days, sometimes two or three in an evening. We rightly regarded them as a way to keep up with label executives. I believe it was Marty who looked me after a  night of making the rounds of these gathering and uttered these fabulous words, “We’ll, we met and we gret!” (“gret” is, of course, meant to be “greet” but he deliberately wanted the word to rhyme with “met”). A past of great delight was also with us when met several times a year at Kennedy’s in  Manhattan along with other Cash Box colleagues such as Mike Martucci, Ira Howard, Ted Williams, Marv Goodman and industry friends such as Herb Rosen and Stanley Mills. After today’s funeral, Rosen had the grand idea of meeting at Kennedy’s for lunch in memory of Marty. And so me, Herb and Ira did!  Like ourselves, Marty loved the music and folks who shaped it, sold it and exposed it.”


Respectfully, Your friend Artie Wayne

Copyright 2010 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/

Special thanks to Rose Gross-Marino and Ira Howard for helping me put this tribute together.

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