[78-L] Not So Quiet, Please - F. Marks?

Jeff Sultanof jeffsultanof at gmail.com
Sun Sep 12 18:16:50 PDT 2010


Marks was indeed a talented man. He was very busy in radio and recordings in
the late thirties in New York. He was a Schillinger student, and became a
very well-known Schillinger teacher both in NY and when he relocated to the
west coast in the forties; remember that Schillinger was THE course of study
for arrangers into the 1950s. Marks never got into the world of stock
arrangements; he was too busy in radio and free-lance arranging for

Some of the earliest credits which interest big band historians are his
arrangements for the 1936 Artie Shaw band with the string quartet. Shaw
claimed that Marks was one of the few arrangers who really understood how to
write for that ensemble. In fact, there were only two sides from that group
that Shaw selected for the Bluebird Self-Portrait box, and one of them is a
piece called "Cream Puff" written by Marks. The other major big band he
wrote for that we know for sure was Charlie Barnet; at least 12 titles exist
at the Smithsonian in the Barnet collection. He recorded a date under his
own name for Variety which ironically are not very good.

He composed at least three pieces for the Kenton Innovations Orchestra, all
of which are excellent examples of symphonic music with jazz and big band
elements. He was a composer/orchestrator with Disney from about 1956-65. His
name turns up in cues for Mr. Magoo and Burke's Law.

I understand he wrote some concert music, but I've never heard any of it. I
wish I had caught up with him, but he passed away in 1976, and I was still
in college, some years before I had any real contact with many of my heroes.


On Sun, Sep 12, 2010 at 7:31 PM, Taylor Bowie <bowiebks at isomedia.com> wrote:

> One of my all-time favorite records is the 8000-series  Brunswick by Toots
> Mondello and his Orch of  "Thanks For the Memory" b/w "Let That Be A Lesson
> To You."  Besides being a great,  great record played by a group of some of
> the very best NY studio players,  the arrangements are very distinctive and
> really find a nice groove of what I'd call "mainstream swing."
> Rust credits the arranger for these sides as Franklyn Marks,  and what I've
> found out about his makes me want to learn more.  He worked for Disney at
> one time,  and also for Stan Kenton.  Not only that  but he taught
> arranging
> and musical theory,  and there is a nice on-line interview with Buddy
> Collette who talks about going to school on the G-I bill after WW2, and how
> much he learned from  Marks.
> So...anybody have any other info about him...did he ever do stock
> arrangements for dance bands in the 30s and 40s.  I don't recall seeing his
> name printed on any of the thousands  I've seen but that may be because I
> wasn't looking for it at the time...Jef Sultanof,  are you listening?  I'm
> hoping  maybe you had some contact with Marks at one time
> As always,  any info appreciated.  And...if you have that Modello record of
> "Thanks for the Memories,"  do yourself a favor and play it...it was
> recorded in late '37 and it's almost the last gasp of the "studio bands"
> which were put together to cover pop tunes (I'm not counting cover stuff on
> 18 Top Hits and the like).  And if that is about the last of it,  the
> studio
> band concept sure ended with some great music.
> Thanks from
> Taylor
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