Bennie Martini, renowned pianist and songwriter, was known throughout show business for his brilliant accompaniment, great
entertainment and wonderful songs.
He was born Anthony Azzaro, on November 2, 1910 in Jersey CIty, New Jersey. Coming from a musical family of 7
children, by the age of three, Bennie was playing piano by ear. At the age of six, he was on the bill of a WWI Bond drive
with the John Philip Souza Orchestra.
In his teens, while playing piano in a local speakeasy, Bennie was arrested during a prohibition raid. In order
not to give his real name to the police, he took the name Martini and it stuck!
In the 1930s, Bennie began writing songs. For a time, he went to Hollywood where he worked with the Tick Tock Girls
and appeared on radio.
Between the 1930s and 1950s, Bennie accompanied some of the greatest legends of the show business,
including Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour and Frank Sinatra. In later years, he coached the great Lucille Ball
and Nancy Sinatra, among others.
In the 1950s, after playing the song, "Imagination", for an audition, Bennie Martini was hired by Jackie
Gleason to work on his new television show. Bennie's job with "The Honeymooners" included auditioning talent
and working on arrangements for Jackie. During this time, Bennie came up with many ideas that became synonomous
with Jackie Gleason and The Honeymooners, including the phrase, "How sweet it is!"