From left, Clyde Martin, Don Taylor and Kylie Esco pose for a recent publicity photo for Jewel Box Theatre’s production of ”My Fair Lady.”
Services were Friday for venerable Oklahoma City stage actor and radio host Clyde Martin, who died Monday. He was 78.
Martin studied acting at Pasadena Playhouse and appeared in many productions – from comedies to dramas to musicals – at Lyric Theatre, Carpenter Square Theatre, Jewel Box Theatre and other local theater companies.
He was playing the gentlemanly Col. Pickering in Jewel Box’s staging of “My Fair Lady” up until he died.
In 1966, Martin started hosting an opera show on KJEM radio, continuing with the show until the station was sold in 1969. Soon after that, he started his 35-year stint as host of the Metropolitan Opera and Chicago Lyric Opera radio broadcasts at KCSC-FM 90.1.
He also hosted his own show, “Clyde Martin’s Opera,” which featured noted recordings of world-renowned opera singers. His knowledge and passion for the art form earned him the nickname “Mr. Opera.”
Martin retired in 1994 from Metropolitan Library System, where he worked for many years. I recently was introduced to Clyde when I was working on stories about Metropolitan Opera and La Scala productions being broadcast in the Tinseltown and Oklahoma City Museum of Art theaters. He loved going to see these broadcasts and was thrilled at the notion that more people might learn about and grow to appreciate opera. His passion for opera was apparent in just one brief phone interview.
I occasionally heard part of his opera shows on the radio, and it saddens me to think that I will never again hear his voice on 90.1.
RIP, Clyde Martin.
Click here to read Martin’s obituary.
Click here to read John Brandenberg’s review of Jewel Box’s “My Fair Lady.”