He’s written hits for the likes of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Pointer Sisters, Reba McEntire, and Billy “Crash” Craddock (whose “Rub it In” song inspired the “Plug it In” jingle) to name a few. He wrote an essay about his marriage of 54 years for the New York Times Modern Love column that moved the world. Now, he has written his debut bestseller, Permission to Fly: A Memoir of Love, Crushing Loss, and Triumph. The different aspects of Layng Martine, Jr.‘s life, no matter personal or professional, are woven by love.
“The book is basically about love ‘cause it’s about all the people I loved in my life: bosses; teachers; Ray Stevens, who taught me so much about songwriting; and of course, my wife Linda and our three sons,” Martine, Jr. tells So Booking Cool. “It’s basically all about love and the feelings that drive you to have the kind of life you want. It also includes a lot of stumbles, failures, disappointments, and crushing occurrences like my wife being crippled, and the terrorist act that cost us a small fortune.”
Music has always appealed to Martine, Jr. He gravitated towards different genres like Rock ‘n’ Roll, R&B, and country. He also looked up to Elvis Presley. But having a music career wasn’t exactly on the Connecticut native’s mind. It wasn’t until his twenties that he was propelled to pursue songwriting. Once his passion was realized, he chased it. At that point, he had a series of odd jobs including painting radiators and even owning a restaurant, under his belt, but none of it fulfilled him like music later would. His career spans more than four decades.
Listen to Part 1 of our conversation with the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member about his beginnings; the impact his mother’s mantra has had on his life; the story behind the hit “Rub it in”; the time one of his records was banned from the radio and more! For more information, visit his official website.