Bob Martin


Robert A. Martin, Jr. (“Bob”)

Robert A. Martin, Jr. (“Bob”) was born in Cherokee County, SC on August 1, 1931 and passed peacefully to his heavenly home on April 25, 2021.

Bob is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Hazel Mae Martin, his son Sam Martin, brother Don Martin, sisters Wilma Pugh and Darlene Preston. He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert A. and Lula P. Martin and sister Joyce Paris.

Bob grew up during the Great Depression, joined the Navy as a young man and served as a Sea Bee in the Philippines until his honorable discharge in Port Hueneme, Ca. where he met and married Hazel Mae Wilkins. They settled in Ventura, Ca. He worked hard in the oil tool industry for a few years, then worked for Southern California Gas Company as a welder, inspector and then in management for 30 years until his retirement. 

An avid outdoorsman, he loved hunting, fishing, camping, archery, surfing, scuba diving, sailing, hang gliding and playing and singing country music as a member of the California State Old Time Fiddlers Assn., and various musical organizations, including Songmakers, Ventura Ukulele Club and his own family band, The Martin Boys with his son and brother. He was proficient on the guitar, mandolin, ukulele and standup bass fiddle as well as being a great county singer and entertainer.

A devout Christian family man, Bob raised his own son as well as his four siblings after the early passing of their mother. He was a humble man with a wonderful sense of humor and a quick wit. He will be greatly missed by all who new and loved him.

Published in the Ventura County Star 4/16/21

From Pat Cronin:

Long time Songmaker Bob Martin passed away in his sleep on April 25, 2021. He had been in hospice care for several weeks. Bob was a member of Alan Ferentz’s ukulele group and of the district eight California State Old Time Fiddlers Association.

He had a Country Western band with his brothers Don and Sam called the Martin Boys for several years. Bob was an avid bass player, guitarist and singer.  He and his wife Hazel Mae were the founders of the Songmakers Ventura Hoot also known as the Bell Arts Hoot.

Grave-side services were held on May 4th at 11:00 am at Ivy Lawn, 5400 Valentine Rd., Ventura 93003 in Ventura.  A reception followed at the River Community Church, 889 E. Santa Clara St., Ventura, CA 93001. 

Condolences can be sent to Hazel Mae at 92 E. Vince St., Ventura, CA 93001.

From Annie Reeves:

didn’t know him long or well, but I missed him at Bell Arts once he stopped coming.

I included him in my song The Bell Arts Song Circle Blues, which I wrote for the annual meeting of Feb. ’19, per Steve’s request that each hoot or song circle perform one number and provide photos of their group (which is why I took the one attached & others). Here’s the preceding chorus + the verse about Bob:


That’s the Bell Arts, Bell Arts Song Circle Blues,

If you’ve haven’t tried us yet,

it’s a great song circle to choose.

“Moustache Bob” began our group, oh, many years ago

“Moustache Bob” began our group, oh, many years ago

He never uses any music, so many songs by heart he knows.

Songmakers at Bell Arts 2019.  Bob Martin is on the left in the second row.

Bob Martin with his backup band, Baby (From California Fiddler’s Hoe-Down Low-Down September 2018)


Don and Bob Martin (From California Fiddler’s Hoe-Down Low-Down June 2019)