Hada Eva Martin, a colorful fixture on the Sacramento music scene who was celebrated at her son’s shows as the “original producer” of blues musician Mick Martin, died May 9 of pneumonia, her family said. She was 91.
A diminutive woman with an outsized personality, Mrs. Martin stood out as a regular at the Sacramento Jazz Festival, the Cal Expo Blues and Brews stage, and other local appearances by Mick Martin and the Blues Rockers. Well-coiffed, with stylish clothes and makeup, she warmly greeted and hugged fans who clamored to take pictures with her and sit with her near the stage at the band’s high-wattage performances.
“She always wore this bright red, industrial strength lipstick,” drummer Bruce Pressley said. “If she kissed you, she’d say, ‘Don’t worry – it’s not coming off for three days.’ ”
Mrs. Martin – who “taught me every song from the ’20s, ’30s, ’40s and ’50s” – wrote one of the Blues Rockers’ most popular songs, “Can’t Remember Nothin,’ ” her son said. She filled rooms of her home with the group’s recordings, photos and other memorabilia.
She was also known to fans of the popular weekend show “Mick Martin’s Blues Party” on Capital Public Radio.
“She became kind of a celebrity,” Mick Martin said. “Whenever we did a fund drive, she’d be the first to call in. Then she would call in every hour and donate $5 at a time so that I would talk about my ‘blues-lovin’ mama.’ ”
A Sacramento native, the former Hada Eva Richert was born June 25, 1922. She graduated from Sacramento High School, married Robert Alexander Martin Jr. in 1947 and had two sons.
A devoted mother, Mrs. Martin taught a young Mick to read by introducing him to mystery classics, including Sherlock Holmes stories and Agatha Christie novels. She also supported his love of comic books.
“Other people would say to her, ‘How can you let him read that trash?’ ” her son recalled, “and she’d say, ‘Be quiet! He’s reading!’”
She endured terrible losses, including the death of her 6-year-old son Gerald from a brain tumor and the death of her husband, who owned a construction business, in 1968. A widow at 46, she learned to do accounting and went to work for the state Department of Transportation. She later retired from the state Department of Water Resources.
Mrs. Martin was “always the cool mom,” her son said. She let her teenage son’s bands rehearse in the garage and welcomed his classmates from the former James Marshall High School in West Sacramento who spent afternoons at the family’s home.
In later years, she treated all the Blues Rockers as her sons, Pressley said. Sweet and gentle by nature, she was also a fun, lively woman who enjoyed making people laugh.
“She knew every dirty joke there was,” Pressley said. “She’d tell jokes that would make Mick Jagger blush.”
Mrs. Martin had a brief second marriage that ended in divorce. In addition to her son, she is survived by three grandchildren.
A memorial was held May 18.
Call The Bee’s Robert D. Dávila, (916) 321-1077. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Davila.