Jerry Martin

1998 - Individual Artist

Jerry Martin, aka Layton "King" Zbornik," was one of the first rock musicians to make a rock record in the state of Iowa.

 

Albia Iowa was the home of Jerry Martin . While still in high school, he formed his first rock band and knew he wanted to be in the world of rock and roll.

 

In the Spring of 1957, Martin and his band would enter the Fredlo Studios in Davenport Iowa and record what has been documented as Iowa's first rock and roll record. The session was produced on the Fredlo label, Fredlo #5901 "Janet/Lovely One."

 

Today this record is widely respected and has appeared on many rock record LP compilations worldwide.

 

While everyone on the music scene knew him as Jerry Martin, this was the stage name for one Layton King Zbornik. Because of the success of his first recording session, King would find himself a top draw on the Midwest rock & roll circuit including working many shows with Frankie Avalon for most of 1958 and 1959.

 

Because of his newfound success, he also released three records for the "R" label out of Kansas City, MO. under the name of Jerry Martin. These sessions were done at the famed Chess Studios in Chicago and the Sam Phillips studio in Memphis, Tennessee.

 

By 1962, the Jerry Martin stage personas were put on the shelf as Zbornik went through another name change to "King" Zbornik as he started the next phase of his musical life and entered the world of Rock and Roll Radio.

 

King had stopped in South Carolina, Tennessee, and Michigan, Cincinnati, and Milwaukee. in 1965 he became the nation's top radio DJ. In 1966 he appeared on American Bandstand with Dick Clark and was introduced as being the best rock radio DJ the U.S. had to offer at that time. Quite an Honor.

 

In 1976 King moved back to Iowa and settled full time in the Hawkeye state. After arriving back in Iowa he went back to college and earned his teaching degree.

 

Zbornik was a beloved teacher in Rudd, Iowa where most of his students didn't even realize that Mr. Z was Iowa's first rocker.

 

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