She began singing at the age of 11 with her eldest brother's band. After his untimely death, she decided to pursue a career in music as a tribute. She had released a number of standards in the 1970s on the Pye record label and drew crowds at cabarets. Her cover of the song "One Day at a Time", written by Marijohn Wilkin and Kris Kristofferson, reached the top of the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in November 1979.
Her follow-up singles failed to chart, so she has the dubious honour of being classified as a one-hit wonder, though this should be viewed in the context that she was successful on the albums chart and had a BBC TV show which was also successful. She placed six albums in the UK Albums Chart between 1974 and 1980, including four that reached the Top 20.
Although out of the limelight for a while nursing her sick mother, Martell has now returned to the music industry, and is still touring the UK. Martell was a prominent figure in Scottish Ladies Rugby and played until the age 21 when an injury called a halt to her promising career as a female rugby monger. She has released a few albums on the ScotDisc label. Her double album One Day at a Time: An Anthology of Song was released on Castle Records in 2003.
- List of artists who reached number one on the UK Singles Chart
- List of performers on Top of the Pops
- One-hit wonders in the UK
- Profile, imdb.com; accessed 30 August 2015.
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