Who is Elayne Roberts? Marty of Dresden Lounge's iconic husband-wife act dies at 89

Elayne and her husband Marty formed the iconic Los Angeles-based band that entertained guests at the Dresden Lounge for 35 years


                            Who is Elayne Roberts? Marty of Dresden Lounge's iconic husband-wife act dies at 89
Marty and Elayne Roberts outside The Dresden (The Dresden/Facebook)
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Music icon Marty Roberts, half of the famous LA-based 'Marty & Elayne' act passed away on January 13, 2022, his daughter confirmed on social media. In a lengthy Facebook post on January 18, 2022, Hali wrote that the iconic bassist had "passed peacefully". An immediate cause of death was not available, but the news has left "swingers" all over LA and the West Coast in mourning.

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It's a double whammy for Los Angeles residents, who learned on the same day that beloved comedian Louie Anderson was hospitalized with cancer. Days ago, the city also hosted the funeral of comedian Bob Saget, who passed away from a suspected heart attack on January 9. Saget was buried at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Mount Sinai memorial park, next to some of Hollywood's most iconic names like Carrie Fisher, Bette Davis, and Stan Laurel. 

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If you aren't from LA, chances are you may not have heard of Marty or his wife Elayne, but to regulars at the Dresden Lounge in Los Feliz, the couple was an integral part of the experience. The act performed at the lounge for 35 years, and even made it to Hollywood when they starred in the1996 Jon Favreau film 'Swingers'. 

Marty and Elayne Roberts (Marty and Elayne/Facebook)

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Who is Elayne Roberts?

Marty's wife and partner met him in Los Angeles in the 70s and spent a few years playing across various lounges and clubs. During one gig at Michael’s in Los Feliz, they were caught by the owner of The Dresden, who offered them an opportunity in 1981. From there, the couple became the main attraction to the lounge, becoming a cult classic according to Deadline. The couple was the main act at The Dresden, performing five nights a week no matter what, till January 2020.

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During a set that month, Marty collapsed on the floor after suffering from a heart attack. "Thank God, he’s fine now, But he was dead for 30 seconds. They couldn’t get a pulse or heartbeat. And I almost died of fright right then too," Elayne told Los Angelino about that fateful night. For the next six weeks, she performed solo at the club while Marty recovered, then the pandemic struck. 

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Like her husband, Elayne was born in New York City but moved westwards as a child. She had just broken up with her boyfriend when a friend gave her Marty's number in the 70s. In a few months, the two got married sparking a 40-year long career of playing together. Amongst their many highlights include playing in front of Frank Sinatra, who reportedly blew Elayne a kiss and said, "Honey, you earned it. I don’t fool around about music, it’s too important." 

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Once he recovered, Marty continued to stick to the act's routine, despite the pandemic shuttering The Dresden, and the entire US for months. Tragically though, Marty's vocals will never fill the lounge again. He passed away at the age of 89 on January 13. Hali also confirmed that a "celebration of his life" is being planned at The Dresden, with virtual access for those unable to make the trip.

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An old photo of Marty and Elayne Roberts performing at The Dresden. (Marty and Elayne/Facebook)

'There should be statues of them'

The news has left many on social media heartbroken, with one user tweeting, "RIP Marty, whose Marty & Elayne was an essential LA go-to. Campy & eccentric, but always cool. As David Lynch told them "thank you for bringing jazz standards to a new generation." He wanted to make people smile & never failed. Marty could swing. Pour out a little blood and sand." Another said, "Marty and Elayne are true Los Angeles icons - there should be statues of them at LAX. He will be missed. See ya at the Dresden."

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"End of an era. If you ever saw Marty and Elayne at the Dresden in Los Feliz, you knew you were seeing something unique in the world. Rest In Peace," one person tweeted. Another mourned, "I cant think of anyone who has ever so occupied and epitomized a place and been a direct a part of so many LA memories as Marty and Elayne. Thanks for so many wonderful nights. Rest in Groovieness."

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