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Marty Raney is a mountain climber, songwriter, and musician. He has been involved in the following films: as a Denali climbing guide in the film, Spirit of Alaska; as a sound man in the climbing film, Surviving Denali; as a talent, guide, and musician in the film, Han-Denali (video of live music on top of Mt. McKinley can be seen at www.martyraney.com. Yes, on the top!); as a guide, talent, and 2nd cameraman in the breast cancer Denali climb and film, Against All Odds (PBS); as a talent and musician in the Japanese film and book, The Great Summit Series, McKinley: Grand Mountain of the Far North; as a talent, guide, and musician in the hit BBC travel documentary, An Idiot Abroad; as a talent, guide, 1st cameraman, and musician in Strummit from the Summit (video of live music on the summit can be seen at www.martyraney.com. Yes, on the summit!!); as a talent and musician in the Denali climbing film, The High One (China, US); as a talent, musician, and guide in An Uphill Battle, the 1999 Denali Expedition; and as a talent, musician, and all-around Alaskan on a soon to be released national television show. All of this international movie and television exposure has resulted in over 100,000 internet hits in an attempt to find out who he is and how to get his music. Marty resides in Alaska with his beautiful wife, Mollee. For the first time ever, this music will be available to the public. This is just an ordinary, hardworking Alaskan whose music gained him national attention. To learn more, Marty Raney has invited you to visit his official website at www.martyraney.com.
•Only person crazy enough to pack guitars to the top of Mt. McKinley and play to intimate, frozen audiences ranging from 6 to 11…ish. Admission: Free. Length of concert: Short. Brrr.
•In the 70’s, the family went over Chilkoot Pass…children’s ages: 2, 4, 6, and 8.
•Only family of 6 (wife and 4 kids) to climb Mt. McKinley…marriage counseling commenced soon after reaching base camp.
•Oldest son, Miles Raney, is currently traveling the world, logging over 100,000 km on a mountain bike so far. I.e. South America continent, Africa continent, and currently, Portugal to Siberia to India and twice through China, down to Vietnam, ALL on the road and trail less traveled…believe that or not. Yes, on this 1300 km foot trek of the Himalaya, he ran into snow leopards. As I write this tonight in Hatcher Pass, Alaska, he is at the Taj Mahal, India.
•First cell phone call ever off the top of Mt. McKinley…and made into a commercial (even though now, I’m sure it’s done every day).
•Designed and built only guitar shaped like the state of Alaska. Obviously, only Alaskan songs are played on it. P.S. Saw a guy with a Texas-shaped guitar, it was cool…but mine was twice as big.
•Probably, as a mason, laid more natural stone than anybody in the state of Alaska for 33 years, virtually seven days per week…ish…which is why I wrote the song, “Gnawing the Burnt Crust of Failure.”
•C.F. Martin & Co. heard about my playing guitar on Mt. McKinley expeditions. They approached me about taking a prototype Martin guitar on McKinley to test its durability, as it would be marketed as a traveler guitar. Sufficed to say, that guitar went into production and is currently being sold all over the world: the mini Martin guitar. I think Vern Tejas has played it on all seven summits. P.S. the prototype was given to me by C.F. Martin & Co. Thanks, Chris Martin!!! However, as this is being written on this cold, Alaskan night, I have to be honest: the first four guitars I took to the top of Mt. McKinley were…Ibanez. Many people over the years said I should contact them but I never, ever pursued any commercial advantage or sponsorship with my music or my mountain climbing. But, I certainly gained some worldwide recognition: America, China, Japan, Norway, UK, etc. As these words are being written down, there are new developments. I am about to be seen on a major television network in my Alaskan element. I almost feel obligated to let Ibanez know those unique Alaskan firsts. I will keep you posted…
•What was the first song I played with my guitar on top of Mt. McKinley (20,320’)?
“I Really Caribou You”
•2nd song: “Frère Jacques” with three Frenchmen with one leg…each. Yes…on the summit.(live video can be seen on www.martyraney.com)
•3rd song: “Strummit from the Summit.” Marty Raney: guitar. Vern Tejas: homemade fiddle nicknamed “Stratavernius.” (live video can been seen on www.martyraney.com)
•4th song: “Ranger Stu” because I could see the Kantishna gold mining district 50 miles in the distance from the top of Mt. McKinley and sang a song I wrote about some notorious miners that I knew.