Popular vocalist Martha Tilton joined Jimmy Dorsey in 1935. Though she spent more than a year with elder Dorsey's orchestra she did not enter the studio with them. She made her first recordings with Benny Goodman, for whom she went to work in 1937, replacing Betty Van. Goodman, intending to give her a good build-up during her debut, would introduce Tilton as a singer ''that's really going places.'' During one of her first appearances she forgot her cue, and when she didn't appear Goodman turned to the audience and joked, ''Boy, she isn't going places, she's already gone!''
Known as ''Liltin' Miss Tilton,'' she remained with Goodman until 1939, when she was ''asked'' to leave during the shake-up following the departure of Harry James. She worked briefly with Artie Shaw before being hired in 1941 as vocalist with the Billy Mills Orchestra on the Fibber McGee and Molly radio program. She proved not to be very popular with the audience and only remained with the program one season.
Tilton appeared in a few Hollywood movies during the early 1940s and continued to sing and record solo through the 1950s. Her sister, Liz Tilton, was also a band singer.