As a young man, Marty Crandell was a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Band. He later played in Kansas City, Mo. While in Iowa he developed a decades-long relationship with musicians and played clarinet and tenor saxophone in various Big Bands. They performed for dances in Sioux City and throughout Northwest Iowa with gigs also in Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota.
In 1981 and 1982 Crandell served as president of the Iowa Band Masters' Association.
Crandell devoted 36 years to teaching students the art of music; 23 of those years were spent at Storm Lake High School, where he retired in 1996.
Before heading to Storm Lake in 1972, Crandell was band director in Marcus, Iowa, for seven years and Wahoo, Neb.
His influence as a musician touched many students as well as his family. Son Chris Crandell and daughter Mary Garrels both became band directors.
Through the years Crandell was a member of numerous musical groups. He remained a part of the Dick Bauman Big Band, which played Monday nights Memorial Day to Labor Day in Okoboji, Iowa.
In the mid 1960s he played in the Billy Redman Band in Sanborn, Iowa. He was a member of the Storm Lake Municipal Band, and he substituted for musicians of Tuxedo Junction.