Lasse is one of the grand old men of the Finnish music industry and has penned many wonderful songs over the past five decades, enough to have a tribute album made of his songs by young up to date artists in 2006 followed by a tribute concert, something that he apparently wasn't very pleased with... He disapproved the new arrangement of the songs and the whole project. "A tribute? I feel more like my work's put in shame! No one asked me. I feel my identity and artistic image has been abused" he commented. Maybe he is just too old (73) to appreciate the new rap and hip hop versions?
He was very productive in the Euroviisut in 1960's: in 1963 his Kaikessa soi blues was a runner up and another song 4th, in 1964 he won with Laiskotellen, in 1965 his song Iltaisin won but was not sent (see post below), in 1967 new comer Fredi won with his song while Danny came second and Laila Kinnunen 6th... He also wrote four more entries (or there could be more but I am a lazy researcher!) until 1977.
He started his career in Lasse Mårtenson trio (1952-1960) before going solo both as a singer and composer. Later he was conducting in theathers, became famous jazz musician and in the late 1970´s he concentrated more on composing for TV and films. His most famous piece is actually from TV-series Myrskyluodon Maija, and especially its theme song that every Finn knows by heart. In 1997 he recorded an album with soprano Karita Mattila.
An Eurovision curiosity is that he was married to Siw Malmkvist, who represanted Sweden in 1960 and Germany in 1969.