Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dean Martin - The Best of Dean Martin

Hey pallies, on this last day of our official celebration of Dino-amore-month, we sees again that Dino-love is truly international. From a Brazilian pad tagged "Nice And Easy" we feature this Dino-post by blogger "Waldomusic" on the Dino-al-b-um "The Best Of Dean Martin.

Mr. Waldomusic shares a out-standin' bio of our Dino taken from the "" site. And by doin' so he is educatin' all his readers to the life, times, and teachin's of our King of Cool.

No one more "Nice and Easy" that our Dino and likes so appropo to put the accent on our great man in this way at the "Nice And Easy" blogg. We thanks Mr. Waldomusic for liftin' up the name of our Dino and sharin' his Dino-love with his readers. To checks this out at the "Nice and Easy" pad, just click on the tagg of likes this here Dino-gram. Dino-lovin', DMP

sábado, 27 de fevereiro de 2010
Dean Martin - The Best of Dean Martin

Memories Are Made of This
That's Amore
Return to Me
Standing On the Corner
You Belong to Me
You're Nobody 'Til somebody Loves You
Angel Baby
On An Evening In Roma
I'll Always Love You

Your Nice and Easy

American entertainer Dean Martin (1917 - 1995) was known for his nonchalant style and breezy wit. Immensely popular in his time, he first became famous as the straight man of the comic duo Martin and Lewis in 1946.

Martin also recorded hit records in his distinctive baritone, starred in motion pictures, and had his own long-running television program. But any snapshot of the multi-talented Martin would be incomplete without mention of his legendary affiliation with Hollywood's Rat Pack and his ever-present, if somewhat exaggerated, cocktail personae.

Early Years

Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti on June 7, 1917, in Steubenville, Ohio. His parents, Angela and Gaetano (a barber), had emigrated from southern Italy around the turn of the nineteenth century and the young Martin reputedly spoke only Italian until he was five years old. Steubenville was a tough town in those days, known as "Little Chicago" because of its affinity for gambling and other assorted vices, and Martin was not immune to the influences of his environment. He dropped out of high school at 16 and worked for a while as a liquor runner for bootleggers. But even this somewhat less than auspicious beginning could not hide his early tendency to perform. "He was a comedian," Martin's childhood friend Mario Camerlengo told John Soeder of the Houston Chronicle. "He always disturbed the class. When the teacher would say, 'Dino, you'll have to leave,' he'd hit me on the head as he shuffled out."

After his stint running booze, Martin tried his hand at amateur boxing under the name "Kid Crochet." That pursuit did not last long, as, according to Rob Parker of the London Observer, Martin often recalled in later years, "I won all but 11 of my 12 fights." He went on to work variously as a shoeshine boy, gas station attendant, steel mill laborer, and croupier before striking out to make his name as a singer.

Although blessed with a smooth baritone voice, Martin's early career as a singer progressed slowly. He sang with club bands around the Midwest, and made his coast-to-coast radio debut on Cleveland's WTAM (AM) in 1942, but failed to cause much of a stir at first. Bing Crosby's renowned crooning was imitated by most young singers of the day, and Martin was no exception. J.D. Reed of People quoted Martin as saying, "I copied Bing until I had a style of my own." In the 1940s the emulation of his idol accorded Martin sufficient success to make him a regular at New York City nightclubs and on radio, but it was a fateful pairing in nearby Atlantic City, New Jersey, that rocketed him to fame.

Martin and Lewis

In 1946 Martin was booked for a six-week engagement at Atlantic City's 500 Club. A wacky young comedian named Jerry Lewis was also working there, and kismet struck when the illness of another performer put the pair on the same bill. Martin's mildly bemused and effortlessly elegant straight man combined with the wildly frenzied antics of Lewis to become an instant hit with audiences, and formed the basis of a tremendously popular partnership that would last ten years. Indeed, half a century later comedian Alan King told Reed, "I've been around 50 years, and no one ever created the kind of pandemonium they did."

The duo's success led them to the Copacabana in New York, where they gained top billing and the then-princely salary of $5,000 a week. Two years later they conquered the West Coast at Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom's nightclub in Beverly Hills, and a movie deal with Paramount Pictures soon followed. Martin and Lewis made sixteen films together, starting with 1949's My Friend Irma and ending with Hollywood or Bust in 1956. In between were such crowd pleasers as At War with the Army (1950), The Caddy (1953), and Living It Up (1954). The Caddy was also notable because it clearly established Martin's singing credentials, generating the top ten solo effort and Oscar-nominated hit That's Amore.

Despite one of the most successful partnerships in the history of show business and the resulting fortunes made by both members, Martin and Lewis had a mercurial relationship. Temperamentally disparate, the two had little in common off the screen and stage, and the ongoing volatility reportedly became wearing for Martin. In 1956 things came to a head, and the pair parted company. Few expected Martin's career to survive, but the kid from Steubenville surprised them all.

The Rat Pack

Martin's detractors were hardly shocked when Martin's first solo movie effort, Ten Thousand Bedrooms, was a resounding flop in 1957. They were taken aback, however, when 1958's The Young Lions showcased a heretofore unsuspected dramatic talent in Martin. He followed that up with a critically-acclaimed performance with John Wayne in Rio Bravo and another with Frank Sinatra and Shirley MacLaine in Some Came Running. Thus having beaten the odds and demonstrated his merit as a serious actor, Martin stood ready to reinvent himself yet again.

Martin's newest personae took shape as he aligned himself with an offshoot of a group originated by Humphrey Bogart. By the late 1950s the clan had morphed into Sinatra's infamous "Rat Pack," and Martin was installed as second in command. The core of the Pack consisted of Sinatra, Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop; and as they performed together in movies and, most notoriously, Las Vegas, they came to epitomize an irreverent style of hip sophistication that defined the early 1960s. Amidst all that panache, no one was more urbane, laid back, or surpassingly cool than Martin. Tuxedo-clad, cigarette in one hand and cocktail in the other, Martin's latest role was that of a debonair boozer with a nonchalant wit.

The Rat Pack's slightly risqué focus on sex, liquor, and general carousing made Las Vegas their natural playground. Gambling, drinking, and womanizing were the order of the day (and night); but the group worked hard as well, and their casino nightclub act was hugely popular. While some tongues may have wagged at the level of excess, nobody doubted that Sinatra and his boys were having a great time. As Martin's old friend, actor Debbie Reynolds, told Reed, "A lot of people wished they could have a third as much fun as [the Pack] did." Martin, dubbed the "Clown Prince" of the clan, expressed his satisfaction in a typically offhand manner at a Rat Pack tour press conference by saying, according to Newsweek's Karen Schoemer, "We're happy to be doing this thing. What the hell."

Top Talent Across Media

Martin's association with the Rat Pack did not hamper his solo career. He continued to record as a singer, producing his first number one hit, Memories Are Made Of This, in 1955. He famously repeated that achievement in 1964, when he bumped The Beatles out of the top spot with his recording of Everybody Loves Somebody. According to Schoemer, Martin was spurred to such a feat by frustration with his son's non-stop admiration of the British pop sensation, and reportedly said, "I'm gonna knock your little pallies off the charts." By the end of his recording career, 40 of Martin's singles had hit the charts, including seven in the top ten. He also recorded 11 gold albums.

Martin also made his mark on television. The year 1965 saw the debut of The Dean Martin Show, a variety program that lasted nine years on NBC. The show was such a success that Martin was able to negotiate a lucrative contract that was the largest of its time and earned him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest paid entertainer of his day.

Nor did Martin neglect the silver screen, although his later reviews never quite equaled those of his early work. His vehicles ranged from light comedy to westerns, including his only musical, 1960's Bells Are Ringing, Kiss Me, Stupid in 1964, Rough Night in Jericho in 1967, and Airport in 1970. He also made four Matt Helm films, which were send-ups of James Bond, in the 1960s. In short, Martin had proved himself a major talent across a variety of venues during the course of his career.

Fade Out and Reprise

With time, Martin began to fade slowly out of the limelight and appeared content to do so on his own terms. His last movie was 1984's kitschy Cannonball Run II. In 1988 he bowed out of a Rat Pack reunion tour after only a short time on the job. Sometime before that, he had stopped making records. He also declined to take part in a 1992 retrospective on Martin and Lewis with his old comedy partner. Instead, Martin played his beloved golf and contented himself with solitary dinners at a favorite Italian restaurant in Beverly Hills.

Part of the self-imposed isolation of Martin's later years was undoubtedly a reflection of his basically solitary personality. He was never much for talking or taking things too seriously. As his son Ricci told Reed, "He joked that it wasn't the chat that bothered him, it was the chit." And director Richard Corliss of Time quoted Vincente Minnelli as saying, "Dean would rather die than have you believed he cared." But care he did, and that caring was widely thought to play a large part in his withdrawal.

Martin had married and divorced three times by 1976, and had fathered seven children. One of those children, Dean Paul Martin (known as Dino Jr.), was tragically killed in a plane crash during a California Air National Guard training mission in 1987, at the age of 35. That tragedy, coupled with the losses of such old friends as his assistant Mack Gray and the Rat Pack's Davis, pierced the studied nonchalance of the aging performer and almost surely contributed to his increasing reclusiveness. Martin's storied drinking, once mainly a stage prop of apple juice, escalated in earnest and he moved further into the very mystique that had made him a star. When he died on Christmas Day in 1995, Martin had long been out of the public eye.

The public remembered Martin nonetheless. As late as 2004, Capitol Records released a compilation called Dino: The Essential Dean Martin, which soared to number 28 on the Billboard 200 chart and became one of iTunes' Top Five Digital Downloads. Musician and actor Steven Van Zandt described his appeal in the liner notes for the CD, as quoted by Soeder: "Dino represented a traditional style that would prove to be timeless…. He was the coolest dude I'd ever seen, period." As Martin might have said, "No question about it, pally."

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