Well, likes today we are privileged to post an interview that Billy recorded with Mr. Don Cherry. Billy has put the interview up as a vid clip on youtube and commented there...."Legendary golfer & crooner Don Cherry talks with TVparty!'s Billy Ingram about Dean Martin in 2011. The interview was conducted for the oral history book Beyond Our Wildest Dreams about the Alberici Sisters time in Dean Martin's Golddiggers."
The clip runs 'bout fourteen and a half minutes, and we gotta say that we enjoyed every second of Mr. Cherry's reverent remembrances with our most beloved Dino, includin' Don playin' golf with our Dino for over a decade. In fact, we are deeply touched by many thoughts shared by Cherry, but most moved by Don's statement that we have used as the tag of this Dino-gram...."I tell you something, for eleven years Dean was the dearest friend I ever had."
Below is the vid clip that Mr. Ingram has posted based on the interview he conducted with Mr. Cherry, and many of the highlights of the conversation shared in print for our Dino-edification. How wonderful to be able to share 'nother most movin' and tremedously touchin' powerfully personal, terrific testimonial to how deeply our Dino has touched 'nother of his pallies....in this case Mr. Don Cherry.
As you will note, Mr. Cherry has written a autobiography tagged "Cherry's Jubilee" which he lets us know (via his interview with Billy) is loaded with wonderful remembrances of our one and only Dino, so we plans to gets our hands on a copy asap! We sez our thank you very much to Mr. Billy Ingram of "TVparty! - Classic TV and Pop Culture blog from your pal Billy Ingram," for yet 'nother intriguin'ly inspirational and incredibly insightful post hugely homagin' our most beloved Dino. To checks this out in it's original format, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-report. Dino-learnin' and Dino-growin', DMP
Dan Jenkins, Golf Digest; "Contrary to popular notions, Jimmy Demaret wasn't the best golfer who could sing and Bing Crosby wasn't the best singer who could play golf. The all-time best golfer/singer, singer/golfer is Don Cherry."
Don Cherry, singer, golfer, author Cherry's Jubilee: I came to Las Vegas in 1952 with Peggy Lee the third week the Sands was open. In '52 there were only about 40,000 people, there were only two streets. There's about two and a half million now. Even back when Dean and Frank showed up it was just completely different, it was so much classier then. Now you see everybody walking around, they don't have on suits, some of them wearing shorts, they go to the shows dressed terribly.
I tell you something, for eleven years Dean was the dearest friend I ever had. He was Italian, I told him one time, if I could have just been Italian think of how much more famous I'd have been. Dean said, "Let me call Chicago and I'll call you back in thirty minutes." Like he was going to make me Italian.
We played golf every single day at the Country Club. We played golf everywhere he went, if he would go somewhere like Lake Tahoe or something, they would book me up there. I worked at the Riviera, I worked at the Sands, I worked everywhere when Dean was there. He was about a ten or twelve handicap which is not bad, he was that good a player. I played the Masters nine times, I almost won the US Open in 1960; to me singing and golf came together naturally, I never drank or smoked so I could play golf all day and sing all night. I only needed about five or six hours of sleep, it was perfect for me.
Vic Damone and I did the summer replacement show for Dean in 1967 and I did Dean's show about six or seven times myself. I can't tell you how much he meant to me, really. It was so simple, they didn't have much rehearsal but they had the cue cards so you'd know what you were doing. I enjoyed it more than anything. I guess Dean did more for my career in those days than anybody else ever did.
I'm on the show one time and Dean looks at me and says, "That's the worst hairpiece I ever saw. You go over to Max Factor and get you another hairpiece." Well, I went over there and found a good looking hairpiece and I wore it back to the show. I walked back over to Dean and I said, "Dean this is it." He said, "See the difference? What a wonderful toupee that is." and he called over there and he said, "This is a great hairpiece. I'm going to get this for Don Cherry." They said, "That used to belong to John Wayne." He was singing and had a great sense of humor but I think the thing he'd rather do was play golf.
I worked with Jerry Vale at the Amory in Cleveland, I would do my show and then Jerry would come on. Bill Randall, who was a disc jockey in those days, came to us and said, "There's a guy down in Memphis, Colonel Parker, who has a kid that he's promoting who made an album, do you mind if the kid plays in between the two of you?" So they put Elvis in between the two of us. That was the first time anyone ever heard of Elvis. One night in a nightclub in Queens Jerry Vale came over to me, he hadn't even started yet I think, and said, "Everybody says I sing like you." He never forgot that. He said that was one of the greatest compliments he ever got, that he sang like Don Cherry. He's a very nice guy, he's a wonderful singer, he likes to play golf, too. (Jerry Vale passed away in May of 2014.)
Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra; "We think that Mr. Don Cherry sings the Country Western music better than anybody in the business, but how he can do it so well and not "DRINK" is something we can't figure out. But he is Great."