Tuesday, July 07, 2009

It was one of the first major venues to host Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin

Hey pallies, it is always so great to learn more details of our Dino's life and times. Thinks I have posted 'bout Ciro's Nightclub and it's Dinoconnections before...but this post contains more Dinodetails then before. I found this posted at couple of places...but have reposted this from a site tagged New Haven Railroad...as usual to read this in it's original format, just clicks on the tagg of this Dinogram.

Loves the Dinodetails in this report. Ain't it so cool that our Dino wed wife #2, the Jeanne at this here nightclub?...how appro for our great man to have such a settin' for his weddin'. Ain't it like our great man to go clubbin' on his day of wed.... And hadn't realized he did the weddin' gig before he and the kid ever played the club.

So enjoys learnin' more facts and figures 'bout our amazin' Dino... Dinosharin', DMP

And loves readin' 'bout our Dino's strong showin' of loyalty to Herman Hoover by always only takin' his original salary when he and the jer played the club even after they had struck it huge on the nightclub circuit. How cool of our great man and the kid to only take 7 grand when they were pullin' in 100 grand aweek at other clubs. Certainly shows the strength of our Dino's character..


Ciro’s Nightclub: An Icon Of Entertainment History
By Shane Northrup | July 6, 2009

by Ross Everett
Today, the Comedy Story sits on the same spot and has for over twenty years. In it’s earlier incarnation it was Ciro’s, and it was for a time the center of the entertainment universe.

From the early 1940’s until it closed on the eve of the 1960’s, Ciro’s launched countless entertainment icons along the path to superstardom. It was one of the first major venues to host Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin before they took over the comedy world in 1950. A year later, an unheralded opening act called the Will Mastin Trio stole the show from the headliner. This was due in large part to a young entertainer that would before long outgrow his membership in the group–arguably the most talented entertainer in show biz history, Sammy Davis, Jr. After the car accident that cost Sammy his right eye, it was the site of his return to live performing. Countless other top entertainers performed there, from Sinatra sidekick comic Joe E. Louis to Nat King Cole.

The regulars at Ciro’s comprised a mind boggling array of the greatest entertainers in history–Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, Judy Garland and countless others. It became the clubhouse for the Hollywood elite to drink, mingle and network.

During a more civilized time, a network of top nightclubs hosted entertainment, drinking, dining and other hijinx in the major cities of the US. Ciro’s was among this elite group of nightspots dating back to the early 1940’s when the icons of that era including Bogart, Jimmy Cagney, Lauren Bacall and George Raft would frequent the place. It started to ‘cool off’ and by 1942 was forced to close its doors for a time. It didn’t stay closed for long, as Herman Hoover implemented his plan to re-open and revitalize the nightspot.

Hoover, who had a background in running a nightclub”he was lured away from Columbia Universitys Law School by the potent mix of wiseguys and chorus girls at New Yorks Silver Slipper, which was a prohibition era joint owned by Arnold Rothstein and Charles Lucky Luciano among others. Hoover became a fixture at the club, along with Harlems Cotton Club before moving to Los Angeles in 1936.

Ciros reopened on December 26, 1942 with longtime Sinatra pal Joe E. Lewis on stage and such stars as Mickey Rooney, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Joan Crawford and Cary Grant in the audience. Xavier Cugat (whod later marry a Latin dancer named Charo) became a regular headliner at the club, preceding the arrival of Martin, Lewis and Sammy Davis, Jr.

Hoover had hosted Dean Martins wedding in 1949 to second wife Jeanne, and Martin and Lewis debuted at Ciros in 1950. They remained loyal to Hoover and his club, and even when they were pulling down an astounding (for the 1950s) $100,000 a week to perform they insisted on holding their fee at Ciros to what they were originally paid–$7,000 a week. Sammy Davis, Jr. got his start at Ciro’s and returned to the stage after his mid 1950’s car accident in what may have been the biggest event ever at the club. Following an introduction by Frank Sinatra, Davis put on a scorching performance before an adoring and emotional crowd of the biggest stars on the planet.

Ironically, the growth of the desert gambling oasis to the east would eventually spell the end for Ciro’s and the nightclub circuit nationwide. Las Vegas simply had the money, connections and amenities to lure away the best talent to play in its showrooms. Headliners didn’t have to travel to earn a tidy sum as casino headliners, and they were able to live the showbiz life 24 hours a day in “Paris in the Desert.” Eventually Ciro’s closed its doors in 1957 and was sold at a public auction two years later.

It also represented the end of an era in Los Angeles. Sunset Boulevard remained a vital commercial artery, but the glamorous strip of adult entertainment that became part of American mythology gave way to a tacky mishmash of restaurants, strip clubs, and tattoo parlors intermingled with more upscale businesses. Although another revolution would emerge from Sunset Boulevard”a culinary superstar named Wolfgang Puck, and his restaurant Spago”the world became a little less civilized with the passing of Ciros. The building has been the Comedy Store for the past 26 years, and has started its own crop of stars along the path to fame.

About the Author:
Ross Everett is a Las Vegas and hospitality industry historian as well as an expert on Internet sports betting. He has served as a management consultant for many restaurants, casinos and nightclubs. In addition, he’s a noted fight sport journalist, and writes extensively on strategies to successfully bet on UFC, MMA and boxing.
Topics: Travel |


Keith said...

Hey pallie DMP. Great info. It's always cool to learn more about Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. Thanks for sharing this with us.

dino martin peters said...

Hey pallie Keith, yeah, I loves learnin' every Dinodetail that I can...more Dino....more Dino...more DINO..thanks for droppin' some Dinopatter....