Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Ed's Epistle: Top 20 Dino Songs

So starting to plan the big trip to Steubenville Ohio for THE 100 Year Celebration of the life and time of our Dino Martin! 

I will be trying my best to document, photo, and share the experience the best I can. We the blog will be one stop shop place to be for getting your share of information for the biggest Dino-Event this side of his passing.

In the mean time, I've been challenged to put together a Top 20 Dino Tune’s list. What a wonderful, difficult, emotionally draining, inspiring and thought provoking challenge it has been! And may I add a very mean challenge pally! Oh the decisions. So difficult. Been easier if  it were a top 50 list!

To be clear, my list of Top 20 Dino Tune’s aren’t necessarily based on billboard charts, awards won, or culturally popular the song may or may not have been. My list is based on MY favorites, which is based mostly on memories and personal tastes. 
Not to be judged strictly on popularity, for that list would be automatically generated on any greatest hits CD or album ever produced. (Holiday songs omitted on purpose)

Without further delay, here is Ed's Epistles Top 20 Dino Songs!
1.       In the Chapel in the Moonlight
2.       Houston
3.       Tik-A-Tee, Tik-A-Tay
4.       Sway
5.       I’m Yours
6.       Volare
7.       Everybody Loves Somebody
8.       Bumming Around
9.       Just Say I Love Her
10.   Make It Rain
11.   In The Misty Moonlight
12.   Every Minute Every Hour
13.   I Can’t Help Remembering You
14.   Bumming Around
15.   From The Bottom Of My Heart
16.   Take Me In Your Arms
17.   There’s No Tomorrow
18.   I Will
19.   Come Back to Sorrento
20.   Just One More Chance

Dean Martin / Rat Pack Memorabilia

Hey pallies, likes as the hundredth anniversary of our most beloved Dino's descent to earth draweth nigh, have we got a great great Dino-giftin' idear for all youse Dino-holics to consider...for yourself or for 'nother pallie deeply devoted to our Dino!

Likes our pallies at Twingly Advanced Blog search sent us over to Ebay where a cool collector of King of Cool treasure is offerin' a precious portion of their collection for sale.   This Dino-treasure included 27---count 'em---27 great great pieces of Dino-memorabilia and the swank seller has uploaded a dozen incredible images for our Dino-perusal.

As you will note, this sweet stuff includes mags, pixs, paperback, decals, posters, and even the commemorative Dino 'n Jerry tape dispensers!  Likes as the seller states, "A great start for anyone looking to collect Dean Martin or Rat Pack memorabilia or to help complete your collection."  The price of this fantastic find of Dino-delight....$184.99!  To properly checks out this Dino-offerin', simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram to gets to the Ebay page.  We knows that we woulda be deeply deeply Dino-delighted to have this treasure trove of Dino-abilia for our very own, and what Dino-phile 'mong us wouldn't?!?!?!?!?!?!

We remain,

Yours in Dino,

Dino Martin Peters

Dean Martin / Rat Pack Memorabilia Lot
27 Items Total! TV Guides, Magazines, Arcade Cards Etc.

Price:US $184.99

Huge Dean Martin / Rat Pack Lot

27 Items Total

A great start for anyone looking to collect Dean Martin or Rat Pack memorabilia or to help complete your collection

All items come from a smoke / pet free home and have been on display in a museum quality case with proper lighting

Items Included are:

1. Dean Martin / Jerry Lewis Tuck Tape (Best condition on EBay!)

(7) Arcade Cards (2. D. Martin, 3. F.Sinatra, 4. Jerry Lewis, 5. Ava Gardner, 6. Jimmy Stewart, 7. Perry Como, 8. Peter Lawford)

9. Rio Bravo 8 x 10 candid photo on heavy cardboard stock (John Wayne, Ricky Nelson, Dean)

10. 5 Card Stud paperback novel 1967

11. Dean / Jerry Star Cal Decal

12. Dean, Frank and Sammy Posterpop sticker 2002 (Can be removed from frame)

13. Dean and Frank with daughters Christmas Card 2002 (Can be removed from frame)

14. Picture Frame with an advertisement portraying Dean (60's and original, Very rare!)

15. 8x10 matted print with Dean, Sammy and Frank (Great Art!)

16. and 17. (2) Life Magazines August 13, 1951 (Fully intact with normal wear)

18. January 1968 Edition of TV Picture Life (Dean's family photo on front, Great Condition!)

19. April 1970 Edition of Mirror TV Radio (Dean on cover)

20. November 1970 Edition of Mirror TV Radio (Dean on cover)

21. TV Guide December 14, 1963 #559 (Dean, Bing Crosby and Frank)

22. TV Guide April 2, 1966 #679 (Dean Smiling)

23. TV Guide February 18, 1967 #725 (Dean with the Golddiggers)

24. TV Guide September 28, 1968 #809 (Dean Laughing)

25. TV Guide July 18, 1970 #903 (Golddiggers)

26. Texas Across The River 27x41 1 Sheet Poster

27. 5 Card Stud Poster 27x41 1 Sheet Poster

Please be sure to look closely at the pics and if you have any questions regarding a particular item's condition feel free to ask

I am sizing down my Dean collection and would love to find a great home for lot of items for someone else to enjoy

Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Dean Martin, Mel Torme, and Tony Martin Signed Photos

Hey pallies, likes when we opened up our email, we discovered a google Dino-'lert from a swank sellin' pad tagged "EVERYTHING BUT THE HOUSE" that is featurin' a trio of entertainer signed photos, of course, likes includin' one of our most beloved Dino and we wanted to get this news out asap 'cause the auction ended tommorrow, Wednesday, May 31 at 10:28 p.m. EDT

So, likes below is the info on the auction.  Likes you will note in the details that the photos "have not been professionally authenticated," so indeed the incredible image of our Dino, as well as the other two, may very well not be the real deal.  But, pallies, likes the current bid as of this postin' is a mere 7 bucks, so really we can't go wrong at the price.

So, if youse like to have a great image of our great great man, authentically signed our not, check out the details below and place your bid.  We thanks the pallies at google Dino-'lert for bringin' this to our attention, and to check this out at the original site of  "EVERYTHING BUT THE HOUSE" simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram.

We remain,

Yours in Dino,

Dino Martin Peters

Dean Martin, Mel Torme, and Tony Martin Signed Photos

WEDNESDAY, MAY 31ST 2017 @ 10:28PM EDT



Dean Martin, Mel Torme, and Tony Martin Signed Photos



An assortment of signed celebrity photos. This selection includes Mel Torme, Dean Martin, and Tony Martin. All photos are signed in marker. The signatures are bold and smudge free and have not been professionally authenticated. All performers had illustrious mid-century musical careers. Dean martin, a member of the “Rat Pack” and nicknamed the “King Of Cool” had signature songs such as “Everybody Loves Someone,” and “Volare.” Dean passed away in 1995. Mel Torme, a singer of jazz standards, composed the lyrics for “The Christmas Song,” sung by Nat King Cole. Mel passed away in 1999. Tony Martin, married to Hollywood actress and singer, Alice Faye, was an American actor and singer. Tony’s career spanned seven decades and performed his signature song “Stranger In Paradise.” Two of the signed photos (Torme and Dean Martin) are personalized. The photos are unframed, housed in protective plastic sleeves.

Everything But The House does not authenticate celebrity memorabilia. Items that are consigned with Certificates or Letters of Authenticity (COA) are listed as such with the item’s description. Autographs without COAs are compared to authenticated examples from online sources prior to sale upload.


Very Good

- the signatures are bold and smudge free and have not been professionally authenticated.


10.0" W x 12.0" H x 0.25" D

The measurements reflect the size of the protective plastic sleeves.



“Everybody Loves Somebody” put Dean Martin back on top.

Robert Stacy McCain
Hey pallies, likes we here at ilovedinomartin and often powerfully proclaimed that our most beloved Dino in addition to bein' the greatest of great entertainer to ever walk the planet is also the wisest of the wise philosopher as well!  Likes whether our Dino was croonin' the lyrics of a touchin' 'n tender tune or usin' his wonderful wit 'n wisdom to extraordinarily exclaim tremendous truths 'bout the lush life, our Dino's was the profoundest of profound proclaimer of wonderfully wise words to live by.

Today we are perfectly pleased to share a potent portion of an excellent essay scribed by Mr. Robert Stacy McCain that deeply draws on our profound philosopher Dino!  From the blog " The Patriarch Tree," where Mr. McCain holds forth.  McCain's brief bio informs us that he is a  "professional journalist since 1986"and that " has won national awards for his writing on culture and politics."

Mr. McCain's perfect prose, "Nobody Loves a Loser," 'bout his personal struggles with love and school as a child and youth beautifully begins and ends with noteworthy nods to our one and only Dino.  Beginnin' with his remarkable referencin' of our Dino's knockin' the Beatles off the charts with what became his signature croon, "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime,"  Robert follows that with these wonderin' words, "When I was a kid growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, the message of that famous hit seemed somewhat confusing. If everybody loved somebody, I occasionally had cause to wonder, why didn’t anybody love me?"

Likes it is crystal clear that our Dino's cool croonin' 'bout amore profoundly impacted Mr. McCain as a child and gave him the framework for sharin' his early life experiences in this extraordinary essay!
We encourage you to clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram to visit Robert's blog and revel in his incredible insights.  Indeed, we sez our thank you very much to Mr. Robert McCain for liftin' up the tremendous teachin's of our Dino in this wonderful way and for givin' testimony to how our philosopher Dino insightfully impacted his early life.

We remain,

Yours in Dino,

Dino Martin Peters

Robert Stacy McCain

Nobody Loves a Loser

Romance requires a hero, and the hero must find a way to win

Dean Martin hadn’t had a Top 40 hit in seven years when he went into the studio to record an album entitled Dream With Dean in 1964. Toward the end of the recording session, he was still one song short, and the pianist suggested one of his own. Ken Lane had co-written the ballad in 1947 with Sam Coslow and Irving Taylor, and it had been recorded by several other singers, including Frank Sinatra, but without commercial success. As an album filler, however, it would do, and so Martin recorded it with Lane on piano, accompanied by a small combo of drums, bass and guitar. The tune went in as the last song of side one of Dream With Dean, and might have been forgotten, except that the singer really liked the song. Martin re-recorded it with a full orchestra for his next album, and when executives at Reprise Records heard the new version, they decided to rename the album for the song:

Everybody loves somebody sometime.
Everybody falls in love somehow.
Something in your kiss just told me
My sometime is now.

“Everybody Loves Somebody” put Dean Martin back on top. It was such a huge hit that, in August 1964, it knocked The Beatles’ “Hard Day’s Night” out of Number One on the Billboard charts. It became Martin’s signature tune, the theme song for his popular NBC variety show that aired from 1965 to 1974.

When I was a kid growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, the message of that famous hit seemed somewhat confusing. If everybody loved somebody, I occasionally had cause to wonder, why didn’t anybody love me? .........................................

How does a young man become the romantic hero? Sing it, Dean-o.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Danny G's SPECIAL Memorial Day Sunday Serenade with Dino: "Think About Me"

Welcome back, pals & Happy Memorial Day to all!
SO SO happy to be here!

Well mi amici...It's that special time of year when we take a look back.
Back at ALL those who have come & gone.

Those who have touched our lives in the MOST special ways & have sacrificed to make our world a better place.

I thinks its only appropriate, ol' pals o' mine, to dedicate this week's Serenade to them.

 Now pallies...I can only speak for myself...but I can't thinks of many people who have helped me through life's ups & much as our mostest faithful of friends, Dino!

He's been there with me to share the great great times...& he's helped me through those blue blue days, as well.

"Think About Me" is just 'nother gift from our "ever present" pal...remindin' us...that no matter what this crazy life hands us...we have a WON DER FUL eternity waitin' for us all!

That's what I thinks it's tellin' us anyways, pallies. we go! 

Let's get this great great tune rollin'...with a happy thought in mind!

I'm picturin' this eternity to be filled with friends & family...yummy drinks flowin'...& our bestest pal Dean playin' a nightly show at the Sands!

Ahhh now THAT'S my kinda eternity! Haha!!

 Happy Memorial Day, pals!


Think about me whenever you're lonely
Think about me whenever you're blue
Think about me when you have heartaches
Think about me thinking bout you
In the evening when the sun sets and blue shadows fall
All through the starry night till another day calls
I'll be a waitin' for eternity waitin' for you to return to me
(Think about me) when you have heartaches
(Think about me) thinking bout you
(Think about me)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Dean developed his on screen persona and carefully crafted his ‘menefreghista’ attitude, always appearing on screen and stage smoking and with a drink never far from his hand.

Hey pallies, likes today we stop in at 'nother new-to-ilovedinomartin blog havin' been sent there by our great pallies at Twingly Advanced Blog search.  We are perfectly pleased to make the acquaintance of a pallie who nicknames  himself "Toeslayer dot"....likes pallies we figure there's gotta be a stunnin' story behind that tag.  Since the blog is titled "Cameron K's Blog, we're guessin' that our host in a dude tagged Cameron.

Cameron's mighty mission statement includes these words, "Collection of short bios represents a lifelong love of popular music and the artists and record companies that made them."  Today we are pleasantly pleased to share Cameron's remarkable reflections on none other then our most most beloved Dino in his post simply tagged "Dean Martin (1917 - 1995)."   Cameron's cleverly crafted posts includes a marvelous mix of pertinent prose with a beautiful bunch of youtube vids thrown in for good measure.

While our host's Dino-prose contains pretty much the standard fare of Dino-details, the time that Cameron has carefully taken to find vital  vid clips to elegantly enhance his written words is mucho appreciated.  It's is always refreshin' to find the terrific, touchin'  TLC that bloggers likes Cameron take. to present the life, times, and teachin' of our Dino.

Likes, we sez our thank you very much to Cameron for doin' his personal part in makin' more and more pallies get to know, love, and honor our Dino...for we just never know who will find their way to this blog and begin fallin' for our one and only Dino.  To checks this out in it's original source, per usual, simply clicks on the tag of this particular Dino-message.

We remain,

Yours in Dino,

Dino Martin Peters

Toeslayer dot

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Dean Martin (1917 - 1995)

Dino Crocetti was born in 1917 in Steubenville, Ohio to Italian immigrants. His father was a barber and mother, a good cook. Dino was the second son and the family spoke Italian until he went to school. Consequently Dino was picked on at school and soon learned to fight. He left school as soon as he could and started working in the local steel mills. Dino was a keen boxer (“Kid Crocet.” Pronounced kro-shey), and won almost all of his bouts but the prize money was poor. As he progressed through his early working life, Dino was brought into contact with the mafia underworld and delivered bootleg liquor before working as a croupier in a local speakeasy. He called himself Deno Martini (after the Opera tenor, Nino Martini), he made a lot of club contacts which would come in useful later. His first start came when he sang with the Ernie McKay Orchestra, then in the early 1940s, he joined the Sammy Watkins Band. Now with his boxer’s nose remodeled, he dropped Martini for Martin, and was crooning to the joy of club audiences in New York. The mellow voiced baritone was influenced by Harry Mills of the Mills Brothers and Bing Crosby. He continued to perfect his singing style on the night club circuit until he was eventually drafted into the United States Army. He served stateside for a year (1944-45) but because of a hernia, was classified 4-F, and discharged. By 1946, Dean was back on the club circuit and met Frank Sinatra (Riobomba) and comic Jerry Lewis (Glass Hat Club in New York) among many other up and coming celebrities. He made his first record “Which way did my heart go?” (1946) and had a screen test by MGM, but nothing came from either opportunity.

More by chance than planning he and Jerry Lewis formed an on stage partnership initially dubbed “The Monkey and the Organ Grinder." Their wildly improvisational comedy soon made them a popular club act and in 1949 they had their own radio show. In the same year they made their film debut, My Friend Irma, and a sequel came a year later, My Friend Irma Goes West.

By the early 50s Martin and Lewis were the hottest act in America but both pace and the pressure took its toll. The act broke up in 1956. In 1953, Dean had scored a huge worldwide hit with "That's Amore,” but his critics felt he would amount to nothing with Jerry Lewis.

He won critical acclaim after appearing in the movie, The Young Lions (1958). The same year NBC ran The Dean Martin Show which was broadcast in colour and to complete his hat trick, Dino recorded “Volare” which was a runaway success.

By the mid-'60s, Dean was a top movie, recording, and nightclub attraction. During the sixties Dean was an active member of the Rat Pack. The original Holmby Hills Rat Pack had been started in the 1950s by Humphrey Bogart. Membership included. Pack Master – Frank Sinatra; First Vice President Judy Garland; Den Mother Lauren Bacall Rat in charge of Public Relations Humphrey Bogart; Recording secretary and treasurer Swifty Lazar; Historian Nathaniel Benchley: and Rats - David Niven, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, George Cukor, Michael Romanoff and James Van Heusen. As the decade passed a new set of members including Dean were introduced to the close nit community of celebrities. The 60s Rat Pack featured a line up including: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. Contrary to the popular myth the 60s Rat Pack had female participants (Rat Pack Mascots), including Shirley MacLaine, Angie Dickinson, and Juliet Prowse.

The Pack made four films which Dean featured in all four: Ocean's Eleven (1960), Sergeants 3 (1962), 4 for Texas (1963), and Robin and the Seven Hoods (1964).

Throughout the 60s the Rat Pack performed in Las Vegas, Nevada and was instrumental in the rise of Las Vegas as a popular entertainment destination.

In 1965, he launched his weekly NBC comedy-variety series. The loose format of the show prompted comedic, quick-witted improvisation which made the show all the more popular.

Dean developed his on screen persona and carefully crafted his ‘menefreghista’ attitude, always appearing on screen and stage smoking and with a drink never far from his hand.

Privately the man was, of course, quite different from his public persona. His albums continued to sell well throughout the seventies but stopped his studio work in 1974 and only started to record again in 1983. His last starring role was in 1975 and the movie Mr. Ricco. Deno then limited his live performances to Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

In 1987 the news of his son’s death completely devastated Dean Martin, who became more and more reclusive. It was widely reported, though never confirmed, that Martin was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1991 but Dean died of respiratory failure on Christmas Day, 1995.

Worth a listen:
Which way did my heart go? (1946)
That's Amore (1953)
Sway (1954)
Young and foolish (1954)
Under the bridges of Paris (1954)
Relax-ay-voo (duet Line Renaud)(1955)
In Napoli (1955)
Immorata (1955)
Memories Are Made Of This (1955)
Return to me (1958)
Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Diblu) (1958)
C’est si bon (1962)
Sam’s Song (duet Sammy Davis Jnr) (1962)
Everybody Loves Somebody (1964)

Friday, May 26, 2017

Vino with Dino?

Hey pallies, likes who knew dudes....yesterday was National Wine Day!  Likes we woulda never have known if our pallies at Twingly Advanced Blog Search had not directed us in the Dino-direction of the blog of a restaurant tagged "RESTAURANT SANTA LUCIA," which is located at 1264 Rue Stanley, MontrĂ©al, QC H3B 2S7.

The fantastic folks at "RESTAURANT SANTA LUCIA were wonderfully wise in there chose of awesomely accentin' our Dino on this delightful day of huge homagin' the liquid libation from the vine.  Likes as you will note below the eatery Dino-devotion includes a perfect pose of our Dino 'long with the wine related lyrics from our Dino's cool croon, "Memories Are Made Of This."  This is followed by the pallies askin' the powerfully provocative quire, "Vino with Dino?"  And they conclude their Dino-report with a youtube vid of our Dino's sweet singin' of his original release of "Little Old Wine Drinker Me.

Likes, interestin'ly we does remember that our Dino was quoted as sayin' that vino was not his particular drink of choice.  But, likes anywho, we are totally totally thrilled to find the fine folks at "RESTAURANT SANTA LUCIA" usin' the op of pairin' National Wine Day with this deepest of deep devotion to our Dino.  We thank 'em for lovin'ly lift up our one and only Dino in this and doin' their part to create more Dino-delight on the ol' web.  To checks this out in it's original source, likes simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-gram.

We remain,

Yours in Dino,

Dino Martin Peters

‘Little Old Wine Drinker Me’ By Dean Martin is the Song Of The Day!

May 25, 2017

Vino with Dino?

Happy National Wine Day!

But after the split, Dean more than held his own--in fact, he probably out-performed his old pal Jer in the long run

Hey pallies, likes it's our proud pleasure to be able to introduce all youse Dino-holics to yet 'nother beautiful blog new-to-ilovedinomartin where our most beloved Dino has been lovin'ly lifted up.  Through the eager efforts of our pallies at Twingly Advanced Blog search we takes you to the interestin'ly tagged blog "Pajama Guy" where a bunch of 8 guys from 'round the USA share their personal perspectives on a variety of issues.

In their most recent post dude tagged LAGuy created a post tagged "Team Work" where he accents how a variety of comedy duos who did magic together, eventually split up and how each one did on their own.  While three of the examples are duos from the past 30 years ago or less, LAGuy wisely begins his prose rememberin' the comedy duo of duos, our most beloved Dino and his most beloved partner Mr. Jerry Lewis.

Likes, we are perfectly pleased that LAGuy chose to use an incredible image of our Dino starrin' in the blockbuster big screen epic "Airport," where his work garnered our Dino a cool 7 mil.  They sez a picture is worth a thousand words, and this particular pose reminds all us Dino-holics of just how swankly successful our Dino was as an actor on the silver screen.  And, likes LAGuy's terrific thoughts on our Dino speaks of his stunnin' success as "a major movie star, TV star and recording star" followin' his split with Mr. Lewis.

It's 'nother remarkable reminder of just how amazin'ly awesome our main man...and the huge heights he obtained in the wonderful world of entertainment after he made the break with Mr. Jerry Lewis.
We thanks Mr. LAGuy for sharin' this delightful Dino-truth with his readership and surely helpin' more and more pallies grow in there lastin' love of our King of Cool.  To checks this out in it's original source, and to read 'bout the other comedy duos he shares, simply clicks on the tag of this here Dino-report.

We remain,

Yours in Dino,

Dino Martin Peters

Team Work

When show biz duos break up, they often claim they're still friends.  Still, don't they keep score to see who's doing better?

One of the biggest breakups ever was Martin and Lewis, who ruled show biz from 1946 to 1956.  Jerry Lewis was generally considered the big talent, while Dean Martin a decent straight man and singer.  But after the split, Dean more than held his own--in fact, he probably out-performed his old pal Jer in the long run, becoming a major movie star, TV star and recording star, still on top after Jerry's film career had petered out. (Though Lewis did do everything on his films--acting, writing, directing--creating something that was unique.)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Dean Martin made a stellar career as an amiable drunk.

Hey pallies, likes today's Dino-delight was sent our direction from our pallies at google Dino-'lerts and was also forwarded to us by our Dino-bro Danny-o, who we absolutely appreciate for makin' certain that we didn't miss out on this greatest of great Dino-find.  So today we visit with a new-to-ilovedinomartin-blog site tagged ""  Likes, we gotta 'fess up that weain't too surprised to find our most beloved Dino bein' lifted up at this liquid libation pad, as our Dino made quite the remarkable reputation for himself as a drinker.

In what must be a series of posts tagged, "FAMOUS WHISKY DRINKERS,"  scriber Mr. Iain Russell had done himself proud in his remarkable reflection simply tagged "DEAN MARTIN."  Checkin' into Russell's bio, we learn that he "has been researching and writing about the history of Scotch whisky brands and distilleries since 1989."  Iain has scribed wonderfully wise words on our Dino and his notoriety as a drinker's drinker.  This awesome article included a marvelous mix of pixs 'n prose with a vintage vid  from youtube of our Dino's first episode of the Dino-show.

Likes the swank sentence that we chose to tag this post is our fav thought and sez it all pallies, " Dean Martin made a stellar career as an amiable drunk."  Pretty much the tenor of thoughts expressed by Mr. Russell point to what many others have concluded over the years, our Dino likes his booze, but not to excess......though we would note that we have shared a good 'mount of Dino-prose here in the past notin' that after the tragic death of his beloved namesake boypallie Dino Jr., Dino became a heaver drinker.

We swankly salute Mr. Iain Russell for his potent post accentin' our drinker Dino and helpin' many more to learn more 'bout our King of Cool.  To checks this out in it's original source, likes simply clicks on the tag of this Dino-presentation.

We remain,

Yours in Dino,

Dino Martin Peters



16 May 2017 by Iain Russell

Part of Frank Sinatra’s famous ‘Rat Pack’, Dean Martin made a name for himself as a loveable ‘drunk’. Whether on stage in Las Vegas or on the big screen in numerous films, the singer and actor was seldom seen without a Scotch in hand. Iain Russell reports.

Dean Martin
Dean Martin: Playing gun-toting Canliss in the 1960s TV series Rawhide with Laura Devon as his wife

Dean Martin made a stellar career as an amiable drunk. During the 1950s and 1960s he seldom appeared on stage, or on television, without a glass of Scotch in his hand; with a glassy stare and slurring his speech, he jokily missed his cues and forgot lyrics of his songs. The ‘drunky’ act was just that – an act – but the great entertainer did enjoy a drink. And one brand is forever associated with his name:  J&B .

Dino Crocetti (1917-95) was born in Ohio, the second son of Italian-American parents. He performed poorly at school, which he left at the age of 14, and became briefly a boxer and a small-time bootlegger. He found more lucrative employment as a casino croupier and card dealer, and  began to perform in clubs as a singer  – firstly as Dino Martino, and then as the less Italian-sounding Dean Martin after the outbreak of the Second World War.

Martin performed in the style of the great crooner Bing Crosby, but was only moderately successful. Then, in 1946, he met a manic young comedian, Jerry Lewis. They developed a double act that became wildly popular in nightclubs and in 16 hit movies. After they split acrimoniously in 1956, Martin became successful as a serious actor in films such as Some Came Running and Rio Grande.

It was during the 1950s that Martin’s career as a singer took off, with hits such as That’s Amore and Memories Are Made of This. He honed his ‘drunky’ persona while remodelling his solo act at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. There, he became a leading light in The Clan, Frank Sinatra’s gang of entertainers (sometimes known as the Rat Pack), which also included Sammy Davis Jr, actor Peter Lawford and comedian Joey Bishop. The Clan’s performances on stage in Las Vegas are the stuff of legend, as are the tales of their drinking and carousing into the small hours.

There’s no doubt that Martin’s preferred tipple was Scotch. Herman Hover, proprietor of Ciro’s nightclub in Los Angeles during the late 1940s, remembered that he ‘never drank that much.   Black & White mostly. Haig & Haig’. Around the time that he joined The Clan, however, he dropped these long-established mainstream brands for the altogether more fashionable J&B Rare.

 Dean Martin
The Rat Pack: On stage with Frank Sinatra (right), Martin (left) usually had a Scotch in hand

J&B Rare had become one of the US’ favourite Scotches during the 1950s, when the country acquired a taste for light-coloured, lightly flavoured whiskies. It became the brand of choice for hep cats and wise guys, usually fixed with ice and soda, and it became a central feature of a Dean Martin performance.

Martin’s nightclub act was legendary. He was introduced with the words: ‘And now, direct from the bar…’ He bounded onto the stage, cheekily ‘stealing’ a large Scotch from one of the stage-side tables en route (it had been planted there beforehand). There was often a bar on the stage, and he would top up his glass from time to time from a bottle of J&B Rare prominently displayed there.

All was not quite as it seemed, however. Martin’s son Ricci recalled: ‘While it was true that Dad drank, the drunky routines were an act. On stage, and later on the set of his TV show, Dad usually had a J&B Scotch and soda he nursed through the performance. It was almost always a weak Scotch and soda. Other times it was just apple juice.’

Martin used the Scotch as a prop – he was prone to slightly slurring his speech anyway, and he could play the tipsy crooner for easy laughs. ‘I don’t drink any more,’ he’d confide in the audience. Long pause... ‘I don’t drink any less either.’

‘Other comedians had used drink as a prop before,’ wrote his biographer Michael Freedland. ‘Dean Martin perfected it – as much as a gap-filler. He knew he could refer to the bottle (if not actually drink from it) any time he forgot a line or a lyric.’

Dean Martin
Film star: Martin played Dude in Rio Bravo in 1959, directed by Howard Hawks

Ricci emphasised that his father was not a great drinker in private either.

‘There are good drinkers and bad, and dad was one of the good. He would be just as calm, loving and funny at home when he had a drink as when he hadn’t… I never saw him drunk in my life.’

Martin’s singing career declined in the 1970s. Nevertheless, his television show, Dean Martin Celebrity Roast, attracted huge audiences, eager to watch some of America’s greatest celebrities jokily mocked and insulted by their peers. And he was still considered one of the all-time greats, ‘The King of Cool’, much imitated by up-and-coming professional singers and, less faithfully, by less gifted amateurs, belting out old hits like Little Old Wine Drinker Me after a glass or two at home, or in the pub.

The death of his son Dino in an air crash in 1987 left Martin suffering from depression. He abandoned a tour with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr after only a few dates the following year. As part of his image as a carefree drunk, Martin had been habitually seen performing with a lit cigarette in hand, and he was indeed a heavy smoker. He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 1993 and died two years later.