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~ By Frank E. Dee ~
Dean Martin Has Been Quoted To Have Said:
Dino Paul Crocetti was born June 17, 1917, in Steubenville, Ohio. Dino, was the son of an Italian immigrant barber, who took on numerous jobs as a youngster. In his teen year at he quit school in the 10th grade to take on a job delivering bootleg liquor around his hometown of Steubenville. Upon quitting school Dino was noted to say: "It was because I thought I was smarter than the teacher!"
Dino also learned the art as a card shark who learned to deal cards and was capable of doing magical card tricks in a gambling room in back of a cigar store in his hometown. Dino Paul Crocetti, also worked in the steel mills. He later became a welterweight boxer, and went under the name of "Kid Crochetti." He earned ten dollars a match and sometimes up to twenty-five.
At the age of 16 years old Dino took on a singing profession by being pushed on a local club stage in his neighborhood by his friends in which Dino really did not want to do. As a matter of fact Dino never really wanted to be a singer, and at one time in his early teens he even gave it up. Because he felt he could make more money as a card dealer. But through the constant demand of his buddies, they kept insisting that Dino continue on singing in local pubs, and clubs in the area. His buddies even paid the difference of his low salary he received from singing.
Before Dean met Jerry Lewis, Dean had signed a contract with MCA in September of 1943 to sing at the Rio Bamba Room in New York. On his own merits, Dean landed his own radio show titled: "Songs By Dean Martin." This show spotlighted Dean for 15 minutes of lush songs.
In an interview conducted by Pete Martin, Dean tells how he actually met Jerry Lewis, in his own words we quote from Pete Martin’s interview with Dean: "Jerry and I met when I was working the Club 500 in Atlantic City as a singer. Jerry was on the same bill. We started horsing around with each other's acts. That's how the team Martin and Lewis started. We'd do anything that came to our minds' anything at all. Starting at eight P.M., we did six shows the first night. I remember that in the middle of the sixth show Jerry was doing something all by himself. I went backstage, picked up my suitcase and walked through the crowd, saying to Jerry, ‘When you're through, lock up!’ We lasted six weeks at the Club 500. It was wonderful."
It wasn’t until over a year later that Dean and Jerry hooked-up to work together. Dean at the time was booked to appear at the Havana Madrid Club in March of 1946: Angel Lopez (Havana's owner) struck a deal with Jerry's agent, Abby Greshler, to have these two perform on the same bill. Yet, they were booked to work solo, and it wasn’t until July of 1946, that Dean and Jerry were booked separately at the club 500. It was the owner of the 500 club that actually brought the two together. Prior to Dean’a appearance at the 500 club. He was signed-up to a recording contract with "Diamond Records" and on Thursday July 11 1946, dean recorded four songs, which was to become an historical event in his career.
Dean and Jerry launched their careers as a legal team in January 1947. During their 10 years as a successful comedy team, offer poured in by the hundreds. They were becoming the number one comedy team in the world. Wherever they appeared they broke every imaginable records in appearing in nightclubs, TV, radio and concerts. They soon were offered their own radio show on April 3, 1949, titled: "The Martin And Lewis Show." The popular show was a 30 minute show and was first aired on the NBC radio network.
It wasn’t long before the Martin And Lewis comedy team were signed up on Sunday, July 17, 1950 to star on "The Colgate Comedy Hour." The Martin and Lewis comedy team lasted for 10 years, and in their 10 successful years they starred in 16 films together, before they finally went their separate ways. When this popular comedy team had decided to split, the world audiences of Martin and Lewis were stunned. As a team their last appearance was at The Copacabana in New York on July 24, 1956.
At the time of their split, rumor had it that Dean Martin would not be able to make it on his own. He proved those who said and wrote this, were 100 percent wrong. His new solo career flew to great heights, leaving Jerry Lewis’ fame in a cloud of dust. On April 2, 1958, Dean tackled the movie industry, proving that he was not only a singer, but a great actor as well, with his first role in The "Young Lions." This movie launched Martin into 35 more hit films. At the same time Dean’s recording career was in full swing with one hit after another to name but just a few, "I'll Always Love You", "If", "When You're Smiling", "Oh Marie", "I'd Cry Like a Baby", "Sway", " Memories Are Made of This", That's Amore." And the list of hits continued on and on up until his death in 1995.
In the early sixties he became noted as the King Of Las Vegas, and while the Beetles were a sensational hit during this era, he knocked them out of first place on the charts with his famous "Every Body Loves Somebody Sometime."
Indeed, Dean Martin’s solo not only proved everyone who wrote that he would not make it on his own. He even became more popular with his own television show that started on September 16, 1965. "The Dean Martin Show", which was televised every Thursday night at 10:00 P.M., over NBC. His television show was the highest rated show from 1965-to-the 1966 season. At that time his salary was $40,000 for an episode. Television home audiences loved Dean, and couldn’t get enough of his entertainment. In fact to keep Dean Martin on television, NBC made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. They increased his salary for a 3 year contract to $283,000.00 an episode, plus gave him shares of stock in NBC’s parent Company, RCA. He became the highest paid television star for only working 8 hours a week at that time.
On Christmas day December 25, 1995, Dean Martin passed away, and the world took notice. However, we may have lost one of the worlds best entertainers, Dean Martin. But in reality Dean Martin will always be with us. He will always be remembered as a legend of entertainment, who was a great artist in delivering a song, and a great actor who starred in approximately 51 movies. His recordings and movies, will always be with us to enjoy. In November 1999, Dean Martin Will Be Inducted Into The Broadcasting And Cable Hall Of Fame In New York with a special Ceremonies On November 8, 1999.
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