Dean Martin Biography
18 June 2009
These are just a few things that Dino did in his entertainment life. He was “second in command” behind Frank Sinatra during the affluent years of the Rat Pack. Martin's story is the true American dream.
“Dino,” contrary to popular belief, isn't a nickname. Born to Italian immigrants in Steubenville, Ohio on June 17, 1917, Dean Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti. Steubenville is directly on the Ohio-West Virginia line - not a lot of Italian immigrants had made the trek that far south from New York and New Jersey.
Dino stood out in this environment, only speaking Italian for a lot of his childhood, and quit school at the age of 16 to work in a steel mill. Dino ran liquor for bootleggers and worked as a croupier for the local speakeasy before deciding to follow in his idols' - Bing Crosby's - footsteps.
With so many acts singing the same songs at the time, Dino would experience a slight twist of irony: Not wanting to stand out, everyone noticed him - but needing to stand out, he blended right in.
It wasn't until 1946 - with acts like Sinatra already famous - that Dean picked up a head of steam with his song “Which Way Did My Heart Go?” Dean's star started to rise after, and he met acts such as Jerry Lewis and went on to record a few hit songs and star in Hollywood movies like My Friend Irma.
Throughout the ‘50s, Dino starred in many big budget (for the times) movies, including At War with the Army, Jumping Jacks, and Artists and Models, to name a few. The Martin and Lewis machine had taken over the silver screen for 7 years.
After the duo split in 1956, many questioned whether or not Dino's act - both singing and movies - could recover. Martin silenced critics by starring with Marlon Brando in The Young Lions and starting his own variety show in 1958. Dino also introduced his phenomenally successful hit, Volare, that same year.
In the early 1960s, Dean's fame was undeniable; but for someone who was known the world over, he was rarely seen out like so many stars of the day. At this point in Dean's life, he simply wanted to be an entertainer, but didn't want the ensuing noticeable fame.
He would join forces with Joey Bishop, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford and Frank Sinatra to form The Rat Pack. Martin's fame had grown so much in fact, he even overtook the Beatles' #1 spot on the charts with his song “Everybody Loves Somebody.”
Martin continued to experience enormous success throughout the ‘60s and the early part of the ‘70s. His health then started to deteriorate in the mid ‘70s, and after his son, Dean Paul, died in a plane crash in 1987, Dino became reclusive. No one saw or heard much from Martin for the remainder of his life. Martin died on Christmas Day in 1995.
Tags: frank sinatra, rat pack, joey bishop, sammy davis jr, dean martin, peter lawford, 50s, 60s, 70s, dino, volare, marlon brando, at war with the army, jumping jacks, artists and models, the young lions, which way did my heart go, dino paul crocetti, steubenville,
Posted In: Biographies, Entertainment History,
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Rememberthe70s - 07 February 2010
|"“You Skinny Hebrew”By: Dean Dino MartinNever before Available to the General Public(A 1953 humorous & satirical birthday tribute song from Dean Martin to Jerry Lewis)Dean Martin (June 7, 1917 - December 25, 1995), born Dino Paul Crocetti in Steubenville, Ohio to Italian immigrant parents, Gaetano and Angela Crocetti.Martin and Lewis' official debut together occurred at Atlantic City's 500 Club on July 24, 1946 and they were not well received.. More than a few people dubbed them "The Organ Grinder and the Monkey".Lewis and Martin agreed to "go for broke", to throw out the pre-scripted gags and to improvise. Dean sang and Jerry came out dressed as a busboy, dropping plates and making a shambles of both Martin's performance and the club's sense of decorum until Lewis was chased from the room as Martin pelted him with breadrolls. They did slapstick, reeled off old vaudeville jokes, and did whatever else popped into their heads at the moment. This time, the audience doubled over in laughter. This success led to a series of well-paying engagements on the Eastern seaboard, culminating in a triumphant run at New York's Copacabana.The act broke up in 1956, 10 years to the day from the first official teaming.Dino made a public reconciliation with Jerry Lewis on Lewis' Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon in 1976. Frank Sinatra shocked Lewis and the world by bringing Martin out on stage. As Martin and Lewis embraced, the audience erupted in cheers and the phone banks lit up, resulting in one of the telethon's most profitable years. Lewis reported the event was one of the three most memorable of his life. Lewis brought down the house when he quipped, "So, you working?" Martin, playing drunk, replied that he was "at the Meggum" - this reference to the MGM Grand Hotel convulsed Lewis. This, along with the death of Martin's son Dean Paul Martin a few years later, helped to bring the two men together. They maintained a quiet friendship but only performed together again once, in 1989, on Dean's 72nd birthday.Martin died of acute respiratory failure at his home on Christmas morning 1995, at the age of 78.“You Skinny Hebrew”By: Dean Dino MartinNever before Available to the General Public(A 1953 humorous & satirical birthday tribute song from Dean Martin to Jerry Lewis)"|
|"Hey pallie Casino Man, thanks for liftin' up the name of our Dino with this stellar Dinobio helpin' more and more pallies to know, love, and honor our Dino. Never was, never will be anyone as cool as the King of Cool...oh to return to the days when Dino walked the earth...."|
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