Today is Dean Martin’s 98th Birthday. Pretty much everyone knows Dean so there is really not much more I could add about him that most people don’t know. We all know he was a huge singer, movie star, stage star, radio star, and yes TV Star. His variety show in the 60’s and 70’s was one of the top shows on TV. We all know that he drank Ice Tea on stage and not bourbon. Something else most people know he was a savvy businessman. He sold out of the CalNeva Casino just before the Casino commission shut it down. He also was smart enough to get stock based compensation from NBC as part of his comp for his show. In fact when NBC sold to RCA, Dean Martin was the largest individual stockholder of NBC. We all know Dean was Frank Sinatra’s best friend. This is all nothing new.
What you don’t know is that I cannot remember a time in my life that I did not know and listen to Dean Martin. Yes I have memories of “Before Frank” not many but I do. If you have ever read this Blog you know that Frank Sinatra is my undisputed favorite, hell I even named my religion after him. But today it’s about my second favorite Mr. Dean Martin. My father loved Dean Martin and listened to him all the time. Unlike today when I drove with my Dad, we had to listen to his music not mine. I remember listening to the 8 – Track with the matchbook slipped inside so it would play. Songs like “King of the Road”, “Lay some Happiness on Me” which was my favorite as a kid and now my favorite is “Lil Ole Wine Drinking Me”. I love most of his music including his standards such as “That’s Amore” and “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime” which was his biggest hit. When that song hit number one and he knocked the Beatles out of the top slot, rumor has it he wrote Elvis and Frank that he was tired of waiting for them to knock them off.
Dean and his music, comedy (he was very funny) and movies are so interwoven into my life that I really couldn’t imagine him not being around.
Dean died on Christmas Day 1995; it’s hard for me to believe it almost 20 years. Thank God for musical recordings, videos and yes You Tube. Because of them we can all enjoy the talents of the Great Dean Martin.
So I ask you at some point today to raise a glass of Bourbon or Scotch and toast to one of the Greatest Entertainer there ever was. And remember HE WAS JUST TRYING TO HAVE A LITTLE FUN FOLKS!