Sunday, January 14, 2007
On this day in music history, January 14, 1956, Dean Martin had the first #1 song of the year with Memories Are Made of This. Not bad for a poor kid from Steubenville, Ohio. He was born Dino Crocetti and held many jobs from gas station attendent to boxer before deciding on a career in show business as a singer. He made the change he said because he was tired of getting punched in the mouth and cleaning windshields. He was doing well as a nighclub singer but he really took off when he teamed up with a new nightclub comedian who was not doing too well at the time. The comedian as many know was Jerry Lewis. Their chemistry started a fire that burned bright for many years. Together they had hit movies, TV shows and club apperances. Dean never had a recording contract before they got together but he signed with Capitol records and had many hits for them. Memories Are Made of This started his year out right as it was #1 for 5 weeks. By the end of the 1950's Martin and Lewis broke up. Jerry was the comedian and no one worried how well he would do. They did wonder about Dean's solo career. They didn't have to worry as he was a fine singer and a pretty good comedian himself. That was a side that was rarely seen in his previous movies as most of the funny lines were given to Jerry. He had hits in musical/romantic comedies like Bells Are Ringing. His spoof of the spy movies in the Matt Helm series were also big hits. He also did war dramas like the Young Lions and westerns with John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart as well as the crime drama Ocean's Eleven with all of the Rat Pack in the cast. In his later years he became know for his hit variety series and his Dean Martin's Roast. It was in his TV shows where his comedy really shined. A short time before he died he had started a tour with his old friends Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. On December 25, 1995 he passed away at the age of 78 from acute respiratory failure at his home in Beverly Hills, Ca.
If you want to get a copy of the photo you can click on the title above and it will take you to the site where it can be purchased.