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Why Dean Martin's Still so Cool
WPTZ ^ | Bob Greene

Posted on 04/14/2012 2:45:06 PM PDT by nickcarraway

A few years ago a group of us were having dinner at a steakhouse, and among the people at the table were the terrific sports columnist Mike Downey and his wife, Gail Martin. The manager of the place came over to say hello; introductions were made.

At one point in the evening I was making my way to the men's room and ran into the manager again. I said to him, "That Gail Martin you met? I think you're probably familiar with her late father."

"Who was her dad?" the man said.

"His first name was Dean," I said.

Within minutes the taped music that had been playing in the restaurant stopped, and a new tape was substituted -- a Dean Martin tape. Any steakhouse worthy of the name has his music on hand.

There it was, coming out of the ceiling: "You're nobody till somebody loves you. ..."

And just the sound of it -- just that instantly recognizable deep tremolo of Martin's voice, so warm and easy and seemingly effortless -- had an effect on the room. It was as if someone had sprayed some kind of invisible muscle relaxant into the air. People visibly loosened up, they smiled a little more, it was like a friend had arrived and had said: Quit worrying about things. Life doesn't have to be so serious.

He's been gone for more than 16 years now -- he died on Christmas Day, 1995 -- yet he seems to get only bigger as the years go by. I've been noticing it in recent days: That voice keeps drifting out of radios, out of television sets, out of hidden speakers in malls and coffee shops and clothing stores ... it's as if his voice, and his face, have by some sort of silent national acclamation been voted the quasi-official antidote for tense times. In a lousy mood? That changes as soon as you hear: "When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie. ..."

The coolness of Dean Martin seamlessly crosses generations; young guys heading for a weekend in Las Vegas with their buddies understand his appeal just as viscerally as their grandparents do. He never, in life, actively campaigned for this role -- the eternal model of coolness -- and in death it has just seemed to be bestowed upon him naturally.

His friend Frank Sinatra may have liked the image of being Chairman of the Board, but the core of Martin's enduring allure is that not only did he not want to be chairman, but he also didn't even want to serve on the board: It would mean that he would be cooped up in some boardroom for meetings when he'd rather be out playing golf. The sight of him in a tuxedo -- he wore it as comfortably as most men wear a pair of pajamas -- says to people who weren't even born when he was at the height of his fame: Take a deep breath and let yourself grin. Your problems can wait until tomorrow.

He didn't like to rehearse, his friends said, because he knew he would do just fine without it. As he grew older he didn't feel the need to endlessly seek out applause, because he had been so famous for so long -- his nightclub and motion picture partnership with Jerry Lewis, his own movie career, the Rat Pack years, his success as the host of his television shows, his sold-out concerts -- that he'd heard enough ovations to last a lifetime. His ease onstage made his audiences feel at ease, too; he seemed as at home in front of a packed Vegas concert crowd as he was in the den of his own house (his line at catching his first glimpse of an audience: "How did all these people get in my room?").

It had been a while since I'd talked with Gail Martin, but I called her the other evening, and she told me that, like the rest of us, she is forever encountering her dad's voice unexpectedly in public places: "It's always reassuring, it's always nice. I was in a store one holiday season, and there was a Christmas tape playing. A choir of some sort was singing a Christmas carol, and that ended and then there was my dad: 'Oh, the weather outside is frightful...' I just smiled a quiet smile. He's always there."

She said the reason he appeared so relaxed while working was because it wasn't an act. "Nothing seemed to bother him. And if something ever did, he sure wasn't going to bother anyone else with it." She said that when she was a girl and was in a bad mood at home, her dad, in that voice of voices, would say to her, without a bit of rancor: "Go up to your room if you're going to pout. Come on back down when you're happier."

In Florida the other night I was walking along the street and thought I heard him singing. It was a restaurant with an outdoor terrace; a local duo - -they billed themselves as Frank and Dean --- was performing in front of one of those digital music machines that can replicate the sound of a full orchestra.

The shorter of the two was singing Sinatra songs, the taller was doing Dean Martin. The physical resemblance wasn't really there, but the songs were right. Whenever it became the Dean imitator's turn for a tune, he would jack the vibrato in his vocals into overdrive: "Everybody loves somebody sometime ... "

And the thing is, the people at the cafe were gravitating toward him. They were on their feet, beaming, moving closer to the microphone, some of them dancing, some just blissfully staring, seduced by the sound.

The singer looked as if he was accustomed to getting this reaction. It turns out that it's cool to be Dean Martin even when you're not really Dean Martin. Ain't that a kick in the head?


TOPICS: Hobbies; Miscellaneous; Music/Entertainment
KEYWORDS: deanmartin
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1 posted on 04/14/2012 2:45:14 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

Once upon a time, men were men.


2 posted on 04/14/2012 2:47:33 PM PDT by ClearCase_guy (Like Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin has become simply a stick with which to beat Whites.)
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To: nickcarraway

He’s so cool, he’s actually cold. Dead cold.


3 posted on 04/14/2012 2:48:46 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Let us prey!)
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To: nickcarraway

Dean was da man. Talented and humble, a rare juxtaposition.


4 posted on 04/14/2012 2:49:05 PM PDT by gorush (History repeats itself because human nature is static)
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To: nickcarraway

Martin’s “drunk” act was just that, an act. He rarely drank..


5 posted on 04/14/2012 2:50:28 PM PDT by ken5050 (The ONLY reason to support Mitt: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will appear at the WH each Christmas)
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To: ClearCase_guy

-—Once upon a time, men were men.

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear: When men were men and sheep were nervous......

Sorry CC guy I couldn’t help myself!


6 posted on 04/14/2012 2:52:29 PM PDT by Autonomous User ( As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.)
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To: nickcarraway
to do is to be ~ Spinoza
to be is to do ~ Sartre

do be do be do be do ~ Dean Martin

7 posted on 04/14/2012 2:54:46 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (I think in about 5 - no, 4 - years I'll have had enough.)
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To: ClearCase_guy
Wonderful buckeye from Steubenville Ohio. His life took a tragic turn as he never recovered from the untimely accidental death of his son. It just took the starch out of Dino.

Great voice, great entertainer.

8 posted on 04/14/2012 2:55:23 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: nickcarraway

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktL0vsO-8rQ


9 posted on 04/14/2012 2:55:37 PM PDT by mkjessup (Finley Peter Dunne- "Politics ain't beanbag")
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To: All

The above URL in #9 leads to one of the most fun clips of Dean Martin and his good friend Phil Harris, it is simply perfection. Enjoy!


10 posted on 04/14/2012 2:56:53 PM PDT by mkjessup (Finley Peter Dunne- "Politics ain't beanbag")
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To: nickcarraway

The Rat Pack could even make standing look cool.

11 posted on 04/14/2012 2:57:58 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: nickcarraway
He's cool because he's a re'lar guy from east podunk ohio without a bit of pretension.

When he sings.. ♪When the moon hits you're eye like a big pizza pie♫ Thats Amore...♪

He's dead serious, that's who he is

12 posted on 04/14/2012 3:02:04 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: nickcarraway

I liked him in Airport.


13 posted on 04/14/2012 3:03:08 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: nickcarraway

I was born in ‘46. By the time I was 11 or 12, I was a Rock-a-Billy Punk! And I just loved everything about Dean Martin! Too cool fer school! Liking him was so out of character for me! But I sure did like him! I read that he was a big fan of Bing, and the Mills Brothers.


14 posted on 04/14/2012 3:04:19 PM PDT by Dr. Bogus Pachysandra ( Ya can't pick up a turd by the clean end!)
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To: nickcarraway
She said the reason he appeared so relaxed while working was because it wasn't an act.

Bingo!

15 posted on 04/14/2012 3:04:19 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: nickcarraway

I love the Time Life infomericals on videos and music. The one with Dino and his Roasts is classic. What a line up of superstars, and they didn’t have to be XXX rated to have a good time. Watch it if you ever get the chance, you’ll die laughing and longing for the good ol days.


16 posted on 04/14/2012 3:05:29 PM PDT by A_Former_Democrat
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To: the invisib1e hand

17 posted on 04/14/2012 3:06:19 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Larry Lucido

He hit Bisset made her preggers


18 posted on 04/14/2012 3:08:01 PM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom)
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To: nickcarraway

So who remembers the Golddiggers?

http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Wildest-Dreams-Alberici-Sisters/dp/1463564570/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334441051&sr=1-6


19 posted on 04/14/2012 3:08:27 PM PDT by AppyPappy (If you really want to annoy someone, point out something obvious that they are trying hard to ignore)
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To: nickcarraway

20 posted on 04/14/2012 3:08:27 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: nickcarraway
As the story goes:

"In 1963-1964, the music scene had changed tremendously. The Beach Boys and "Motown" had been the rage... but now a group was challenging everyone. They were called "The Beatles". Everywhere you turned it was the same... The Beatles... The Beatles... The Beatles!!! They were taking the country by storm. At times three or four of their songs were in the top thirty all at once.

The story goes that in August of 1964, Dean's son, Dino, was infatuated with the Beatles. Dean recalled, "All I heard from him was 'The Beatles...the Beatles'. I told him that while they were a good group, I could put out a record that could make a number one hit." Dean proved to his son that he was right. On August 15, 1964... the Beatles lost control of the charts. The number one song in the nation..."Everybody Loves Somebody".

21 posted on 04/14/2012 3:09:34 PM PDT by Baynative (Please check this out - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFIcZkEzc8I)
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To: al baby

I would hit it too. See 20.


22 posted on 04/14/2012 3:10:16 PM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: nickcarraway

How man generations loved his music.

His son, Dean Paul, of Dino, Desi and Billy fame, was a Phantom jet pilot in the Air National Guard and died in a plane crash in 1987. He held the rank of captain.


23 posted on 04/14/2012 3:11:02 PM PDT by Terry Mross
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To: A_Former_Democrat
you’ll die laughing and longing for the good ol days.

...when everyone had a cigarette in one hand and a mixed drink in the other while they told dirty jokes?

24 posted on 04/14/2012 3:11:21 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (I think in about 5 - no, 4 - years I'll have had enough.)
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To: nickcarraway
"Just lower your left arm a little, because we don't want to hide the twin cities".

25 posted on 04/14/2012 3:15:19 PM PDT by moehoward
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To: nickcarraway

Dean was the epitome of cool.. and damned funny, too. Went to a yard sale last week and found a” Dean Martin Roast” DVD featuring Johnny Carson and aed McMahon. The humor was so much more real and without all the BS sensitivites we se nowadays. That `60s and early `70s era was great!!


26 posted on 04/14/2012 3:22:41 PM PDT by ScottinVA (A single drop of American blood for muslims is one drop too many!)
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To: Larry Lucido

Come to think of it id hit Dean too he is a mans man


27 posted on 04/14/2012 3:23:34 PM PDT by al baby (Hi Mom)
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To: nickcarraway

One of the best popular singers ever. A funny guy too.


28 posted on 04/14/2012 3:24:37 PM PDT by luvbach1 (Stop the destruction in 2012 or continue the decline)
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To: Vince Ferrer
The Rat Pack could even make standing look cool.

A lot of it has to do with not being porkers.
29 posted on 04/14/2012 3:30:24 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: aruanan
A lot of it has to do with not being porkers.

You're right, and that brings up a thought about the picture. They are not really my generation, but I don't think I have ever heard them either collectively or individually be described as "thin" from contemporary sources. In that regard, they were pretty normal sized for the times. I don't know their ages in the photo, but even teen agers today have more fat on them than these adults.

30 posted on 04/14/2012 3:42:23 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: Vince Ferrer

Somebody should put out The Rat Pack Diet. Char-broiled steaks, unfiltered cigarettes, and ice cold Martinis.


31 posted on 04/14/2012 3:55:16 PM PDT by Argus
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To: Argus

I wonder if the rise in adult obesity correlates to the decline in smoking.


32 posted on 04/14/2012 4:02:01 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: Vince Ferrer
I wonder if the rise in adult obesity correlates to the decline in smoking.

It does for me personally. When I smoked, I was thin. Since I quit smoking, I have had a weight problem.

33 posted on 04/14/2012 4:08:56 PM PDT by jeannineinsd
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To: nickcarraway
They came from a time America's Halcyon days, To steal from Doc Savage a bit, the Chrome was thick and the Carb had four barrels and the fenders were made of American Steel.

Now, all we got instituionalized weenie-ism and these guys were never that, they were themselves, Italian heritage, but American to the core. They got America, and those of us from that background got it, and they were the beacon that we could make it too. (Thank you Mario Andretti as well in that regard)

I was blessed with a relative that could have been one of the rat pack a musician, but he didn't want to owe the guys with da crooked noses for his fame, so he passed on their offer. He knew many of these guys, especially Perry Como. And like the Dean's and Francis Albert, he was a natural entertainer and at ease, just oozed cool in his own way. I miss him dearly, and I am blessed to have known him, his amazing voice, and to have the honor to even sing with him on occasion.

34 posted on 04/14/2012 4:09:18 PM PDT by taildragger (( Palin / Mulally 2012 ))
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To: nickcarraway

From a more civilized age:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MWN_duZfIs


35 posted on 04/14/2012 4:11:56 PM PDT by GenXteacher (You have chosen dishonor to avoid war; you shall have war also.)
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To: nickcarraway

36 posted on 04/14/2012 4:15:14 PM PDT by taildragger (( Palin / Mulally 2012 ))
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To: Vince Ferrer
I wonder if the rise in adult obesity correlates to the decline in smoking.

it probably correlates more to child obesity, and so whutvyagot?

37 posted on 04/14/2012 4:49:43 PM PDT by the invisib1e hand (I think in about 5 - no, 4 - years I'll have had enough.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

“Once upon a time, men were men.”

Yep.....and the didn’t even have to
try, they just were.


38 posted on 04/14/2012 4:50:43 PM PDT by nvscanman
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To: taildragger
~sigh~ I should have been born 40 years sooner.
39 posted on 04/14/2012 4:55:58 PM PDT by liberalh8ter (If Barack has a memory like a steel trap, why can't he remember what the Constitution says?)
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To: hinckley buzzard

I don’t think anyone recovers from a childs death...the sadness lasts until your last breath..


40 posted on 04/14/2012 5:04:14 PM PDT by goat granny
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To: nickcarraway

“going to the couch”


41 posted on 04/14/2012 5:18:04 PM PDT by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: goat granny

Robin and the 7 Hoods.

Nuff said...


42 posted on 04/14/2012 5:19:47 PM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (Solyent Pink is Sheeple!!!!)
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To: nickcarraway

even Dean wore a “it’s Frank’s world, we just live in it” button.


43 posted on 04/14/2012 5:30:55 PM PDT by stylin19a
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To: the invisib1e hand
About a year ago I was somewhere out on the web and found a blog article started by a woman who for a month or so lived a 1950s lifestyle. She was very studious about it too. She would only use the technology available to the average 1950s household, not what was technologically available to only a few. She thought at first it wouldn't make a big difference, because most of the typical appliances and conveniences were available back then, such as refrigerators and tvs. However, the difference from then to now is that those items were still more luxuries, when today they are constantly used. For instance, since the average household only had one car, her husband drove to work, and she did everything by public transportation and walking. Chores were done of course, but they were done with more manual labor involved. They cut down on the tv severely, including the kids to what people in the 50s watched.

One of the results of the experiment she reported is how much weight she lost and how much more healthy she felt. She says this was due to the fact that a 1950s lifestyle had more physical exercise, disguised as just daily life. They also ate healthier, as people then cooked meals from scratch rather than prepackaged foods today with lots of fattening fillers.

44 posted on 04/14/2012 5:35:03 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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All contributions are for the Current Quarter Expenses.


45 posted on 04/14/2012 5:54:21 PM PDT by RedMDer (https://support.woundedwarriorproject.org/default.aspx?tsid=93)
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To: Dr. Bogus Pachysandra

“I read that he was a big fan of Bing”

Most pop singers in the 40’s and 50’s were influenced by Sinatra. But Dean’s singing style was a lot more like Bing Crosby’s.


46 posted on 04/14/2012 6:07:29 PM PDT by haroldeveryman
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To: nickcarraway

Now I’m just going to have to grab my Dean Martin CD and listen to it tonight. Thanks!


47 posted on 04/14/2012 6:10:12 PM PDT by fkabuckeyesrule (Lets institute SARAH-ia law in America!)
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To: nickcarraway

I have expressed this before but it is appropriate here. I believe that Dean Martin is perhaps the “coolest” man ever. It came naturally and that is why it was great. And his music! Open a bottle of wine, put Deano on the music machine and I will cook all day. My family loves it!


48 posted on 04/14/2012 6:15:58 PM PDT by Lando Lincoln (But that's just me.)
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To: nickcarraway

1) Dean Martin “roasts” can be seen on youtube

2) He was in Cannonball Run. How cool is that?


49 posted on 04/14/2012 6:16:43 PM PDT by ROTB (FReepmail me if you want to join a team seeking the LORD for a Christian revival now in the USA.)
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To: nickcarraway

“Dean” is a regular on the juke at the Irish Pub down the street. “Sammy” is also a regular — A black Jew who was an expert at spinning the six shooter on his stinky finger.


50 posted on 04/14/2012 6:21:47 PM PDT by Labyrinthos
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