Who was/is Dean Martin ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
That life had its origin when Dean Martin's father was born in the Abruzzi region of Italy in 1894 and emigrated to the U.S. in 1913. He Americanized his first name ‘Gaetano’ becoming barber ‘Guy’ Crocetti who would marry Angela Barra the following year on October 25, 1914. Dean's mom was born in Fernwood, Ohio in 1897 and met Guy while she was studying to be a nun! Dean is quoted in a 1967 ‘Look’ article as admitting, "She was in a convent. She met my father, and fell in love at first sight. She left the convent, and she married him two weeks later." The Crocettis’ first child, Bill, was born on June 24, 1916. His brother entered the world as Dino Paul Crocetti less than a year later on June 7, 1917. The family lived at 319 South Sixth Street, Steubensville, and Dean was baptized at St. Anthony of Padua's Church on September 16th of that year. He didn't speak any English until the age of five.
Dean's childhood was filled with fond memories as he remembered during an interview with the ‘Saturday Evening Post’ in April 1961. "We Crocettis had everything we wanted. I had a bicycle. We had a car and good food. As a cook, my mother was the greatest. Her specialties were spaghetti and meat balls, veal and peppers or sausage and peppers."
Dean attended Grant Junior High and Wells High schools and was a Boy Scout in Steubenville's troop ten. He quit school in the tenth grade because, as he noted, "I thought I was smarter than the teachers." A succession of jobs followed, including a stint when he boxed in the welterweight division as ‘Kid Crochet’. This left him with a permanently split lip, crooked hands and a broken nose.
While in his teens, Dean worked in Ohio's steel mills bundling hot coils.
"We had big platforms half a block long; hot coils of steel wire came down on them," he recalled in 1961. "They cooled as they came because there was water splashing on them. At a certain point a buddy of mine and I would bang the end of a coil with a hammer, I'd pull a lever and the coil went into a boxcar." When he narrowly avoided being hit by a falling bundle, Dean decided to try his hand at another profession.
In the 1930s, Steubenville was known as ‘Little Chicago’ due in large part to its gambling houses. During the Depression, Dean delivered bootleg whiskey throughout Ohio and across the river in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. He also worked as a clerk at the Rex Cigar Store on Steubenville's Market Street, which was a front for one of the town's gambling centers. He dealt poker and blackjack in the back room and expertly handled the stick as a croupier, raking money off the gambling tables. Dean elaborated, "I learned to roll the wheel, how to shoot craps, how to deal blackjack... my salary for working the chips and the dice tables was eight bucks a day. Tips brought that up to fifteen or twenty dollars. Also, I did a little knocking down. During the course of a day I could steal maybe as much as five silver dollars."
But Martin wasn't just a good croupier, he was also good looking. He admitted to ‘Look’ magazine in 1952, "I was the kind of guy who'd walk down the street and people would turn around and look after me." And from a very early age, he discovered another talent: singing.
In the September 18, 1965 issue of ‘TV Guide’, Dean's first cousin Mary related the following: "Dino somehow... acquired a record player, an old one, the kind that you had to wind up after each record. He collected records of singers; I can't remember all of them, but I do know that his favorites were Bing Crosby and Russ Columbo. He'd play their records over and over, and sing with them."
Throughout the years, Dean always acknowledged his debt to Crosby. In 1961 he told journalist Pete Martin, "I copied Bing Crosby 100%. Frank Sinatra and Perry Como did too." Six years later, he confided to Oriana Fallaci, a reporter for ‘Look’, "When a Bing Crosby movie came to Steubenville, I would stay there all day and watch. And that's how I learned to sing, cause it's true I don't read a note. He was the teacher for all of us." And in the September 1969 issue of ‘Billboard’ he remarked, "We all sound a little bit like him because he didn't strain when he was singing. He just let it flow naturally."
from Bear book BCD15781 - Dean Martin Memories Are Made Of This (8-CD)
Read more at: https://www.bear-family.de/martin-dean-memories-are-made-of-this-8-cd.html
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