P.O. BOX 660212 - ARCADIA, CALIFORNIA 91066 USA

  - BIOGRAPHY -

 BORN DINO CROCETTI

Dean Martin was born on June 7, 1917 in Steubenville, Ohio at 11:55 PM to Gaetano (Guy) and Angela Crocetti.

Along with older brother Bill, they attended Grant Elementary School in Steubenville. Dean took to playing drums in his local Boy Scout troupe.

Dino (his real name) had his first Holy Communion on May 15, 1927 and took the name "Paul" as his confirmation (middle) name on April 30, 1928.

 
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Some 'official' biographies tell of Dean's graduation from Steubenville High, but in reality, after moving around a lot, Dean quit in the tenth grade. "It was because I thought I was smarter than the teacher!," said Dean.

In Dino's High School years, he had tried working at so many jobs... a service station attendant, a shoe-shine boy, a store clerk, a steel-mill worker, and even a pretty good amateur welterweight boxer and prizefighter. Under the name of "Kid Crochet", Dino earned ten dollars a match and sometimes up to twenty-five.

The "Great Depression" was in bloom, and young Dino found himself delivering illegal liquor between state lines, sometimes selling lottery tickets and booked small betting for people to earn money. This led to the gambling establishments around Steubenville, where Dino became an expert dealer and croupier. Hanging around these "gambling joints", young Dino was exposed to the entertainers that came and went.

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 The Story goes that one night in August of 1934, Dino's friends pushed him up on stage to sing (since they heard him carry a pretty good tune during his daytime job)... and at age seventeen, the rest is history...

A few years later, Dino wound up at the "State Restaurant" in Columbus, Ohio, singing with the Ernie McKay Band (a local well known group)

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 The word eventually led to Sammy Watkins in nearby Cleveland, that this now 21 year old singer was good. Dean became Sammy's featured vocalist, and in 1940 began to take the city by storm. It was around this time (November 1, 1940) that Dino Paul Crocetti became Dean Martin

Dean married Elizabeth (Betty) Anne McDonald on October 2, 1941, and over the next few years had four children...

Stephen (Craig) born June 29, 1942 - Claudia born March 16, 1944 Barbara (Gail) born April 11, 1945 - Deana (Dina) born August 19, 1948

 September of 1943, Dean signed an exclusive contract with MCA to be able to sing at the Riobamba Room in New York, following the heels of another new sensation at the time... Frank Sinatra.

In 1944, Dean would have his own radio program called "Songs by Dean Martin" It was a 15 minute show from N.Y., where Dean would croon 4 or 5 songs

 

 Actually a very complicated story to tell... what wound up with Dean's pal, (singer) Sonny King formally introducing Dean to a young comic at the time... Jerry Lewis. They didn't work together until over a year later, when Dean was booked into the Havana-Madrid Club in March of 1946.

It seems that Angel Lopez (Havana's owner) struck a deal with Jerry's agent, Abby Greshler, to have these two perform on the same bill. Even though they were booked as separate performers, they seemed to get along well. After the club dates, both men went their separate ways.

In July of '46, Jerry was booked into the "500 Cafe" better known as the 500 Club. There is conflicting stories of how Dean landed at the 500 Club at the same time, but both stories concur that a singer was needed to "fill the bill ", and Jerry recommended Dean.

Right before Dean left for the "500 Club", he landed a recording contract with a small label called "Diamond Records". On Thursday July 11, 1946, Dean recorded his first four songs before heading for what was to become a history making event...

FAVORITE STATISTICS:

...................FAVORITE COLOR: BLUE.................... ........FAVORITE FOOD: ITALIAN & SPANISH........ HOBBIES: GOLFING, SLEEPING IN LATE, ................WATCHING OLD WESTERNS................ .............HEIGHT: 6'0" .... WEIGHT : 175lbs.............. ............HAIR: BLACK ........ EYES : BROWN.......... .....INTERESTING FACT : HATED ELEVATORS..... 

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THE BIOGRAPHY YOU ARE READING IS A CONDENSED VERSION OF THE MAGNIFICENT STORY. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LIFE AND CAREER OF DEAN MARTIN... JOIN THE DEAN MARTIN FAN CENTER (JUST PRESS "CLUB INFO")

 

 

 

 

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