[They All] Came Running

As Dean Martin started his solo career after his partnership with Jerry Lewis ended, he wanted to be known as a serious actor. Though when we all think of Dean Martin, we usually think of his humor and charm, he wanted to be able to make it in the world of serious acting, not just slapstick comedy.

The beginning of Dean’s comeback was marked by his role in the 1958 film The Young Lions, also starring Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift. The movie did well and did wonders for the beginning of Dean’s serious acting career.

Frank and Dean in the 1958 film Some Came Running.
Frank and Dean in the 1958 film Some Came Running.

After this film, he starred in his very first film with Frank Sinatra: the acclaimed 1958 drama Some Came Running. The movie also starred Shirley Maclaine, and perhaps even more than being a great movie and very successful, it brought Martin and Sinatra together. They had met before, but this was their first time working together. I’m not sure how historically accurate this is, but in my own opinion, this is the moment that started it all. Frank and Dean became very good friends with each other (and also Shirley Maclaine who became the only female member of the Rat Pack) and everything took off from there.

By the mid 1960’s, Dean was on fire. Making movies and singing, he’d really made a name for himself and he’d done a terrific job. But this is where I bring our section of narrative on Dean a little bit more together with Frank. Some sources say that Frank considered Dean his best friend, and I love that.

Though the Rat Pack was never any sort of official partnership, Frank and Dean (and the others, of course) continued to sing and act together. And boy, did the crowds come running!

frank and deanWhen you hear the names of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, rarely do you ever think of a time other than when the Rat Pack was at it’s peak. They made history with song and movies, but also played much more of an integral role in each other’s lives than I think any of us will ever know.

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Dream A Little Dream Of Me

Dino youngDean Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti on June 7, 1917 in Steubenville, Ohio, the son of Italian immigrants. And as if Dean Martin couldn’t get any cooler, the facts about his early life pre-career are incredible!

After dropping out of high school in the 10th grade, Dean’s life took some very interesting turns! He bootlegged liquor, served as a speakeasy croupier, dealt blackjack, worked in a steel mill, and boxed as a welterweight. In the boxing world he dubbed himself “Kid Crochet” and earned a broken nose, which was later straightened, and a lot of bruises.

Giving up boxing moved him on to his position as a croupier in andean in the ring illegal casino, and at the same time began singing with local bands. At this time he called himself Dino Martini after an opera tenor. In the early 1940’s he started singing for band leader Sammy Watkins who suggested that he change his name to Dean Martin.

Dean married his first wife Elizabeth “Betty” Anne McDonald in 1941 and they had four children together.

Although Dean continued to sing in nightclubs and with various bands, he didn’t enjoy the same success as Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra at first. He was yet another name in a world where many singers had the same style, which encouraged him to keep singing with different bands until he developed his own paired with his irresistible charm.

Though Dean didn’t do well when performing in a nightclub in New York just after Frank, it did set the stage for them to meet.

dean and jerryThings didn’t really take off for him until he teamed up with Jerry Lewis. They met at a nightclub in New York and formed a fast friendship which led to a ten year partnership. To this day the antics and laughter which they brought to their audiences are still enjoyed and loved. Though they both moved on to separate careers and lives, it is still very common to hear their names in a sentence together.

Dean and Jerry Lewis did enjoy a lot of success together. But it seems that even after it ended, there was still an entire world waiting for Dean.

Aren’t You Glad You’re You?

celebrateIn a recent post I briefly mentioned the things coming on Singing About Sinatra. It is, after all, a very important year in the world of Sinatra fans. With the Sinatra Centennial only five months away, I have known that I wanted to do some great things on this blog to bring in the celebrating. But I just could not think of anything extraordinary to do. Until today!

Yes, it’s true. I’ve figured it out! I’ve thought of an incredible way that we can bring in the Sinatra Centennial together, and I cannot tell you how excited I am. It is to the point where there are butterflies in my stomach and everything.

It occurred to me earlier today that one of the things that made Frank who he was were the people in his life. He once said, “I would like to be remembered as a man who had a wonderful time living life, a man who had good friends, fine family – and I don’t think I could ask for anything more than that, actually.” The people in Frank’s life were crucial to him!

It is for this reason that, in the months leading up to the Sinatra Centennial, I have decided to spend time featuring the different people that Frank loved and admired. His friends and family, the people that he spent his time with. The people that helped make Frank who he was.

Here’s how this is going to work: I’ll introduce our featured individual and spend posts talking about them, their life, and of course, how they were so important in Frank’s life. Aren’t you glad you get to be a part of this?

At this time, I’m very excited to introduce our first featured individual to you this evening. There were many, many people that I could’ve chosen from to be first, and many of them will most definitely appear later. But for innumerable reasons, there was really only one choice when it came down to it. So, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to Singing About Sinatra:

deanDean Martin!

Oh, what can words really say about Dean Martin? I could spend hours and hours telling you how much I love and adore Dean Martin. Let me put it this way: if I wasn’t doing a Frank Sinatra blog, I’d be doing a Dean Martin blog. Dean Martin is absolutely amazing. Like I mentioned, there really are no words.

In the upcoming posts, I will be delighted to share some about Dean’s own life and career. Make sure you stick around for that! I am so excited to get to share the next handful of posts with you discussing the one and only Dean Martin!

Say It

“Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest.” It is one of my all time favorite Frank Sinatra quotes. I like it because of what it says about character, confidence, and honesty.

frankAs with any megastar, much of Frank’s life was an open book. You’ll find no shortage of books about him, and opinions of what everybody thinks he was “really” like. Well, as much as I’d like to say otherwise, I didn’t know Frank either. I decided early on that because of that, I would rely on what he said about himself and what those that were closest to him said about him. I think that’s the best way to try and understand it all.

It was when I stumbled upon this quote that my research into Frank really opened up. It makes perfect sense. Frank’s story lies in his music, in his truest way of expressing himself. When he sang, he believed. It was when he was the most honest. Who was Frank Sinatra? Who was the person behind The Voice? To find out, all you have to do is listen.

Taking A Chance On Love

There are lots of risks involved with living. I’ve come to realize, the older I get, how complex we as human beings are. Everything abFrank Sinatra.out the way we live is a risk. If you start thinking about life this way, we sound like a bunch of crazy people just throwing ourselves in the path of emotional or physical destruction daily. Well, today I wanted to talk about a risk in my life.

Whether you think of it this way or not, this blog was a huge risk for me. I started this blog for one reason, and one reason only. I did not start this blog for recognition of any kind or to start debates on controversial issues or any of a million other things. I started this blog because I love Frank Sinatra.

I love his music, his movies. I love reading about him. I love how studying about his life has taught me a lot about life. I love how his music turns a bad day into a great one instantly. I love how, no matter what, Frank Sinatra is timeless and wonderful. Whether you are a fan of his or not, you simply cannot argue with his success or his impact. I mean…it’s Frank Sinatra.

But nevertheless, there was a lot of risk involved. I was throwing myself out there with something I’m very passionate about, and as we all know that can go downhill very quickly. But I decided that none of that mattered. That this is something that makes me happy, and sharing it would also make me happy, even if it was only with one person.

When I first started this blog, the amount of followers I received started to really, really matter to me. I mean, come on! I lyricscan’t be the only one left on this earth who loves Frank. But the more that I have written this blog and thought about it, I’ve been reminded of the reason I started all of this to begin with. I started this blog because I love Frank Sinatra, not because I was trying to prove something or gain validation. Because there is absolutely zero validation needed.

With the Sinatra Centennial this year, I’ve been doing a more than usual amount of thinking about Frank and about this blog of mine. As a self proclaimed bobbysoxer, I feel obligated to make this year one of amazing celebrations. I don’t know how it will turn out, to be honest with you. But what I do know is that no matter what happens here on Singing About Sinatra, I am so incredibly glad for this risk I have taken.

Here I go again
I hear those trumpets blow again
All aglow again
Taking a chance on love…

Come Back To Sorrento

Hello, From the Bobbysoxer!

As I’ve contemplated a way to write this post, many things have come into my mind. One of the things that I’ve often thought is that you may not believe that it’s actually me over here! You have, in fact, been getting not so consistent automated posts for about a year. I’m really sorry about that by the way. But it is true, it is me, I am back!

Frank and I welcome you back on board!
Frank and I welcome you back on board!

Well, it is an interesting turn my life has taken. I have returned home from serving my mission 6 months early due to some health reasons. I have not been home very long, but have also been a little bit hesitant to get back into the blogging scene. Partly because I think that I’ve been away from it longer than I was ever in it! But, I’m here, and it’s good to be with all of you again. As I’ve thought about it, I think I will allow the posts that are set to be published at the first of each month continue to be published. I was reading over them the other day and I actually really like them. So we’ll keep that going.

I have to say, coming home from serving a mission has been quite the experience! Mostly because my life was 100% gospel every day, and now I’m transitioning back into normal life. But, wow! It was a truly incredible experience, one that I don’t regret one second of and will be eternally grateful for. It is unbelievable to me how much the experience truly changed me, many things about me, but into simply a better person overall than I was. Serving others and teaching them about Jesus Christ gave me such a different perspective of life. It gave me such an appreciation for all I have been blessed with, and it filled me with a greater desire to help make the world a better place.

As of right now, I’ve no master plan on how I think I might do that. But I do want to take it on wholeheartedly, and swan dive into a life that God wants me to live and a life that will bless the lives of those around me. I want to create and inspire and spread peace and joy in any way that I can.

And what about you? What has happened in everybody’s lives this past year? I hope good things! I will also say this: it is so, so fabulous to be back on Singing About Sinatra to celebrate with y’all! As this year is the absolutely magnificent Sinatra Centennial, we’ve a lot to catch up on!

Begin The Beguine

222ffc153d49a6cba7fc520b2174dd0eI’m back! After four months, I’m back! And….drum roll, please!!!!!

Happy Frank Sinatra Day, everyone! Oh, it’s always such a great day! Everybody celebrate and have a wonderful day, let me know how it went. It’s a wonderful time and definitely something to celebrate!

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

adb0ede4c871c64da01e89dcf2425290Happy, happy December! I hope that each and every one of you have an absolutely amazing Christmas season this year. I wish that I could do a wonderful countdown and everything like we did for Frank Sinatra Day, but it is not meant to be, I suppose. So, that being the case, please don’t forget to celebrate on December 12!

This month is happy 99th birthday to wonderful, amazing, spectacular Frank. I won’t be able to celebrate, so when the 12th roles around, please do so!

Happy Birthday, Frank!!!!!

And Merry Christmas!!!

Get Happy

Frank sitting in his happy chair.
Frank sitting in his happy chair.

Fun fact: Frank’s favorite color was orange. He thought that it was a happy color. For all the show business and night life, Frank was an intensely private person who just wanted to be happy. Kind of like the rest of us. Keep that in mind this November, and don’t forget to be grateful for all of the things that make you happy.