Sunday, December 23, 2007

Carl Sagin's Global Warming Christmas Special with our Dino

Hey pallies, here's a way cool clip of Tommy Hanks playin' our Dean Martin in Carl Sagin's Global Warming Christmas Special. If you wanna see the clip in the original blogger's page, just click on the title of this Dinopost. Have a great Dinowintercelebration!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Dino sing the Christmas Blues

Hey pallies, here's 'nother great Dinowintersong...."The Christmas Blues." Our Dino really makes us feel the blue side of Dinowintertime and indeed as we comemerate our Dino's leavin' us on December 25, we all just have to feel a bit blue.

our Dino sings White Christmas

Hey pallies, no one, and I mean no one sings winter like our man Dean Martin. Here's Dino doin' "White Christmas" for our Dinoviewin' and Dinolistenin' Dinopleasure. Seems like the radios play much more Dinosongs durin' like could it be Dinowinter all year?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dino and the frankie sing Marshmellow World

Hey pallies, Dinowinterday is comin' soon and no one sings winter like our great man. Here's a great Dinoclip from the 1967 Dinowinterspecial that featured family Martin and famiy Sinatra....our Dino is just the mellowest!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

"I've aways thought of Dean Martin as everybody's mischievous drunkie uncle."

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Hey pallies, here's a great Dinotrib from the Toronto Star newspaper. This dude Patrick McKenna is a true Dinoholic for Dinosure. If you wanna read the post in it's original form, just click on the title of the Dinoblog Dinopost!

Take it from us, pally: Dean was `king of cool'

Patrick McKenna
Dean devotee

I've always thought of Dean Martin as everyone's mischievous drunken uncle. You know, the one who makes parties so much fun.

Sure, Uncle Dean is going to say something off-colour, drink and flirt too much, but at some point in the evening he's going to sing and all will be forgiven.

Wouldn't it be great to be as carefree, confident and successful as Uncle Dean seemed to be?

Whether he was singing and dancing and setting up his frenetic partner, Jerry Lewis, or reinventing himself as a solo act in front of a Vegas audience, then moving on to be a leading man in films as a cowboy or secret agent, Dean always took the laid-back, smooth approach. His albums and television show embraced such an ease that he made Perry Como look energetic.

But let's not forget the mischief. Dean's charming mischief, delivered through twinkling eyes and a smiling face, made his humour and music impossible to resist.

Nobody can sing "Baby, It's Cold Outside" the way Dean coerces his prey into staying the night, or get away with calling women "pigs," as he did in the film Some Came Running.

And still they find him sexy. If I don't compliment my wife's choice of shoes twice a day, I'm tagged "an inconsiderate slob!" Oh, to be blessed with charming mischief.

But men found Dean charming as well. Not just because he drank, smoked and got to hang out with Marilyn Monroe – all of which are fine reasons, too – but for something as simple as always calling guys "pally."

Sure, it was because he didn't know or remember your name ... but "pally" is inclusive, an endearment. Whereas "pal" can be threatening as in "Look, pal ..." or "Listen here, pal ..." By simply adding the "ly," Dean made everyone feel like one of the guys.

Now, I don't want you to think Dean was all style over substance. Only real talent could knock The Beatles out of their 1964 streak of No. 1 hits the way Dean did with his release of "Everybody Loves Somebody."

Which, incidentally, Frank Sinatra had previously released back in 1948 – and which only reached No. 25 on the charts.

The "cool quotient" argument between Martin and Sinatra fans is a silly one. Especially if you think it was Sinatra ...

But, honestly, both men were incredibly talented and incredibly cool in so many ways. To me, though, Dean's panache came from a natural place – he didn't have to scream or demand it the way Frank seemed to.

Dean's cool came from not caring what other people thought. He was as comfortable in a Sy Devore tuxedo as he was in golf attire. As comfortable being a crooner or a comedian as he was a playboy or cowboy. The man had confidence and the talent to back it up.

Even Elvis noted, "I may be the king of rock 'n' roll, but Dean Martin is the king of cool."

So there! You can argue with me all you want, but are you really going to argue with Elvis Presley about cool?

Didn't think so, pally.


Hey pallies, here's some great tribs to the Rat Pack.....even better if you view it in it's original source at the Toronto just click on the title of this Dinoblog Dinopost and view it in it's original Dinoglory!

Rat Pack still rulers of cool

Original Rat Pack members pose outside the legendary Sands Hotel in Las Vegas in 1959 during a break from filming Ocean’s 11. From left: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.

Dean vs. Frank: Who was cooler? They're making it a groovy Christmas A rat pack glossary

Bag: A particular area of interest, as in "Not my bag, baby" (also "thing")

Big Casino, The: Dead, death (also "cash out," "check out," "dirt nap")

Bird: Specifically, a reference to male genitalia; generally, as an inquiry about the state of a pally's sex life, as in "How's your bird?" (also "hey hey" – more often a reference to the actual act)

Broad: One of several offensively sexist Pack euphemisms for an attractive woman – though somehow less mean-spirited and more socially acceptable at the time (also "chick," "dame," "doll," "mouse," "pussycat," "skirt," "tomato")

Bum: A nobody; a has-been; a heel; a journalist (also "bunter," "creep," "crumb," "fink," "punk")

Cat: Another cool guy

Charlies: Breasts

Clam-bake: A party or get-together (also "shin-dig")

Clyde: Straight, square, uncool (also "Charlie," "Harvey," "Sam")

Coo-coo: Terrific, great – see also "groovy," "The End"

Crazy: See "coo-coo"

Croaker: Doctor (also "saw-bones")

Dig: An enthusiasm for, as in "I dig that jazz."

The End: The very best, often modified with "livin'," as in "The Livin' End" (also "gas," "gasser")

Fracture: To laugh or make laugh (also "kill," "knock 'em dead," "murder," "paralyze")

Gasoline: Jack Daniels

Groovy: See "The End" – most often employed by Sammy

Hacked: Angry

Joint: A nightclub, bar or showroom (also, more regularly, "saloon")

Locked up: A sure thing

Pally: Term of inclusive endearment, as in "Hey pally, how's your bird?" (also "baby," "buddy," "chum")

Ring-a-ding: Expression of enthusiasm, approval – see "groovy," "The End"

Solid: See "groovy"

Swing: To make enjoyable, to celebrate, make merry, as in "This joint swings!," or "That cat can swing!"

"ville": As in Dullsville, Endsville, Nowheresville, Scramsville, Splitsville, Squaresville. Places you never want to go. Unless you're a Clyde.

- Rob Salem

They're making it a groovy Christmas Ring-a-ding-ding, Santa, the Rat Pack's here for the holidays.Only a Clyde wouldn't know Frank, Dean, Sammy et al. remain the quintessence of hip

Dec 15, 2007 04:30 AM
Rob Salem
entertainment columnist

They're all gone now ... Peter Lawford was first, in 1984. Sammy Davis, Jr. died in 1990. Dean Martin cashed in his chips on Christmas Day, 1995, and Frank Sinatra followed in May of 1998. Joey Bishop, the last of the Pack, packed it in just last October.

The Sands Hotel, site of their greatest triumph, was demolished in 1996 to make way for the more elaborate, family-friendly attractions of the faux-Italian theme park, The Venetian.

The Rat Pack is dead. Long live the Rat Pack.

The coo-coo quintet – though really, in essence, its central trio – were the rulers of cool back in Camelot America, when Kennedy, the youngest, hippest president ever, was ascending to the White House, there was a brief, relatively peaceful calm between the Korean War and Vietnam, and youthful rebellion was still pretty much limited to loud rock 'n' roll and even louder apparel.

They were simpler times ... which goes a long way to explaining why the era is suddenly upon us again, in terms of culture and style, if not historical reality.

Rat Pack style is everywhere – even the hip-hop crowd is trading in its butt-baring, oversized track-suit and bling thing for nicely tailored suits with thin lapels, skinny ties, fedoras or pork-pie hats. The up-do in on the upswing, along with cocktail dresses, gloves and clutch-bags for women.

Martinis and high-balls are the libations of choice, and Michael Bublé is climbing the charts as even the iPod generation embraces ring-a-ding swing.

Mad Men, a painstakingly detailed period drama about Madison Avenue in the early '60s – currently in re-runs on AMC – is one of the few break-out hits of the TV season.

And next Thursday, a literal revival hits town, a seasonal edition of the long-running roadshow tribute, Christmas with the Rat Pack: Live from Las Vegas, featuring Frank, Dean and Sammy impersonators and a full-on orchestra recreating the show that might have been, but never can be again (but while it is, it runs Dec. 20-31 at the Princess of Wales).

Given their enduring and resurgent impact, not to mention the voluminous background material contained in today's comprehensive "Rat Package," it is somewhat surprising to note that the entire phenomenon was, in duration, the tiniest blip on the cultural curve, petering out almost as soon as it peaked thanks to flower power, bell-bottoms, the Beatles invasion and the Summer of Love.

They weren't even really the "Rat Pack," having inherited that name from the Holmby Hills crowd who hung out at Judy Garland and Sid Luft's in the1950s, among them Bogart and Bacall, Tracy and Hepburn, George Cukor and Swifty Lazar, David Niven ... and a young Frank Sinatra.

When Sinatra formed his own social circle, they initially referred to themselves as "The Summit," then "The Clan" – though that one was quickly vetoed by Sammy. They never did call themselves the Rat Pack.

And again, it was the key three, not the commonly accepted five, who would in fact never all work together again as a unit after filming Ocean's 11.

To be frank (so to speak), Lawford and Bishop were at best peripheral, the former, with his Kennedy and Marilyn connections, representing tragedy, the latter, synchronistically, comedy relief. Sammy, indisputably the most supremely talented of the group, was often as much a pet as a pally, nicknamed "Smokey" and constantly chided and derided on stage, though as much for being Jewish, short and one-eyed as for being black.

And to be fair, the Pack, and Sinatra in particular, made enormous strides in redressing the institutionalized inequities Sammy and other minority performers were still forced to endure.

At the centre of it all though, it was Frank and Dean, respectively, perhaps, the group's ego and id.

We'll let our expert enthusiasts argue which one was the true king of cool.

The point is, almost 50 years have passed, and they haven't gone away.

Truly, in the best possible sense, a "livin' end."

The Essential Rat Pack

As noted by our guest columnists Colin Mochrie and Patrick McKenna, "One for My Baby" for Frank and "Everybody Loves Somebody" for Dean. Alternately, respectively, "My Way" and "That's Amore."

Sammy will forever be identified with "Mr. Bojangles" and "Candyman," though he apparently hugely resented the career-reviving international success of the latter.


Hands down, The Rat Pack Live at the Sands Hotel. Frank, Dean and Sammy in their prime, singing and kibitzing – mostly kibitzing – before a sold-out audience of avid celebrity fans. If you want to see what we're talking about, check out the annotated DVD-Audio release of Rat Pack Live at the Villa Venice, a 1962 Chicago show reportedly staged at the request of mob boss Sam Giancana.


The original Ocean's Eleven, made at the height of their collective powers in 1960. The coo-coo cool caper classic has been retroactively trashed thanks to the Clooney-Pitt remake of 2001. But it is quite a remarkable accomplishment, not only for its cultural impact, but the fact it was shot, more often than not, in single takes, in between ritual steam baths, all-night parties, gambling, womanizing and double sets at the Sands.

By far the best retrospective look at the Rat Pack phenomenon is the 1998 HBO biopic, The Rat Pack, directed by Rob Cohen (Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story) and featuring quite uncanny evocations of Dean and Sammy by Ray Mantegna and Don Cheadle (Ray Liotta's Frank, not so much). It's available on DVD.


Honourable mention, of course, to the various Sinatra specials and short-run series, and Sammy's endless episodic appearances – notably, the infamous Archie Bunker kiss on a 1972 All in the Family and, for my money, his 1969 Mod Squad guest role (one of three) as Father John, the cool priest who could talk to the kids.

However, it was The Dean Martin Show (but not the spin-off "Celebrity Roasts"), which ran from 1965 to 1974, that perfectly encapsulated Rat Pack cool through Dean's laid back, above-it-all, smoothly snockered persona.


Two fingers of Jack Daniels, three or four ice cubes, the rest water in a standard rocks (Old Fashioned) glass. Alternately, vodka – Stolichnaya, by choice – on the rocks or, as an afternoon eye-opener in a Bloody Mary. Martinis were de rigueur, but only before dinner, and never more than two. Served up cold and dry, Stoli or British gin with a tiny drop of vermouth, two olives ... it was a customary gesture to share one with a pally.

Pepe Ruiz, veteran bartender at Chasen's, also made a special martini for the boys, the "Flame of Love," featuring a La Ina sherry rim and incinerated orange peels.

(It should be duly noted here that neither Dean nor Frank drank nearly as much as they let on. On stage, Dean's glass was invariably filled with apple juice, and Frank's standard party trick was to take just a few sips of each drink, leave it, then go get a fresh one. Frank also never inhaled when he smoked. Sammy's drug use – cocaine, specifically – reportedly incurred Sinatra's wrath.)


Sadly, few of the following still exist: In New York, Toots Shor's, Jilly's, Patsy's, 21 and the Stork Club. In Los Angeles, Frank's own Puccini's, Chasen's, Nicky Blair's, Villa Capri, Bistro Gardens, Matteo's and La Dolce. (Dean, regrettably, spent his declining years sitting alone at Tony Roma's rib joint.) In Vegas, of course, Jack Entratter's main room at the Sands, and Frank's Cal Neva Lodge in Tahoe. In Chicago, The Pump Room, Twin Anchors and Gibsons.

In Toronto ... well, they never did hang out here, and if they did today, there would be precious few places to go, with local jazz joints dropping like flies. The one exception is the still-thriving Reservoir Lounge at Church and Wellington, offering nightly standards of swing.


There are probably more Sinatra biographies than there are Sinatra recordings, ranging from Kitty Kelly's famously controversial, unauthorized His Way to daughter Nancy's worshipful Frank Sinatra: An American Legend. The definitive Dean biography is Nich Tosches' exhaustive Dino, Living High in the Business of Dreams, though 2005's Dean Martin: King Of The Road, by Michael Freedland, includes revelations of mob ties based on released FBI documents. Ex-partner Jerry Lewis offers a unique inside perspective in his recently released Dean and Me. Sammy is best read in his own words, his 1965 autobiography, Yes I Can.

But if you want to truly understand Rat Pack style, you can do no better than The Way You Wear Your Hat: Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin', by Esquire writer Bill Zehme, the source (along with several of the aforementioned) for much of the above material.

- Rob Salem