Posts Tagged ‘Dean Martin


The Rat Pack – Naming Names

The Rat Pack

The names by which we know the members of the Rat Pack are all familiar, but for the most part those are not the names the guys began with in life.  For example, Dean Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti and briefly used the name Dino Martini when he started out.

Joey Bishop was born Joseph Abraham Gottlieb, and Peter Lawford came into the world as Peter Sydney Ernest Aylen.

Sammy and Frank however, used their real names, although early on, a bandleader suggested a name for Frank that might have changed the course of the chairman’s career.   It was a name that Frank said would have kept him singing in lounges and small venues for the rest of his life as you’ll probably agree when you hear it.

One of Frank’s favorite composers and a close friend, Jimmy Van Heusen started out life as Chester Babcock and was probably well-advised to change that one.

Possibly Frank’s closest friend, restaurant owner Jilly Rizzo was born with the first name Ermenigildo that definitely warranted shortening.

It’s believed that Frank’s dad, Marty Sinatra tried boxing and briefly took the name Marty O’Brien because for some reason boxers with Irish names were the thing at that time.

By the way, Frank Sinatra Jr. is not technically a “junior” because his middle name Wayne is different from his father’s middle name which is Albert.

The Rat Pack itself would have been remembered by a different name if Frank had his way.  According to The Rat Pack Authority, Frank didn’t like the Rat Pack title, and preferred to call the group The Summit, after the high profile U.S./Soviet summit conferences of the time.

And oh yes. . .The name suggested for a young Frank Sinatra was “Frankie Satin”.  Hearing that, it’s a good thing Frank said no thanks.

For more stories on Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack, visit this Frank Sinatra tribute resource.


Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Each Christmas, you’re bound to hear Rat Pack star Dean Martin’s recording of Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.  It gets a lot of seasonal play and has been featured in commercials.

Written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne in 1945, the song was first recorded by Vaughn Monroe that year, and reached number one on Billboard’s music chart in 1946.  More recently, the Vaughn Monroe recording was used in the first two Die Hard movies.

Dean Martin’s version is featured on his many Christmas albums including Christmas With Dino, My Christmas Album, My Kind Of Christmas, The Dean Martin Christmas Album and Season’s Greetings from Dean Martin, plus Christmas With The Rat Pack.  Although it’s one of the most popular songs every holiday season, Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow never actually mentions Christmas. 

The song can be heard in the Dean Martin style at Christmas-time during Rat Pack shows performed by Las Vegas Rat Pack Impersonators.


A Rat Pack Star’s Number One Song

In 1964, the top of the charts were dominated by “The British Invasion” led by the Beatles, until they were displaced by a member of the Rat Packdean-martin1 Dean Martin on August 15th of that year.  Dean did it with the song that would become his signature, Everybody Loves Somebody

The song has some interesting history behind it.  For one thing, it had already been recorded by Frank Sinatra, among others.  It had been written way back in 1947, by Ken Lane and Irving Taylor.  And Dean recorded it to fill an album that was one song short, and to accomodate his piano player, Ken Lane.  But the recording worked out so well, it became the title song of the album.   And when it hit number one, Dean sent a telegram to Sinatra saying “That’s the way you do it”.

And the song played a role in a very funny segment on the Dean Martin Variety Show, when John Wayne guest starred with Dean, and performed a flawless lip-synch of Everybody Loves Somebody – Frank Sinatra’s version.