LAS VEGAS LEGEND
"I drink because my body craves, needs alcohol. I don't drink, my body's a drunk."
Dean's opening monologue from his Las Vegas act:
"You wanna hear it straight, buy the album." - Dean Martin
Here's an excerpt from the book Beyond Our Wildest Dreams where former Rat Pack Golddiggers Maria Lauren & Linda Eichberg reveal what it was like to work with the immortal Dean Martin, probably the coolest crooner of the Rat Pack.
Dean ruled the Strip for decades with his swinging nightclub act. His opening act was The Golddiggers, a bevy of beautiful and talented ladies that whipped the crowd into a frenzy before Deano took the stage.
Maria: My first impression upon meeting Dean Martin was that he was very, very charming. He looked the same in person as he did on TV. I can’t say that about all the stars I’ve met. It was a pleasure to watch him interact with all us girls. He never made a vulgar or cheap comment or anything like that. He was fun loving, good natured and made you feel comfortable.
These were the days of the Women’s Liberation Movement and Greg Garrison was feeling pressure from the network. Instead of revealing outfits, the Golddiggers were clad in long gingham dresses to do our country music numbers on a segment called ‘Dean’s Music Country.’ I absolutely loved it. We danced and sang with the top country stars like Lynn Anderson, Conway Twitty, Ray Stevens, Buck Owens, Loretta Lynn, Crystal Gayle, Mel Tillis and Mac Davis. 100
Linda: The country set was like a breath of fresh air equipped with a barn, a plow and a miniature horse. We would sing a sweet ballad on stacks of hay, our colorful prairie gowns draped around us and then skip to the other side of the set to sing the next song to some guitar picking and fiddle playing. I grew to have a greater appreciation of country music singing songs like ‘I Was Raised on Country Sunshine’, ‘You Got a Friend’, ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon’, ‘Houston’, ‘Jambalaya (On the Bayou)’ and ‘Country Roads’.
Maria and I were ecstatic when we saw in the script that we would be singing ‘I Believe in Music’ with Dean. We sang the verse while Dean joined us for the chorus and then the whole cast extended their harmonies for a reprise as the scene peaked for a big finish—then cut to commercial.
Maria: Another scene, another set, was the spot where Dean flirted with the girls at the bar. It was an on-going feature. He would make a suggestive comment with a little song like, ‘I’m in the Mood for Love’ and we would shoot him down with a funny comeback. Then Dean would try another line with the next girl. He had great comic timing, Dean could be subtle and just raise an eyebrow and we all got the joke. He was the ‘King of Cool.’
My very first TV taping.... I blew it. I decided I was going to use the Stanislavsky method of acting, so I was thinking of the motivation of my character and the back story. Well, when Dean walked up to me at the bar and gave me my cue I forgot my one line! This was in front of a live studio audience. Greg shouted, “Cut!” and I thought I would be fired for sure but he laughed and gave me a hug and told me to do it again. He put the mistake and the retake on the show. Greg liked to keep it loose. So did Dean.
Linda: That was Maria. It didn’t matter how small her part was or how big. She was always on, all the time, giving one hundred percent. Sometimes she was too much. Once Greg had to tell her to stop moving around so he could give her a close up. Performing in front of the camera required different techniques than what we had learned from being in musical theater and doing live shows.
"I've got seven kids. The three words you hear most around my house are 'hello,' 'goodbye,' and 'I'm pregnant."
YOUR GO-GO HOST: Billy Ingram
Rat Pack Golddiggers
Monologue from The Bar - Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin live in the summer of 1977.
Dean's second monologue from his Las Vegas act:
Dean Martin was rarely seen at the Blackjack tables in Vegas but he would play golf every day.