Oven-Ready: The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts

August 8, 2013
Dean Martin Celebrity Roast boxed setALMOST DONE: An all-you-can-eat spread of The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts will be wheeled out by StarVista beginning September 23rd.

Following up on our June 1st story about plans by Time-Life/StarVista to reheat the Dean Martin Roasts that were originally telecast on NBC from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, one of our star correspondents, Richard Wierzbowski, has alerted us to a report on the TVShowsOnDVD.com website that pre-orders are now being taken for The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: The Complete Collection — a 25-DVD boxed set that includes all 54 Roasts ever recorded, as well as a number of extras.

Among the latter are four Dean Martin TV specials from the mid-to-late ’70s (two editions of The Red Hot Scandals Of 1926 and two of Dean’s Place); interviews with celebrities who took part in the Roasts; featurettes (one of which contains home movies of Dean and his friends); and a 44-page accompanying book.

Also included in the package are 7 episodes of The Dean Martin Show, but be aware that all of these are edited versions that have been previously released by Time-Life. Those awaiting fresh reissues of Dean’s variety series will have to wait a little longer, but we CAN report exclusively that at the very least, The Best Of Dean and His Friends — the news about which we broke here a few weeks ago — WILL be back in Walmart stores early next year, hopefully soon to be joined by more music-rich material from Dean’s program.

In the meantime, for those licking their chops over the Dean Martin banquet on StarVista’s upcoming menu, here’s the link to the ingredients, and to put in an order, for the big Roast feast about to be served:

The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: The Complete Collection

For our original article on the re-release of the Roasts, click HERE.

For more on The Best of Dean and His Friends DVD sold through Walmart, click HERE.

And to stay informed about all details and events pertaining to Dean Martin, The Golddiggers, and The Dingaling Sisters, we invite you to join us by LIKING our Facebook page:


DeanMart at Walmart

June 24, 2013

*** BREAKING NEWS — EXCLUSIVE ***

The Best of Dean and His Friends Cover
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET?: Attention, Walmart Shoppers! Flying below the radar of publicity, a freshly-pressed disc filled with lots of new-to-DVD music and comedy from The Dean Martin Show, and prepared especially for America’s biggest retail chain, is in stores now.

It was just a little over three weeks ago that we reported the news that StarVista Entertainment (the newly-rechristened name for Time-Life Music & Video) would be reintroducing The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts on DVD this fall. That development made us wonder about the fate of future reissues of Dean’s Variety series.

So we made some inquiries, and based on what we learned from informed sources, we were glad to be able to reassure fans of The Dean Martin Show that additional episodes were indeed planned for re-release. What we didn’t anticipate at the time was just how soon some of them would be arriving.

In point of fact, it’s only because of a random discovery passed along to us by a good friend of the Super Site that we’re able to inform all of our readers that a brand new DVD, containing material from The Dean Martin Show not seen since the series’ original run over 40 years ago, is now available at Walmart stores in the U.S., through an exclusive arrangement with StarVista.

The single disc contains three episodes from the first five seasons of Dean’s variety series and retails for just under $10. Why its existence has largely been kept under wraps is a mystery: It was released a little over two weeks ago with no promotion to speak of, and its title — The Best of Dean and His Friends — is certainly nebulous enough to avoid detection by anyone searching for new volumes of the entertainer’s TV series. Had it not been for Dean Martin historian John Chintala (whose newly-revised Dino discography we spotlighted only a couple of weeks back) inadvertently coming across the DVD and alerting us to it, it might have completely escaped our notice — as well as the awareness of thousands of Dean devotees.

Peggy Lee (9-15-66)
MAÑANA may have been soon enough for Peggy Lee — at least in the lyrics to the hit song that she co-wrote and rode to the top of the charts — but fortunately, connoisseurs of her music won’t have to wait until tomorrow to see Peggy deliver impassioned performances of two stirring numbers on the 9/15/66 episode of The Dean Martin Show (above), since they’re on the new Walmart DVD that’s in stores today. Later, on the same program, Peggy joined Dean and the rest of the cast for a finale of two tunes from the musical “Guys and Dolls” (below, l. to r.: Guy Marks, Buddy Hackett, Dorothy Provine, Dean, Peggy Lee, Dan Rowan, Dick Martin).
Guys and Dolls Finale (9-15-66)

Shrouded in secrecy though it may have been, this latest unearthing of episodes from the archives of NBC offers some hidden treasures to Dino prospectors. Sure to cheer those disappointed by past reissues that cut one or more of Dean’s solos, the three shows on the new Walmart DVD, while they do contain a few edits, nevertheless retain ALL of Dean’s opening numbers, couch songs and musical parodies at the piano with Ken Lane. Officials at StarVista, The Dean Martin Family Trust and NBCUniversal deserve major plaudits for listening to the public’s requests on this score. (For a complete rundown of all of the musical highlights on the new DVD, see the table at the end of this article.)

Dean Opening Number (Dean & Friends)
IF I KNEW YOU WERE COMIN’ I’D’VE BAKED A CAKE: Not only has the Walmart DMS DVD come right of left field, but just as delightfully surprising is the fact that all of Dean’s opening numbers (above) and couch songs (below) on the three included episodes have been left intact.
Dean on the couch (Dean & Friends)

Especially curious — in a way likely to please Dinophiles — is the content of the Oct. 16, 1969 episode. It’s the only one of the three programs on the Walmart disc to have been previously released — it was among the shows on the Bonus DVD first sold exclusively by Costco and later repackaged with last fall’s Dean’s Ultimate Collection boxed set — yet in this newest incarnation, it’s actually been expanded to include four additional numbers NOT found on the Costco version: Dean’s opening and couch solos, a medley with Dean and Joey Heatherton, and an extra tune sung by Dean and The Mills Brothers.

Joey Heatherton Close-up (10-16-69)
HEY, GOOD LOOKIN’: What’s Joey got cookin’? For starters, her own steamy rendition of “Nice ‘N’ Easy” (above and below), topped off by a cool dessert with Dean (further below), consisting of, of all things, a “Mother Goose” medley that was chopped out of the 10/16/69 episode on the Costco Bonus Disc, but thankfully remains in the mix on the Walmart DVD.
Joey Dancing (10-16-69)
Joey & Dean on Tricycles (10-16-69)
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Dean & The Mills Brothers (10-16-69)
DOWN BY THE OLD MILL(S) STREAM: The version of Dean’s segment with The Mills Brothers on the 10/16/69 episode previously released on the Costco Bonus Disc was truncated, omitting the second number that they performed together — “Bye Bye Blackbird” — but happily, the entire sequence runs in its original, unedited form on the new Walmart DVD. Pictured below: Dean with (l. to r.) Herbert, Donald and Harry Mills.
Dean on stage w. The Mills Brothers (10-16-69)

Unlike StarVista’s previous Dean Martin Show DVD exclusive with Costco, the new disc from Walmart is more widely available, due to the latter retailer’s massive presence in the U.S., and the fact that it, unlike Costco, doesn’t require membership to purchase the items it sells.

Dean in Cowbiy Hat & Shirt (2-29-68)
THE WILD AND WOOLY WEST: Having to report for duty to tape the 2/29/68 episode of his show in-between shooting his big-screen epic Bandolero, Dean (above), already sporting whiskers for his film role, decided to keep the look consistent by trading his customary tux for full-fledged cowboy duds.
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Melissa, Julie & Diana (2:29:68)
THREE TIMES A LADY: The trio of gals from The Dean Martin Show’s choir that were the first to be called “Dean’s Girls” — (above, l. to r.) Melissa Stafford, Julie Rinker and Diana Lee — make one of their earliest on-camera appearances as a group on the 2/29/68 episode, providing musical segues between comedy blackouts.
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Arthur Godfrey (If I Were A Rich Man)
MONEY CHANGES EVERYTHING: During his lifetime, Arthur Godfrey did quite well for himself as the consummate radio and television personality, with some of the highlights of his career ranging from his emotional coverage of President Franklin Roosevelt’s funeral, to hosting several concurrently-airing network programs throughout the 1950s, to serving as a remarkably effective pitchman for numerous advertisers. So credible and versatile a performer was he that the audience easily warmed to his nonstandard interpretation of “If I Were A Rich Man”, from the Broadway smash Fiddler On The Roof, on the 2/29/68 telecast of Dean’s show.

For those without a Walmart store nearby or those living abroad who may feel left out in the cold, there are a few vendors on both Amazon and ebay that are selling shrink-wrapped copies of the new DVD, but at a substantial mark-up over Walmart’s price. However, for those eager to get their hands on heretofore unseen Dean, the extra cost may be worth it.

There’s nary a trace of the new Variety Show disc on Walmart’s own website; but as perhaps a further indication of the big-box giant’s close ties of late with StarVista, Walmart is thus far the only merchant on the Internet to display cover art for the upcoming roll-out of StarVista’s Dean Martin Celebrity Roast collection, scheduled to debut in 1- and 6-disc editions on October 1, according to the sales page on Walmart’s site.

But for fans of Dean and his music, it’s the unexpected gift of StarVista’s partnership with Walmart on the just-released Variety Show DVD that will garner the lion’s share of love. Once it was a secret love. But hopefully now, that secret love’s no secret anymore.

The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts (StarVista)
THERE’S A KIND OF HUSH about the new Dean Martin Show exclusive at Walmart, and not that much more about StarVista’s forthcoming reboot of Dean’s Celebrity Roasts, although Walmart has now become the first commercial vendor to  upload cover art (above) and start taking pre-orders on its website for at least one of the new Roast platters.

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As the comparative chart below illustrates, the majority of musical selections featured on the new Dean Martin Show DVD from StarVista via Walmart have never before been released on DVD:

ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 9/15/66 (First Show of the 2nd season) StarVista Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “Don’t Let The Blues Make You Bad” Walmart DVD
Peggy Lee: “You’ve Got Possibilities”; “The Shing Sea” Walmart DVD
Peggy Lee & Dean Martin: “Good Morning” medley
Dean & Ken at The Piano Walmart DVD
Dean Martin: “You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You” Walmart DVD
Dorothy Provine: “Lorelei”
Dean Martin, Buddy Hackett, Rowan & Martin, Peggy Lee, Dorothy Provine: Guys and Dolls Finale: “The Oldest Established Permanent Floating Crap Game” / “Guys and Dolls” Walmart DVD
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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 2/29/68 StarVista Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “Houston” Walmart DVD
Arthur Godfrey, Singers & Dancers: “If I Were A Rich Man” Walmart DVD
Dean Martin & Arthur Godfrey: 1920s Medley: “Doodle-Doo-Doo” / “Has Anybody Seen My Gal?” / “Ain’t She Sweet?” / “Sweet Georgia Brown” / “Singing in the Rain”
Dean & Ken at The Piano Walmart DVD
Dean Martin: “Red Sails In The Sunset” Walmart DVD
Tony Sandler & Ralph Young: “C’est Si Bon” / “Cu Cu Ru Cu Cu Paloma” / “Gonna Build a Mountain”
Dean’s Girls (Melissa Stafford, Julie Rinker, Diana Lee): Musical Bridges for Comedy bits in Finale built around the theme of “Yankee Ingenuity” Walmart DVD
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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 10/16/69 StarVista Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “Singing the Blues” Walmart DVD Vol. 27
Joey Heatherton: “Nice ‘N’ Easy” Walmart DVD Costco Bonus Disc
Dean Martin & Joey Heatherton: Medley: “London Bridge Is Falling Down” / “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?” / “The Farmer in the Dell” / “Surrey With The Fringe On Top” / “A Tisket, A Tasket” / “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” Walmart DVD
Dean & Ken at The Piano Walmart DVD (song parodies intact) Costco Bonus Disc (song parodies cut)
Dean Martin: “Where The Blue And Lonely Go” Walmart DVD
Dean & Dean’s Girls: Musical Questions
Dean & Dean’s Girls “Sing-on” Orson Bean
The Mills Brothers: “Paper Doll” Walmart DVD Costco Bonus Disc
Dean Martin & The Mills Brothers: “You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You”; “Bye Bye Blackbird” Walmart DVD Costco Bonus Disc (“Bye Bye Blackbird” cut)
Entire Cast: “Here We Go Again” Finale Walmart DVD Costco Bonus Disc
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For more on the newly-revised ebook version of John Chintala’s voluminous Dean Martin discography, click HERE to see the Super Site’s recent article.
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To always be among the first to get the scoop on breaking news about The Dean Martin Show, and to join other fans AND many of the cast members who worked with Dean each week on his series, we invite you to LIKE and follow our Dean, Golds and Dings Facebook page:


Dean Discography Dives Into Digital Domain

June 7, 2013

The Dean Martin Variety Show

HEY, BROTHER, POUR THE WINE: As admirers of Dean Martin (above) commemorate his birthday, interest in his artistry, life and legacy continues to grow. One of the more rewarding by-products of this renaissance is that John Chintala’s exhaustive and much-sought-after resource guide to Dean’s extensive oeuvre has become available for the first time as an ebook (below) that can be bought and downloaded online from sellers such as Amazon and itunes and viewed on any Windows or Mac computer, as well as Kindle, ipad or similar device.

Dean Martin cover by John Chintala

Were he still with us, Dean Martin would today have turned 96. And although he’s been gone for over 17 years now, his life and professional accomplishments are currently experiencing their greatest surge in popularity since his heyday in the late 1960s, when he held the distinction of being the highest-paid entertainer in the world — not to mention, one of the most beloved.

Rather than simply rehashing a few of the highlights of Dean’s career, or posting yet another gallery of his photos, or reiterating the by-now oft-repeated mantra of how “cool” he was — all of which can be found ad infinitum in numerous places on the Internet and elsewhere — we thought we’d pay homage to Dean on this, his day of birth, with a present of sorts for his most ardent fans, by calling attention to the new edition of a book that serves as the definitive documentation of his body of work over the course of his life.

Originally published in 1998, Dean Martin: A Complete Guide to the “Total Entertainer” represented author John Chintala‘s encyclopedic 450-plus-page survey of Dean Martin’s musical output as featured in sound recordings, motion pictures, and on radio and television. Printed in a softcover edition limited to 500 copies, it was snapped up quickly by the Dino cognoscenti, and soon became a scarce commodity. With those fortunate enough to have purchased the volume early on reluctant to part with it, secondhand copies were seldom available for sale, and those that were fetched anywhere from $150 to $250 each on sites such as Amazon and ebay.

But with the advent of electronic publishing has come a new opportunity for the author to present a revised version of his tome, and for Dean Martin devotees to acquire it in a more conveniently accessible form and at a vastly more affordable price.

The recently-issued ebook edition of John Chintala’s Dean Martin reference contains all of the thoroughly-researched text of the original, including a listing of just about every song that Dean ever recorded, either solo or in tandem with other performers, accompanied by details on where the numbers appeared in all applicable media formats — vinyl, audio tape or CD; movies; radio; television; DVD and videocassette.

WHERE OR WHEN: The ebook’s Table of Contents (below) previews the scope of its in-depth coverage of Dean’s professional achievements…
 Chintala Table of Contents b
…while specific chapters, such as the one dealing with his television appearances (illustrated by the page below) provide a substantial level of detail rarely found anywhere else, and even indicate whether each particular song, program or movie is available for consumers to purchase, and if so, in what configuration.

Chintala Sample Page d

Expanding upon the first edition, the new ebook, now coming in at some 641 pages, has added, among other things: mention of the filming dates of all of the Martin and Lewis big-screen adventures; a roster of the personnel who worked on Dean’s recording sessions for Reprise; the actual taping dates of all the episodes of the Variety Show‘s first season; a comprehensive breakdown of which celebrities’ appearances on the Roasts were taped individually and later edited into the program, as well as which ones were never aired at all; and an addendum to the index of magazine covers that have been graced by Dean’s visage, with 200 more appended to those already enumerated.

The one element of content omitted from the ebook is the handful of photos that were sprinkled throughout the printed edition. Apparently, changes in copyright laws posed some thorny issues for their continued use; but their exclusion is of little consequence to the value of the material that remains, since, as the author himself pointed out to us, “These days you can get over a million Dean images on Google in under a second!”

Perhaps the two biggest improvements in having Dean Martin: A Complete Guide available in digital form spring from the advantages that the ebook’s underlying technology offers over the printed page: First, by virtue of the work residing on your computer, ipad, Kindle, Nook, or other device, it can be searched instantly. So, for example, if you want to find all of the times that Dean sang “They Didn’t Believe Me” — a number that he never recorded for Capitol or Reprise, but performed on several occasions on his own TV show and others, too — all you have to do is enter the song title into a search field and immediately, you can locate every instance in which Dean crooned that particular tune. To find it in the print edition would require the tedious task of thumbing through the entire book.

The other tremendous benefit to readers of the digital version is the price: Because its publication doesn’t entail a print run, the cost is a fraction of what it was previously, now selling on Amazon, itunes, Barnes and Noble and other online vendors for under $10.

Taken together, all of the above factors make the new ebook version of Dean Martin: A Complete Guide to the “Total Entertainer” not only attractive to first-time buyers, but also a worthwhile upgrade for owners of the older print edition. As an indispensable trove of fascinating, and more importantly, highly useful, information for Dinophiles who want to explore as much of their favorite performer’s canon as possible, it’s one birthday gift sure to yield many happy returns.

Dean Martin: A Complete Guide to the “Total Entertainer” can be purchased at Amazon and other online merchants.

To stay abreast of the latest news about Dean Martin and mingle with others who share an appreciation for the man and his work — including many of The Golddiggers and Dingaling Sisters who joined him each week on his TV series — we invite you to LIKE and follow our Dean, Golds and Dings Facebook Page:


Heatwave: The Dean Martin Roasts

June 1, 2013
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LIGHT MY FIRE: Time-Life, which brought fresh servings of The Dean Martin Show to home video in 2011 after a 10-year absence from the market, is cooking up new platters of The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts for DVD consumption this fall, as noted in the appetite teaser above, prepared by the company’s chefs.

A funny thing happened on the way to releasing more episodes from Dean Martin’s TV series: Those steering the direction of that vehicle have opted to take a temporary detour around the Variety Shows, in favor of reissuing the later-model Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. What this effectively means for DM fans is: Music tomorrow, comedy tonight.

The Roasts, which represented television’s tamer version of the longstanding Friars’ Club events at which show business figures would come together to skewer one of their own, originated as a regular weekly feature of the 9th and final season of Dean’s series, known as The Dean Martin Comedy Hour. Despite the latter’s cancellation at the end of the 1973-74 season, NBC executives believed that the Roasts remained viable ratings magnets that could stand on their own in limited airings, and over the next decade or so, they ordered dozens of specials built around the format, using them to plug holes in the network’s prime-time schedule.

Even before Dean’s longtime Producer-Director, Greg Garrison, partnered with Guthy-Renker in the late 1990s to bring highlights of The Dean Martin Variety Show directly to consumers via mail order, the two joined forces to sell the Roasts using the same direct marketing method. However, unlike the variety shows, the contents of which were made available only as excerpts (due to the high cost of music clearances), the Roasts, containing only comedy, landed on home video largely unscathed, with few, if any, edits.

Stemming from the settlement of NBCUniversal‘s 2007 lawsuit against Greg Garrison Productions and Guthy-Renker, the latter two entities agreed to relinquish their rights to Dean’s series, initially ceasing production and distribution of their Variety Show DVDs, and within the last year, halting sales of the Roasts.

Into the breach, in conjunction with NBCUniversal, stepped Time-Life, first in 2011 with fresh episodes of the Variety Show, and now, with just-announced 1- and 6-disc editions of the Roasts, due out in September and sweetened with extra comedy bits from Dean’s 9th season, as well as newly-recorded interviews.

In addition, David Lambert of the website TVShowsOnDVD.com is reporting that T-L will also be offering, online only, what it calls a “Complete Collection” of all of the Roasts, which will include over 10 hours of bonus material (consisting of exactly what remains unknown at this time).

That should certainly be enough to sate Dean’s comedy fans. But what about those who prize his Variety Show mainly for its outstanding musical numbers? Well, that’s exactly the question that we posed to those in the know at Time-Life, and the good news on this front is that we can confirm, exclusively and definitively, that there WILL, in fact, be more episodes of the Variety Show coming down the pike, although a precise date for that eventuality has yet to be determined.

So, over the long haul, it appears there’ll be something for everyone; and this time, it’ll all turn out right: Music tomorrow, comedy tonight.

Our thanks to our intrepid Dean, Golds and Dings correspondent Richard Wierzbowski for his contributions to this report.

For further details, see David Lambert’s article at TVShowsOnDVD.com.

And to stay up-to-date on this and all stories relating to Dean Martin, The Golddiggers and The Dingaling Sisters, please LIKE our Dean, Golds and Dings Facebook Page:


Words and Music: The Lee Hale Story

March 25, 2013

Lee Portrait

It isn’t just Dean Martin, and every individual who was ever involved in any way with his television series, that owes a debt of gratitude to Lee Hale — it’s also every fan of Dean, as well as all of the regulars and guest stars who appeared on his show, who should be thankful for Lee’s invaluable contributions to The Dean Martin Show, The Golddiggers’ series, and numerous other entertainment productions with which he’s been connected.

As longtime followers of Dean and company already know, Lee Hale served as Musical Director for almost the entire 9-year run of Dean’s series; worked with and helped fine-tune the performances of the program’s on-camera talent; and came up with the idea for The Golddiggers, auditioning every young woman who tried out for the troupe and overseeing all of their music, too (in addition to handling the same responsibilities for The Dingaling Sisters, as well as The Soul Sisters for the syndicated Wacky World Of Jonathan Winters).

Those may be the highlights of Lee’s career, but in truth, they are only one part of the life of someone who, from the very start, seemed destined to find his calling in show business, and of a soft-spoken but immensely gifted individual who’s played a large and important, if not always highly conspicuous, role in shaping, enhancing, and preserving the art form of the television variety show and a style of music that’s come to be known as “The Great American Songbook”.

Lee '66
TOP HAT, WHITE TIE AND TAILS: In point of fact, the top hat may be missing, but this well-attired gent is certainly the epitomé of sartorial splendor sporting the rest of the formalwear immortalized in the Irving Berlin song made famous by Fred Astaire. In this instance — one of several cameo appearances that Lee Hale made over the course of The Dean Martin Show’s 9 seasons — the fancy threads were donned for a sketch in which Lee had to fend off the crazed advances of singer-comedienne Dorothy Loudon. The segment first aired on the 5/5/66 episode of the series.

A few years ago, Lee set out to document some of his life experiences in an autobiography published by Richard Gruden’s Celebrity Profiles imprint, renowned for its music-oriented tomes. Although the first edition of Lee’s book came out about 14 months ago and has already been read and enjoyed by many, we thought that as he prepares to celebrate a landmark birthday this week, this would be an apropos time to bring The Lee Hale Story to the attention of those who heretofore may have been unaware of it or who have yet to purchase their own copy.

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I COULD WRITE A BOOK: Indeed, Lee has written two — one about The Dean Martin Show, published in 1999 — and last year, a new memoir (above) that, while including a great deal about Dean, his series and others who took part in it, also explores other aspects of Lee’s life and career.

In many ways, this is a tale that mirrors the narratives of so many of the Hollywood musicals of which Lee, and millions of others (including we here at the Super Site) are so fond. At the heart of the story is a protagonist who dreams of coming to the big city and fulfilling his creative aspirations, facing triumphs, challenges and even some tragedies as time goes by, but when all is said and done, succeeding in his ambitions, having a ball in doing what he loves to do, surrounded by a multitude of friends and revered by even more admirers, all making for a happy ending.

As the author’s journey unfolds, he’s impacted by many of the key events of the 20th Century, including America’s entry into World War II (at which time he enlisted in the Navy) and, of course, the growing power and influence of television. Along the way, as could be expected, situations arise that provide plenty of anecdotes about various celebrities and eccentric characters (in some cases, they’re one and the same).

As a mark of the high esteem in which Lee is held by colleagues and friends, the book is sprinkled throughout with testimonials from Tinseltown luminaries and others who’ve known and worked with Lee, including a number of The Golddiggers, some of whose remarks first appeared in our website’s own tribute to Lee, posted a few years ago.

Yet it’s worth noting that even though portions of the book focus on Lee’s life apart from showbiz culture, those slices of his everyday existence also manage to hold the reader’s interest. Still, as appealing as those portions may be, the sections that will no doubt engross the largest number of  readers are the ones covering Lee’s association with The Dean Martin Show. And as he points out, those seeking still more on that subject can find a wealth of additional details in his earlier volume, Backstage At The Dean Martin Show (though long out of print, copies can still be found on Amazon, ebay and the like).

Dean Ronnie Lee
HALE TO THE CHIEF: It was while still in high school, Lee writes in his autobiography, that he first met Ronald Reagan, then an up-and-coming actor being groomed for stardom by Warner Bros. As feature editor for his school newspaper, Lee managed to land an interview with the future President, and decades later, would cross paths with him again while working on both Dean’s variety series and on the Dean Martin Roasts. In the scene above, recorded during the 1970-71 season while Ronnie was still Governor of California, Lee (on the far right in hardhat) did a walk-on as one of the Gov’s highway construction workers.

Meanwhile, for anyone curious to learn more about a man who began as a singer himself and over time utilized his own genius to make others on stage look so good, there’s The Lee Hale Story, told in an easy-to-digest, conversational style which, like one of the maestro’s own musical arrangements, should leave his audience feeling enriched, uplifted, and highly satisfied.

And to you, Lee, we wish a Very Happy, Healthy Birthday, and Many, Many More.

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Paul Golds Lee on a boat
ON A SLOW BOAT TO CHINA: With Paul Lynde as captain (l.), it seems unlikely that this dingaling dinghy would ever make it out of the Port of Los Angeles, let alone halfway around the world to China; but having Golddiggers Pat Mickey, Rosetta Cox and Wanda Bailey on board (center, l. to r.), Lee manning the stern (far right), and Ken Lane hidden behind Rosie’s head, at least there’d be music for the voyage.

The Lee Hale Story can be ordered directly from Amazon.com by clicking the icon below:

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Additional information about Lee’s book, as well as many others written about the singers, composers and instrumentalists famous for Big Band, Jazz, and Tin Pan Alley standards, can be found on Richard Gruden’s Celebrity Profiles Publishing website:

Celebrity Profiles

Much more about Lee Hale’s work with Dean Martin, The Golddiggers and The Dingaling Sisters appears throughout the pages of The Golddiggers Super Site, including in the following articles:

Lee Hale Tribute (2008)

Open Letter To Lee Hale (2007)

Review of the 1st Dean Martin Show DVD set from Time-Life (2011)

Review of the 2nd Dean Martin Show DVD set from Time-Life (2012)

Review of the 3rd Dean Martin Show DVD set from Time-Life (2012)

And to rub elbows (figuratively speaking) with cast members of The Dean Martin Show — among them, many who were members of The Golddiggers and Dingaling Sisters — we invite you to LIKE and regularly visit our Dean, Golds and Dings Facebook page:


Bundle Up With Dean

November 18, 2012

A Comprehensive Review and Analysis of the Dean Martin Show holiday haul gathered by Time-Life from the archives of NBC

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BABY, IT‘S COLD OUTSIDE…But with a tray full of hot toddies poured from TV’s best variety show ever (see below), You’ve Got Dean To Keep You Warm.
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As those who’ve been following recent events know, in the Northeastern U.S., the weather outside’s been frightful (actually, horrific might be a more apt description). But for those seeking pleasurable diversion, there’s a lot about the new Dean Martin Show releases that’s so delightful.

Just last month, one of the star’s lesser-known Westerns, Something Big, gained new life on DVD. Now, with the approach of the December holidays, the elves in the Time-Life section of Santa’s workshop are bringing Dinophiles something even bigger.

Monday, October 30, saw the unveiling of The Best of Of The Dean Martin Variety Show: Dean’s Ultimate Collection, loaded with 17 discs holding all of the material that made up the first three DMS sets from Time-Life: 1) The Best Of The Dean Martin Variety Show (June 2011); 2) King of Cool (November 2011); and 3) The Dean Martin Variety Show UNCUT (May 2012).

But the true standout items in this new package are:

1) a first-time-on-home-video Christmas episode from the series’ 1968-69 season;

2) a bonus DVD, containing three DMS episodes, that was heretofore available only with the King of Cool sets sold by Costco; and

3) a condensed softcover version of the hardbound photo book previously introduced in 2011 with the Dean Martin: Cool Then, Cool Now CD compilation.

Those who’ve already purchased the first three Dean Martin Show collections from Time-Life and who want only the 1968 Christmas episode can buy the latter separately; it was released as a standalone disc on November 6.

Unfortunately, we’ve learned that T-L has no plans at this time to issue that King of Cool bonus disc by itself; so for now at least, the only way for diehard Dean devotees to get their hands on it is either to try to obtain it through Costco’s King of Cool collection, or bite the bullet and buy the Ultimate Collection — a decidedly pricey and prodigal option for those who already own the three DMS sets that comprise the bulk of the new 17-disc compendium. We hope that Time-Life will eventually make that bonus DVD available on its own for those of the company’s loyal customers who’ve already invested a substantial amount in the earlier Dean Martin Show treasuries.

As to what’s worthwhile about the musical content featured on that bonus disc, as well as on the 12/19/68 Christmas episode and the rest of the programs that constitute Dean’s Ultimate Collection, we offer the following detailed overview:

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

Many were hoping that this would be the year that would finally witness the DVD debut of the 1967 Dean Martin Show episode known as “Christmas with The Martins and The Sinatras”. But with rights to that particular holiday favorite unattainable at present, the yuletide celebration from the series’ very next season proves to be a welcome and fulfilling stand-in, with plenty of charm of its own.


JOY TO THE WORLD: Following a decorative opening sequence, Dean moves the party along with his customary yuletide icebreaker, “Marshmallow World”, assisted by the kind of Santa’s helpers one would anticipate meeting on his set — including familiar Dean’s Girl Jeri Jamerson (above left).

In a departure from the series’ normal routine, the festivities kick off not with Dean singing or doing a monologue, but with a rather elaborate production number one would more likely expect to see on the Jackie Gleason or Andy Williams shows than on Dean’s. Nevertheless, our host dives right into the spirit of the occasion — albeit with an arched eyebrow and a sense of bemusement — and plays a good sport as he allows himself to be made up as St. Nick, before yielding the stage to a panoply of dancing Santas, with backing vocals by Jack Halloran‘s choir.

And leave it to the program’s resident music-master, Lee Hale, to tap his encyclopedic knowledge of the pop canon in coming up with a less-than-commonplace, yet still catchy ditty for the opening set piece — “Be A Santa”, plucked from an even-then mostly-forgotten 1961 Broadway musical called Subways Are For Sleeping, which, despite its short run (205 performances), boasted a pedigreed score (music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green) and cast (among others, Orson Bean, Carol Lawrence and Phyllis Newman).

In fact, from a musical standpoint, the ’68 Christmas show delivers quite a few satisfying moments, including performances by Dean and The Golddiggers (both apart and together), Dennis Weaver, and the entire cast offering a selection of traditional carols.

JINGLE BELLES:Nice but never naughty, the winter ensemble of the 1968 Golddiggers treats viewers to a comfy rendition of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” (above), before snuggling up with Santa Baby (below) for the sort of sparkling medley that fans adore (and that we hope the generous Santas who package these DVDs will see fit to shower us with more of in the coming year — hint hint).
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Pictured below, huddled around Dean (l. to r.) Front row: Deborah McFarland, Debbie Thomason, Susan Lund, Lynn Steiner; Second row: Brenda Powell, Kathy Brimer, Kathy Wright, Peggy Hansen; Top row: Diana Liekhus, Lezlie Dalton, Pamela Beth, Nancy Bonetti
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An interesting footnote to this DVD reissue can be found at the end of the program, wherein a dizzying array of cameos by celebrities announcing charitable Christmas gifts for children includes several appearances that were clearly recorded during the 1970-71 season — two years after the ’68 Christmas episode first aired! To those who might wonder how this could be possible, the answer is supplied courtesy of Dean Martin historian John Chintala, who informs us that because Christmas Eve fell on a Thursday in 1970, the ’68 Christmas show was rerun that night, two years after its initial telecast, with several new cameos inserted. Thus, it’s obviously the tape of that rebroadcast, rather than the original ’68 airing, that’s been used as the master for this DVD release.


THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY: Dennis Weaver elicits smiles not only from the show’s cast and crew, but their children, as well, as he captures the attention of the lads and lassies, joining their parents in attendance, with an offbeat holiday entry penned by singer-songwriter Tom Paxton — the folksy “My Favorite Toy”. (visible in the background, l. to r.: Dean’s Girls Diana Lee and Kate Kahn, and The Golddiggers’ Pamela Beth)

The one lump of coal in this otherwise jolly Christmas stocking is the excision of Dean’s couch number, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”. Evidently, either the rights to the song couldn’t be secured at all, or else were simply too expensive to fit within the given budget. But if money was indeed the primary issue, we can’t help but wonder whether most prospective purchasers would have been willing to pay a little more in exchange for the chance to see their man croon that missing holiday tune.

Despite its absence, the remaining bill of fare served up by the ’68 Christmas show is still a feast. And compared to the famine that we Dean Martin Show fans endured for so long, every morsel doled out to us is a gift to treasure, no matter what time of year it arrives.


O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL: The episode’s cast gathers ’round the tree for a finale of traditional Christmas carols.

As we’ve done with past DMS release from Time-Life, we herein present a list of the musical numbers from the 1968 Christmas show, denoting which ones were included on DVD. Since none have been previously reissued, the Guthy-Renker column in this instance remains blank.

 

ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 12/19/68 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Opening Production Number, sung by Jack Halloran’s Choir & featuring Dean Martin, Dom DeLuise, Bob Newhart, Dennis Weaver, Dean’s Girls & dancers dressed as Santa Claus: “Look At That Face”; “Be A Santa” Disc 1
Dean Martin: “A Marshmallow World” Disc 1
The Golddiggers: “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” Disc 1
Dean Martin & The Golddiggers:  Medley: “Daddy” / “True Love” / “We Wish You The Merriest” Disc 1
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 1
Dean Martin: “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”
Dennis Weaver: “The Marvelous Toy” Disc 1
Entire Cast: Medley of Christmas Carols: “Deck The Halls” / “Joy To The World” / “Silent Night” Disc 1
Dean Martin: “Christmas Is For Kids” (sung over footage of Christmas toys) Disc 1
Entire Cast: “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” Disc 1

The Second Time Around

Having already reviewed and devoted considerable coverage to the first and third Dean Martin Show sets from Time-Life, we wanted to focus here on the sophomore collection — King of Cool — since we did not survey it in-depth at the time of its original release, and because its presence in the new Ultimate Collection boxed set includes that hard-to-come-by bonus disc, once marketed exclusively through Costco stores.

Before assessing King of Cool, we’d like to remind our readers that a complete review and rundown of the musical content from Time-Life’s first DMS set — The Best Of The Dean Martin Variety Show — can be found by clicking HERE.

And for a complete review and rundown of the musical content from Time-Life’s third DMS set — The Dean Martin Variety Show UNCUT — click HERE.


RETURN TO ME: The just-released 17-disc Dean’s Ultimate Collection bundles all three previous Dean Martin Show sets from Time-Life — including an enhanced King of Cool collection containing a 7th bonus DVD, until now available only through Costco stores.

Although it was The Golddiggers Super Site that broke the news of which episodes would be incorporated in Time-Life’s follow-up to its first Dean Martin Show collection, there were several reasons why we skipped reviewing the King of Cool package upon its initial release. For one, the same type of frustrating deletions of musical numbers — especially Dean’s — that plagued the maiden iteration also detracted from the second one, so there seemed little point in rehashing all of the factors attendant to that problem. In addition, Time-Life itself adopted a much more low-key approach to releasing the second edition, minus all of the promotional hoopla that accompanied the first, perhaps mindful of the severe criticism that greeted the heavy-handed edits of that initial effort.

The company redeemed itself substantially with the third set of Uncut episodes, and continues to make progress with the largely-intact ’68 Christmas Show. But with the King of Cool compilation now stepping up to the plate for another at-bat, via the Ultimate Collection, we thought it deserved a closer look.

As we indicated, most of Dean’s solo performances have been cut. Surviving are just a handful of his opening numbers and mid-show ballads, with two of the latter, as fate would have it, turning up on the bonus disc. The dearth of those couch songs is not only disheartening to fans, but something of a posthumous affront to the star of the show, given Lee Hale’s past acknowledgement that the couch song was the one number in each episode that Dean himself would pick.

As with the first T-L collection, the second one places a strong reliance on episodes with public domain tunes, in order to sidestep the often exorbitant costs of clearing copyrighted music for reuse on DVD. And of course, there’s no end to the exasperation caused by watching the credits at the end of each show roll over quick glimpses of segments chopped out of the abridged DVDs.

That said, we feel it important to re-emphasize that in the wake of vociferously negative reaction to the first two DMS collections, the folks at Time-Life, NBCUniversal and The Dean Martin Family Trust, to their great credit, have since gone a long way toward addressing and remedying these earlier shortcomings in subsequent releases.

Moreover, lest we leave the impression that the King of Cool set doesn’t possess enough entertainment value to justify its cost (whether by itself or as part of Dean’s Ultimate Collection), we want to stress that the package’s 21 episodes on 7 discs have a great deal to recommend them, not the least of which are some 128 musical numbers — a sizable percentage of which have never been released before on DVD, and in fact, haven’t been seen anywhere since they were originally telecast decades ago.

Among the highlights:


BIDIN’ MY TIME: The 1930 Gershwin classic is taken for a ride, both literally and comically speaking, in this Kerouacian update, driven by Dean and guest Shirley Jones (above) on Disc 2; but those who might be inclined to take the song’s title to heart, bypassing King of Cool in favor of waiting for what may lie ahead, would be leaving some priceless moments behind in the rear-view mirror.
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CRAZY RHYTHM: Barbara Eden (above) streams out of the genie’s bottle and back in time to the roaring ’20s for an energetic song-and-dance number, followed by a medley of flapper-fueled favorites with Dean (Disc 2, below).
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A COUPLE OF SWELLS: (above) Dapper Dean and beautiful Barbara McNair lend a high tone to “Bummin’ Around” (Disc 1).
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MOONLIGHT SERENADE: Dean and Edie Adams duet on “By The Light Of The Silvery Moon” (Disc 1).
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IT MUST BE HER: Vikki Carr lays it on the line with “If I Were Your Woman” (above), before joining Dean to declare that “Rainbows Are Back In Style” (Disc 2, below); and in an earlier episode from 1966 on Bonus Disc 7, she and Dean exchange glances on “Them There Eyes” (further below).
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ROCK THE BOAT: The Dingaling Sisters sail “On The Good Ship Lollipop” (Disc 1) in a way that Shirley Temple probably never contemplated, but with a cargo full of talent and enough motion to stir even the calmest ocean (above, l. to r.: Lynne Latham, Tara Leigh, Taffy Jones, Michelle DellaFave).
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REMINISCING: (above) On the last episode of The Dean Martin Show’s freshman season, guest Liberace joins the program’s host for  a musical retrospective of the year gone by (Disc 1).
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FEELS LIKE THE FIRST TIME: On Volume 4 of Guthy-Renker’s Dean Martin Show anthology, Greg Garrison mentions that it was not until the final episode of the series’ first season that Dean actually sang his signature theme, “Everybody Loves Somebody”, all the way through. However, the clip shown in conjunction with that observation is, in fact, taken not from the last episode of the first season, but from the final show of the second season. But on the Season One finale featured on Disc 1 of Time-Life’s King of Cool set, we get to see the authentic footage of the first time that Dean (above, with Ken Lane) sang “Everybody Loves Somebody” in its entirety on his show  — a tradition that continued for the next five seasons of his series’ run.
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NOW IS THE HOUR: Kate Smith offers dramatic renditions of a pair of tunes from the late ’60s (above); teams with Dean for a medley of school-related songs (below); and brings down the house at the show’s end with her trademark delivery of “God Bless America” — all on the 3/20/69 episode contained on Disc 2.
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TALKIN’ (OR, MORE ACCURATELY, SINGIN’) BASEBALL: Root, root, root for the home team, which in this final inning of the March 30, 1967 ball game, fields (above, l. to r.) Eddie Fisher, Dean, Abbe Lane and Gene Barry (Disc 3). Earlier in the same stadium, Abbe strikes a more elegant pose on her version of the Edith Piaf classic “Milord” (below).
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DANDY: Dean was certainly no fan of rock ‘n roll, but a mellow ditty like Herman’s Hermits’ “There’s A Kind Of Hush” (Disc 3) could find a soft, comfortable spot within the show’s milieu.
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MAS QUE NADA: Well-known to regular DMS viewers, but also with a huge international following of her own, Caterina Valente, born in Paris of Italian heritage and capable of singing in 6 different languages, brings the cool swing and gentle sway of Brazilian bossa nova to the 12/15/66 episode, first with “So Nice,” the vocal variation on Walter Wanderley’s 1966 hit instrumental “Summer Samba” (above); then with Dean on a cover of Antonio Carlos Jobim’s 1963 evergreen, “One Note Samba” (below) — all on Disc 3.
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MAKE ‘EM LAUGH: Funny? Sure. But as connoisseurs of dance know, Donald O’Connor’s showbiz strengths extended far beyond yuks, as he demonstrates with a serious display of terpsichorean skill (above), before settling in with Dean for some lighter musical moments (below) — all on Disc 3.
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WE CAN WORK IT OUT: Who but The Dean Martin Show’s Musical Director, Lee Hale, could blend a standard such as “Almost Like Being In Love” from the 1947 musical Brigadoon with the 1971 soft rock hit “Sooner or Later”, originated by The Grass Roots, and make it work in such smooth accord as an exuberant cross-generational medley for Dean and The Dingaling Sisters (above, l. to r.: Lynne Latham, Tara Leigh, Michelle DellaFave, Taffy Jones) to open the 10/28/71 episode, seen on Disc 4.
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MAMA SAID, THERE’LL BE DAYS LIKE THIS: Rather than one of their more recognizable hits, Diana Ross and The Supremes chose “Mother Dear” for their one and only solo performance on The Dean Martin Show, included on Disc 4.
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TEARS OF A CLOWN: (above) Only the hardest of souls would be able to keep from getting at least a little misty-eyed watching Dean cheer up a forlorn Imogene Coca with a heart-rending version of “When You’re Smiling” on the 3/24/66 episode (Disc 4).
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THREE LITTLE SISTERS named Laverne, Patty, and Maxene Andrews (l. to r. above), whose vocals were closely associated with the boogie-woogie sound of popular music in the early 1940s, update their repertoire with a pair of high-energy hits from the ’60s on the 12/9/65 episode of The Dean Martin Show (Disc 5).
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PUT ON A HAPPY FACE: Carol Lawrence (above) delivers an impassioned solo on “Funny Face”, before affecting a friskier mien with Dean on “Baby Face” (below).
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CHANCES ARE that Johnny Mathis aficionados will love his rendition of “I’m In Love For The Very First Time” on Disc 5 (above).
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I‘M IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE: And in that vein, “I’ll Take Love,”proclaims Robert Goulet (above) on the 12/8/66 episode (Disc 6).
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THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT: Deana Martin makes her TV singing debut, as well as her first appearance on her father’s series, on the December 8, 1966 episode (Disc 6), with the two cozying up on “Side By Side” (above). She then returns on the 1/28/71 episode (also Disc 6), this time joined by two of her siblings, plus a flock of other celebrity offspring (below, l. to r., Front row: Desi Arnaz, Jr., Meredith MacRae, Dean Paul Martin, Billy Hinsche; Back row: Maureen Reagan, Frank Sinatra Jr., Deana Martin, Gail Martin, Lucie Arnaz).
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Later in the same program, Deana (above left) vies with Lucie Arnaz (right) for the affections of Frank Jr. (center), as they sit and sing “Side By Side By Side”.
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In two other musical performances from the 1/28/71 episode, Dean Paul Martin (above right) jams with Dino, Desi & Billy bandmates Billy Hinsche (left) and Desi Arnaz Jr. (center) on “Lady Love”…
…while Meredith MacRae, Gail Martin, and Maureen Reagan (l. to r. below) put their own delicious spin on the cheeky “Triplets” number made famous by Fred Astaire, Nanette Fabray and Jack Buchanan in the 1953 MGM musical The Band Wagon.
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BE A PERFECT SLEEPER: Joey Heatherton’s sultry romp through “Nice ‘N’ Easy” on Bonus Disc 7 (above) is not only a sensual treat in and of itself, but undoubtedly also provided her with invaluable preparation for her future role as spokeswoman for Serta mattresses.
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DO THAT TO ME ONE MORE TIME: Although they already made a splash on the Guthy-Renker volumes, segments with Ella Fitzgerald (above, Discs 1 & 5), Louis Armstrong (below, Disc 5) and Ginger Rogers (further below, Bonus Disc 7) are nonetheless engaging enough to appeal to both Dino debutants and those up for a second go-round.
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GETTING TO KNOW YOU: Long-time, sharp-eyed viewers of The Dean Martin Show will have fun recognizing some familiar names and faces popping up in unexpected places in the King of Cool collection. On the 5/5/66 episode, the man behind the music on Dean’s series, Lee Hale (above left), steps in front of the camera to play straight-faced foil to singer-comedienne Dorothy Loudon (above right) and her looney advances.
Meanwhile, for Golds and Dings fans, a couple of early appearances by future Dingaling Sisters will surely ring a bell: Helen Funai, who was a dancer on Dean’s series during its first two seasons before returning as a Dingaling Sister in Season 8, can be seen in the two stills below from Disc 1, first with Vic Damone, and then with other members of Dean’s cleanup squad…
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…while Lynne Latham (below left) takes part in the kickline on the 10/16/69 program (Bonus Disc 7), two years prior to her initiation into the Dingaling sorority.
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As was true of T-L’s first and third DMS collections, the second installment comes with well-documented liner notes, save for one error and one omission. Regarding the former: The lineup for the 3/24/66 episode, included on Disc 4, lists the instrumental played by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass as being “Winds Of Barcelona”. In point of fact, the band did perform that song on the episode in question, but it’s cut from the DVD. What’s actually shown is the other number that the Brass did on that occasion: “Bittersweet Samba”.


A TASTE OF HONEY flavors the 3/24/66 episode, as Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass blow away the crowd with “Bittersweet Samba” (Disc 4).

As for what’s missing from the liner notes, that turns out to be a most agreeable surprise — an Easter egg in the form of one-third of the “Welcome To My World” medley from the close of the 10/22/70 episode. The portion retained is of Dean and The Golddiggers harmonizing on “Look For The Silver Lining”, and it’s actually the tune’s second appearance in this collection; Dean also sings a solo version of it on the 3/3/67 episode. But while there’s no disputing that it’s a lovely composition, there should also be no doubt as to why it made it past the executioner’s axe twice: Having been published before 1923, it’s in the public domain.


MAKE THE WORLD GO AWAY: It seemed as though that was the attitude toward the “Welcome To My World” medleys when the Guthy-Renker volumes were put together, as not a single one of the lush, beloved closing segments from The Dean Marin Show’s 6th season made it into those earlier DMS compilations. The first breakthrough on this front came with inclusion of at least a portion of the medley from the 10/22/70 episode on Disc 4 of the King of Cool set (surrounding Dean above, clockwise l. to r.: Melissa Stafford, Tara Leigh, Patricia Mickey); and as we’ve previously reported, the first full-length WTMW medley was presented in its entirety on Disc 3 of last spring’s Uncut collection; so we can only hope that more will follow.

In Your Easter Bonnet — Without All The Frills Upon It


SHAKING THE BLUES AWAY: Nipsey Russell and The Dingaling Sisters (above, l. to r.: Helen Funai, Michelle DellaFave, Jayne Kennedy, Lindsay Bloom) shake up a storm as part of the 4/12/73 episode’s salute to the 1948 MGM musical Easter Parade on Disc 6. But nothing can shake the feeling that something’s missing on DVD from the way the segment was originally broadcast. And indeed, something essential IS missing — namely, clips from the film itself, which were so deftly interspersed with fresh takes on the material by The Dean Martin Show’s cast — the same format employed week in and week out for every MGM musical tribute at the close of each episode during the DMS’ 8th season.
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Below: The full cast at the conclusion of the Easter Parade finale (l. to r., Front row: Dom DeLuise, Kay Medford, Dean, Nancy Sinatra, William Conrad, Nipsey Russell; Back row: Helen Funai, Michelle DellaFave, Jayne Kennedy, Lindsay Bloom).

As Lee Hale has noted, Irving Berlin loved Dean’s show and always granted it permission to use his songs — which likely accounts for the composer’s estate giving its okay to the reuse of his tunes from Easter Parade for the King of Cool collection. But considering the fact that the Guthy-Renker DVDs managed to include tributes from two other MGM musicals WITH clips from the films intact, why is there no footage from Easter Parade on this set?

Its absence not only leaves yet another gaping hole in one of Dean’s shows on DVD, but fails to take advantage of what one would think could have been a mutually rewarding cross-promotional opportunity that’s as old as the shows themselves. Here’s what we mean:

When the clips were originally used on Dean’s series, they were furnished by MGM in exchange for a promotional announcement at the end of each program, touting one of the studio’s new, upcoming theatrical releases. But even though it might not have been realized at the time, of far greater long-term value to MGM than a quick plug for its largely forgettable modern flicks was the hefty exposure being given to some of the finest gems in the company’s library, via The Dean Martin Show. Suddenly, millions of viewers too young to have seen the studio’s musicals when they were first issued were discovering them on prime-time network television — a process that yielded a whole new generation of admirers. In fact, it was this very showcase that helped spur a latter-day revival of interest in these vintage titles, culminating in the That’s Entertainment series of motion pictures, which celebrated the Lion’s golden age musicals on a grand scale and raked in fresh coin for cash-strapped MGM in the 1970s.

Today, with technology that enables anyone who wants to buy and own those musicals to do so, a potentially even more synergistic opportunity exists for cross-promoting The Dean Martin Show’s salute to MGM Musicals with DVD and Blu-Ray releases of those films, the distribution rights to which are now held by Time Warner. So it’s hard to see why retention of clips from those movies in DMS releases wouldn’t represent smart marketing and a win-win for all parties concerned.

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GLOW LITTLE GLOW WORM, GLOW: In interviews, Dean, like many crooners of his generation, always cited Bing Crosby as his major professional influence. Yet in his commentary on the Guthy-Renker volumes, Greg Garrison recounts how Dean once told him that it was actually The Mills Brothers’ Harry Mills (above), more than Crosby, that shaped his own performing style.
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While both showbiz vets doubtless had a significant impact, lending some weight to the Mills side of the equation is a segment on the 10/16/69 episode, seen on Bonus Disc 7, in which Dean attests to how Harry Mills gave him some sage advice early on in his career, and goes on to provide living proof of it, with an on-stage recreation of his first gig with The Mills Brothers in his hometown of Steubenville, Ohio (below: Dean with Harry Mills; and further below: Dean is flanked by Herbert and Donald Mills on the left and Harry Mills on the right).

For those considering a purchase of the Ultimate Collection boxed set, King of Cool helps round out the package. And for those who might have passed on it when it first came out, Time-Life’s second DMS outing is definitely worth a second look.

At the same time, with fresh servings of The Dean Martin Show on DVD promised for the year ahead, we hope that the recent trend of offering fewer episodes at a time, each with more meat on its bones (i.e., more musical content), will continue. It’s a recipe that should keep both preparers and consumers of these precious, tasty delicacies well-sated long past the holidays and beyond.

Finally, once again, we present a Sondheimian (that is, a side-by-side-by-side) comparison of the musical segments featured in the 21 King of Cool episodes, contrasting what was on their original NBC broadcasts with what’s contained on the Time-Life DVDs and with what can be gleaned from the now-discontinued Guthy-Renker volumes, all with the aim of helping Dean Martin fans understand not simply what’s been left out of both T-L and G-R’s disc reissues, but more importantly, how they can fill in some of the gaps in their own collections.

 

ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 5/5/66 (Last Show of the 1st Season) Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “That Old Clock On The Wall”
Guy Marks: “Granada” (a comical version of the song, followed by a monologue) Disc 1
Liberace: “Clair de Lune” (piano recital) Disc 1
Dean & Liberace (in place of Ken Lane) at The Piano: Song Parodies
Dean Martin: “The Last Time I Saw Paris”
Liberace: “The Poor People Of Paris” (instrumental)
Dean Martin & Liberace: “I Love Paris”
Dean Martin, Liberace & Guy Marks: “Lovely To Look At” (comical version, sung as an introduction to comedienne Dorothy Loudon)
Dorothy Loudon: Musical Comedy Segment in which she sings “Every Little Movement (Has A Meaning All Its Own)”, “If You Talk In Your Sleep Don’t Mention My Name” and “I Just Can’t Make My Eyes Behave” to a phalanx of tuxedoed gents that includes The Dean Martin Show’s Musical Director, Lee Hale, and Choral Director, Jack Halloran Disc 1
Dean Martin & Liberace: Medley that applies special lyrics to the melodies of several w.k. standards —  “After The Ball” / “And The Band Played On” / “Pretty Baby” / “Hallelujah” / “Rigoletto” / “Makin’ Whoopee” / “Ain’t We Got Fun” — in reviewing the highlights of the first season of Dean’s series. Disc 1
Dean Martin: “Everybody Loves Somebody” (marking the first time in the series’ run that he sang the full version of the song, in what would become a tradition on the final show of the season for the first six years of the series) Disc 1

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 3/16/72 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin & Barbara McNair: “Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again” / “Pennies from Heaven”
The Dingaling Sisters: “On the Good Ship Lollipop” Disc 1
Dean Martin & The Dingaling Sisters: Medley: “Mean to Me” / “Why Can’t You Behave?”
Dean Martin: “I Don’t Know What I’m Doing”
Barbara McNair:  “Something’s Comin’ On”
Dean Martin and Barbara McNair : “Bumming Around” Disc 1
Dean Martin: “Pardon”
Dean Martin & The Dingaling Sisters: Musical Questions
Entire Cast: “Records ‘Round and ‘Round” Finale (comical lip-synching to vintage pop recordings)

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 3/16/67 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You” Vol. 24
Edie Adams: “If Love Were All” ; “Gotta Dance”
Dean Martin & Edie Adams: “By The Light Of The Silvery Moon” Disc 1
Dean Martin & Red Buttons: “Thank Heaven For Little Girls”
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 1 (song parodies cut)
Dean Martin: “Born To Lose”
Ella Fitzgerald:  “Hallelujah, I Love Him So”; “You’ve Changed” Disc 1 (“Hallelujah, I Love Him So” only) Vol. 7 (“Hallelujah, I Love Him So” only)
Dean Martin & Ella Fitzgerald: Medley: “For You” / “I’d Climb The Highest Mountain” Disc 1 Vol. 7
Finale: Dean, Dom DeLuise, Edie Adams & Red Buttons: Medley of Children’s Songs: “I Don’t Want To Play In Your Yard” / “Playmates” Disc 1 (edited)

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 9/23/71 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin & Vikki Carr: “Proud Mary” / “Way Down Yonder In New Orleans”
The Dingaling Sisters: unknown
Dean Martin & The Dingaling Sisters: Medley
Vikki Carr: “If I Were Your Woman” Disc 2
Dean Martin & Vikki Carr: “Rainbows Are Back In Style” Disc 2
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 2 (song parodies cut)
Dean Martin: “Detroit City” Disc 2
Dean Martin & Cast: Finale

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 3/20/69 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “Not Enough Indians”
Barbara Eden: “I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate” Disc 2
Dean Martin & Barbara Eden: Medley: “Stumbling” / “Jada” / “At Sundown” / “Diga Diga Doo” Disc 2
Times Square Two: “Hello, Hawaii, How Are You” Disc 2
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 2 (song parodies cut)
Dean Martin: “Young At Heart” Vol. 23
Dean Martin & Dean’s Girls: Musical Questions
Kate Smith: “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever”; “As Long As He Needs Me” Disc 2
Dean Martin & Kate Smith: School Days Medley: “School Days” / “The Farmer In The Dell” / “Mary Had A Little Lamb” / “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep” / “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” / “Little Annie Rooney” / “Barnacle Bill The Sailor” Disc 2 Vol. 21
Dean Martin, Kate Smith, Barbara Eden, Mickey Rooney, Norm Crosby & Chorus: Patriotic Medley: “Yankee Doodle Dandy” / “God’s Country” / “My Old Kentucky Home” / “Back Home In Indiana” / “Yankee Doodle” / “Way Down Yonder In New Orleans” / “California, Here I Come“ / “Stars And Stripes Forever” / “You’re A Grand Old Flag” Disc 2 (“Way Down Yonder In New Orleans” & “California, Here I Come“ cut Vol. 23 (complete)
Kate Smith: “God Bless America” Disc 2 Vol. 23

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 9/24/70 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “Heart Over Mind” Disc 2
Shirley Jones: “On the Road”
Dean Martin & Shirley Jones: “Bidin’ My Time” Disc 2
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 2 (song parodies cut)
Kenny Rogers and The First Edition: “Tell It All, Brother” Disc 2
Dean Martin & Kenny Rogers and the First Edition: “Hey, Good Lookin’“ Disc 2
Dean Martin: “Turn the World Around”
Dean Martin & The Golddiggers: “Welcome To My World” Medley: “Everything is Beautiful” / “Gentle on My Mind” / “Little Green Apples”

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 3/30/67 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “Baby Face” Vol. 20
Abbe Lane: “I Love Paris” & “Milord” Disc 3 (“Milord” only)
Dean Martin & Abbe Lane : “C’est Magnifique”; “C’est Si Bon”
Gene Barry: “Sherry” (includes a pas de deux w. Wisa D’Orso) Disc 3
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 3 (song parodies cut)
Dean Martin: “Paper Doll” (sung to a toy doll)
Herman’s Hermits: “Dandy”; “There’s A Kind Of Hush” Disc 3 (“There’s A Kind Of Hush” only)
Dean Martin & Herman’s Hermits:  “Mairzy Doats”
Dean Martin: “Look For The Silver Lining” Disc 3 Vol. 3
Eddie Fisher: “People Like You”; “I Will Wait for You” Disc 3 (“I Will Wait for You” only)
Dean Martin, Abbe Lane, Eddie Fisher, Gene Barry: Baseball Medley: “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” / “Bless Them All” Disc 3

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 12/15/66 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “Nobody’s Baby Again”
Don Cherry: “Married”
Dean Martin & Don Cherry: “The Glory of Love”; “Gotta Travel On”
Vic Damone: “She Loves Me” Disc 3
Dean Martin & Vic Damone: “Ciao Compare”
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 3 (song parodies cut)
Dean Martin: “Home”
Caterina Valente: “So Nice” (a.k.a. ““Summer Samba”) Disc 3
Dean Martin  & Caterina Valente: “One Note Samba” Disc 3
Dean Martin, Caterina Valente, Vic Damone, Sid Caesar, Don Cherry: International Medley: “Auf Wiedersehen” / “Yankee Doodle Dandy” / “Funiculi Funicula” Disc 3

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 10/26/67 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “I’m Gonna Change Everything” Disc 3
Donald O’Connor dances to “España Cañi” Disc 3
Dean Martin & Donald O’Connor: Workout Medley: “The Lady’s In Love With You” / “They Didn’t Believe Me” / “My Buddy” / “He’s A Ladies’ Man” Disc 3
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 3 (song parodies cut)
Dean Martin: “I’m Confessin’ That I Love You”
Nancy Ames: “Pow, Pow, Pow”; “Fly Me to the Moon”
Dean Martin & Nancy Ames: Medley
Dean Martin, Nancy Ames, Donald O’Connor, Jonathan Winters: “To The Movies We Go” Finale Disc 3

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 10/22/70 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home
Patricia Crowley: “Rockin’ Ghost”
Dean Martin & Patricia Crowley: Positive Song Medley: “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” / “You Mustn’t Feel Discouraged” /
Dean Martin & The Golddiggers: “Hallelujah”
Engelbert Humperdinck: “My Wife, The Dancer” (featuring Golddigger Wanda Bailey as the dancer)
Dean Martin & Engelbert Humperdinck: “Crosby, Sinatra & Me” Disc 4 (Engelbert’s impressions of Crosby, Sinatra & Dean and a few bars of “Release Me”, as well as Dean’s impression of Engelbert, cut) Vol. 8 (complete, except for a few bars of “Release Me”)
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 4 (song parodies cut)
Dean & Leo DeLyon: “Blue Skies” (comical rendition) Disc 4
Dean Martin: “I Cried For You”
Dean Martin, Engelbert Humperdinck & Dom DeLuise: “Three Coins In The Fountain” (comic version, w. dancing by Golddigger Wanda Bailey) Disc 4
Dean Martin, Engelbert Humperdinck, Patricia Crowley, Dom DeLuise, The Golddiggers: “Everybody’s Got A Song” (singing impressions and parodies)
Dean Martin & the Golddiggers: “Welcome To My World” Medley: “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever” / “It’s Been A Blue, Blue Day” / “Look For The Silver Lining” Disc 4 (“Look For The Silver Lining” only)

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 10/28/71 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin & The Dingaling Sisters: “Sooner or Later” / “Almost Like Being In Love” Disc 4
The Dingaling Sisters: “Fool On The Hill”
Dean Martin & The Dingaling Sisters: Medley: “Embraceable You” / “You Took Advantage Of Me”
Elaine Stritch: “Someday My Prince Will Come” (comic version, w. assists from Ernest Borgnine & Dean Martin) Disc 4
Dean Martin: “La Vie En Rose”
Dean Martin & The Dingaling Sisters: Musical Questions
Dean Martin & Cast: “Records ‘Round and ‘Round” Finale (comical lip-synching to vintage pop recordings) Vol. 21

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 3/24/66 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “I’m Gonna Change Everything”
The Step Brothers (dance act) perform, and are then joined by Dean for some additional fancy footwork Disc 4  Vol. 6
Imogene Coca: “People” (performed in pantomime, with her vocals on the soundtrack) Disc 4
Dean Martin: “When You’re Smiling” (sung to Imogene Coca) Disc 4
Dean & Ken at the Piano Disc 4 (song parodies cut)
Dean Martin: “I Don’t Know Why”
Diana Ross and The Supremes: “Mother Dear” Disc 4
Dean Martin & Marty (a Krofft Puppet): “Side by Side”
Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass: “Bittersweet Samba” / “Winds of Barcelona” Disc 4 (“Bittersweet Samba” only)
Jane Morgan: “Downtown”; “More” Disc 4 (“Downtown” only)
Dean Martin, Jane Morgan, Imogene Coca, Diana Ross and The Supremes: Love Medley: “Love Makes the World Go ‘Round” / “I’m in the Mood for Love” / “Our Language of Love” / “Fools Fall In Love” / “Let There Be Love” / “Careless Love” / “Hooray for Love” / “Down with Love” / “It’s Love” / “Love Is The Sweetest Thing” / “Love” / “Love Is A Simple Thing” / “Love Is Just Around The Corner” / “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing” / “Love Is The Reason”

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 12/9/65 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “Singing the Blues”
The Andrews Sisters: Medley: “A Lot Of Livin’ To Do” / “My Favorite Things” Disc 5
Dean Martin & The Andrews Sisters: Medley: “Don’t Fence Me In” / “Apple Blossom Time”
Carol Lawrence: “Funny Face” Disc 5
Dean Martin & Carol Lawrence: “Baby Face” Disc 5
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 5 (song parodies cut)
Line Renaud: “Lui et Moi” (“Side by Side”)
Louis Armstrong: “Someday”; “So Long, Dearie”
Dean Martin & Louis Armstrong: Medley: “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody” / “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South” / “Mississippi Mud” / “Down By The Riverside” / “Swanee” / “Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey” / “Gotta Travel On” / “Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight” / “When The Saints Go Marching In” Disc 5 (“Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody”, “When It’s Sleepy Time Down South”, “When The Saints Go Marching In” only) Vol. 23 (complete medley)

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 3/10/66 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “My Kind of Girl” Special Edition Vol.
The Young Americans: “Pass Me By”
Dean Martin & The Young Americans: “Under The Lollipop Tree”
Johnny Mathis: “I’m In Love For The Very First Time”; “Lost In The Stars” Disc 5 (“I’m In Love For The Very First Time” only)
Dean Martin & Johnny Mathis: “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” Disc 5
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 5 (1 song parody included, 1 cut)
Dean Martin: “What Can I Say After I Say I’m Sorry”
Dean Martin & Shelley Berman: “Put Your Arms Around Me, Honey” Disc 5
Ella Fitzgerald: “That Old Black Magic” Disc 5
Dean Martin & Ella Fitzgerald: Gershwin Medley: “S’ Wonderful” / “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” / “How Long Has This Been Going On?” /  “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” / “Nice Work If You Can Get” / “They All Laughed” Disc 5 (last 3 songs cut) Vol. 1 (complete medley)

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 9/26/68 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “Rainbows Are Back in Style”
Patricia Crowley: “All I Need Is The Boy” Disc 5
Dean Martin & Patricia Crowley: “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 5 (1 song parody included, 1 cut)
Dean Martin: “That Old Time Feeling”
Dean Martin, Orson Welles, Jack Gilford, Patricia Crowley, Dean’s Girls: “Everybody Ought To Have A Maid” Disc 5 Vol. 21
Dean Martin, Patricia Crowley, Jack Halloran’s Choir: “Orange Colored Sky” Disc 5

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 4/12/73 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin, Dom DeLuise, Nipsey Russell: “Somebody Stole My Gal” Disc 6
Dean Martin & Nancy Sinatra: Medley of “Happy” songs
William Conrad: Medley of Anthony Newley songs
The Dingaling Sisters: “Love is Surrender”
Dean Martin & Nancy Sinatra: “Where Or When” Disc 6
Dean Martin & William Conrad: Medley of songs about Girls
Dean Martin & Cast: “At The Movies” Finale pays tribute to the MGM musical Easter Parade (1948) Disc 6 (“Steppin’ Out With My Baby”, “A Couple of Swells”, and all clips from the MGM movie, cut)

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 12/8/66 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “Cold Cold Heart”
Robert Goulet: “I’ll Take Romance” Disc 6
Dean Martin & Robert Goulet: “Breezin’ Along with the Breeze”
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 6 (1 song parody included, 1 cut)
Dean Martin: “The Things We Did Last Summer”
Gisele MacKenzie: “Mrs. Worthington”
Dean Martin & Gisele MacKenzie: Medley
Dean Martin: “You Are My Lucky Star” Disc 6
Dean Martin & Deana Martin (making her TV singing debut): “Side by Side” Disc 6
Dean Martin, Robert Goulet, Gisele MacKenzie, Jonathan Winters: “Silent Movie” Finale Disc 6

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 1/28/71 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “On A Slow Boat to China”
Celebrity Offspring (Meredith MacRae, Frank Sinatra Jr., Maureen Reagan, Deana Martin, Gail Martin, Lucie Arnaz, Desi Arnaz, Jr., Dean Paul Martin, Billy Hinsche): “Applause” Medley”: “Applause, Applause” / “Applause” Disc 6
Dean Martin & Celebrity Offspring: “Love Is The Reason”
Frank Sinatra Jr., Deana Martin, Lucie Arnaz: “Side By Side By Side” Disc 6
Dean & Ken at The Piano Disc 6 (song parodies cut, but Dean sings “Sonny Boy”, interspersed w. sarcastic commentary by Kay Medford as Ken’s mother)
Dean Martin: “Mean to Me”
Dino, Desi and Billy: “Lady Love” Disc 6
Meredith MacRae, Gail Martin & Maureen Reagan: “Triplets” Disc 6
Dean Martin, Bob Newhart ,Celebrity Offspring: “Everybody’s Got A Song” (singing impressions and parodies)
Dean Martin & The Golddiggers: “Welcome To My World” Medley: “Street of Dreams” / “Memories Are Made of This” / “The Very Thought of You”

Note: The three episodes listed below on Bonus Disc 7 are available ONLY on the King of Cool sets sold by Costco and those packaged with the 17-DVD Dean’s Ultimate Collection.

ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 10/6/66 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “Today Is Not the Day”
Vikki Carr: “You’re Gonna Hear from Me”; “Before The Parade Passes By”
Dean Martin & Vikki Carr: “Them There Eyes” Bonus Disc 7
Dean’s Girls dance around George Gobel to “St. Louis Blues” Bonus Disc 7
George Gobel: “That Old Irish Mother Of Mine” Bonus Disc 7
Dean Martin & George Gobel: “There’s A Hole In The Bucket” Bonus Disc 7
Dean & Ken at The Piano Bonus Disc 7 (song parodies cut)
Dean Martin: “Stars Fell On Alabama” Bonus Disc 7
Dean Martin & Phil Harris: “Mr. Gallagher and Mr. Shean” Bonus Disc 7 Vol. 2
Old-Time Medley Finale: Dean Martin, Vikki Carr, Phil Harris, George Gobel, Dean’s Girls: “Old Songs” / “Barney Google” / “Row, Row, Row” / “Who Takes Care Of The Caretaker’s Daughter?” /  “In The Evening By The Moonlight” Bonus Disc 7

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 10/16/69 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin: “Singing the Blues” Vol. 27
Joey Heatherton: “Nice ‘N’ Easy” Bonus Disc 7
Dean Martin & Joey Heatherton: Medley: “London Bridge Is Falling Down”  / “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?” / “The Farmer in the Dell” / “Surrey With The Fringe On Top” / “A Tisket, A Tasket” / “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”
Dean & Ken at The Piano Bonus Disc 7 (song parodies cut)
Dean Martin: “Where The Blue And Lonely Go”
Dean & Dean’s Girls “Sing-on” Orson Bean
The Mills Brothers: “Paper Doll” Bonus Disc 7
Dean Martin & The Mills Brothers: “You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You” Bonus Disc 7
Entire Cast: “Here We Go Again” Finale Bonus Disc 7

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ORIGINAL AIR DATE: 12/16/71 Time-Life Guthy-Renker
Dean Martin & Ginger Rogers: “Too Marvelous For Words”
Ginger Rogers Medley: “That’s How Young I Feel /” “Ain’t She Sweet” / “Yes Sir, That’s My Baby” / “Brazil” / “Change Partners And Dance” / “Sing, Sing, Sing” Vol. 9 (last part w. “Sing, Sing, Sing” & “That’s How Young I Feel” only
Dean Martin & Ginger Rogers: “Dancing” Bonus Disc 7 Vol. 9
The Dingaling Sisters: “Girl Talk”
Dean Martin & The Dingaling Sisters: Medley: “I Only Have Eyes For You” / “You Do Something To Me”
Dean & Ken at The Piano Bonus Disc 7 (song parodies cut)
Dean Martin & The Dingaling Sisters: Musical Questions
Dean Martin & Ginger Rogers: “Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered”
Dean Martin: “The Tips Of My Fingers” Bonus Disc 7
Entire Cast: Records ‘Round And ‘Round Finale (comical lip-synching to vintage pop recordings)

To comment on this article or share your views about The Dean Martin Show on DVD, please feel free to do so in the space provided below.

For breaking news and exclusive information about The Dean Martin Show, plus a forum to mingle with The Golddiggers, Dingaling Sisters, and other alums from Dean’s series, be sure to LIKE us on our Facebook page:


Dean Comes Home For Christmas

September 7, 2012

For a complete review of both The Dean Martin Christmas Special and the new 17-DVD Dean’s Ultimate Collection, click HERE

*** BREAKING NEWS — EXCLUSIVE ***

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A WINTER ROMANCE: For those looking to spread the kind of holiday cheer that made The Dean Martin Show a treat for all seasons, Time-Life is presenting the DVD debut of the series’ Christmas episode from December 1968, which can be purchased either on its own, or as part of a new giant boxed set, described below.

It may not even yet be fall, but for fans of The Dean Martin Show, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. That’s because we’ve just received word that on the eve of Halloween, and only days before Americans go to the polls to cast their ballots in the Presidential election, two new candidates selected from Dean’s weekly TV party will begin vying for our attention — and both will come bearing a shiny new yuletide present in an effort to snag our vote.

For starters, Time-Life has gathered together all three of the Dean Martin Show treasuries that the company has released to date, bundled them with a trio of appealing extras, and placed them all in a big 17-disc boxed set that they’re calling The Best Of The Dean Martin Variety Show: Dean’s Ultimate Collection, due out October 30.

Inside the package will be:

1) the six volumes of the first DMS anthology, issued in May of 2011;

2) the 6 DVDs of the second set, King Of Cool, which came out last November;

3) the 3 platters containing the Uncut episodes that went on sale this past May.

The three stocking stuffers that top off this Dino extravaganza are:

1) a bonus disc, comprising three additional Dean Martin Show episodes, that had been available ONLY as part of the special 7-DVD King of Cool editions that up until now have been sold exclusively through Costco stores (as with the other episodes in the King of Cool collection, those on the bonus disc are edited, but nonetheless entertaining);

2) a condensed softcover version of the photo book that had earlier been obtainable only in conjunction with the Dean Martin: Cool Then, Cool Now CD compilation, released in June 2011;

3) a brand new DVD featuring the never-before-reissued December 19, 1968 Christmas episode of The Dean Martin Show, with guest stars Dennis Weaver, Bob Newhart, Dom DeLuise, and The Golddiggers (this particular group of gals includes a number who had appeared in the very first Golddiggers series that premiered in the summer of ’68).
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I CAN’T GIVE YOU ANYTHING BUT DEAN: A bounty for the DM Show enthusiast who wants its all (or wants to share the experience with others), Dean’s Ultimate Collection combines all of the previous Time-Life releases of Dean Martin Show DVDs with a newly-restored Christmas episode and two more extras, all in a deluxe boxed set.

The 1968 Christmas special will also be marketed as a standalone item, providing a money-saving option for those who already own the first three Time-Life collections or those who simply want a single, Christmas-themed Dean Martin Show.

We’ve been given to understand that the ’68 Christmas episode will be minus some of its original musical content, but we don’t yet know what’s been left in or what’s been cut.

And while we’re aware that many were hoping to finally see the release of the cherished 1967 episode commonly known as “Christmas with The Martins and The Sinatras” — in fact, a couple of other websites had erroneously speculated that it would be the Christmas show featured on the new T-L DVD — we’ve been told by authoritative sources that the rights to the ’67 program remain out of reach at this juncture. So, in light of that, a vintage Christmastime show from the following year may well be the next best gift that Santa could put under a Dean Martin fan’s tree.

What’s more, Dinophiles should certainly take heart from this promising piece of news: The Golddiggers Super Site has learned that there will DEFINITELY be more Dean Martin Show DVDs to come. And as we’ve noted in the past, your support for the current and forthcoming titles will be vital in ensuring how much of that future product will come to market, as well as how complete it will be.

We’ll provide a thorough overview of the just-announced releases as soon as they’re made available to us. In the meantime, to be certain that you stay informed of the latest developments relating to the DVDs, Dean, The Golddiggers, and The Dingaling Sisters, we invite you to join the many Dean Martin Show alumnae and aficionados who already LIKE our Dean, Golds and Dings Facebook page:

Our thanks to regular Dean, Golds and Dings participant Richard Wierzbowski for his contribution to this report.


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