An Exclusive Preview of The New Dean Martin Show DVD Sets

HERE WE GO AGAIN: Following a near-decade-long drought, the spigot has been reopened and footage derived The Dean Martin Show is once again flowing through the pipeline — this time supplied by NBC and distributed by Time-Life Video — with a new stream slated to hit the retail channel this coming May.

Some eight years after the release of the final edition of Greg Garrison‘s 29-volume collection of highlights from The Dean Martin Show, something big — and new — will, at last, soon be coming up on the screens of fans who have patiently (and in numerous cases, impatiently) waited for more.

When David Lambert of the website broke the news on February 3rd that Time-Life Video would be issuing a fresh bundle of material culled from Dean’s television series, it stirred a good deal of excitement among Dino devotees. It was revealed that the new offering would be aimed at the retail sector (as opposed to the aforesaid earlier Dean Martin Show DVDs, which were sold via mail-order subscription), and rolled out on May 24th in three configurations — as a 6-disc treasury, as well as 1- and 2-disc lower-priced subsets of the larger collection. Bonus material, in the form of interviews with some of those who worked on the show, both on-camera and behind-the-scenes, would also be included.

But with specific details about the main content of the programs still a question mark, many were left wondering exactly what parts of The Dean Martin Show this new package would feature, and how that footage would differ from what was seen on Guthy-Renker‘s multi-volume iteration of The Best of The Dean Martin Variety Show (the same title, incidentally, that the new Time-Life collection will employ).

About two weeks ago, NBC Universal TV Consumer Products Group issued a press release, announcing its involvement in the new venture and providing additional information about guest stars who appear in the new sets. Around the same time, a five-minute promotional trailer for the package began playing on YouTube. [Note: Time-Life has since pulled that original promo piece, and it’s been replaced with a raft of clips showcasing individual scenes from the DVDs, such as the one below with Dean and Lainie Kazan.]

Although issuance of the news release and YouTube video shone a bit more light on what we can expect from the upcoming DVD entries, they still left us in the dark about much of the lineup and many of the particulars. So we at The Golddiggers Super Site dug a little deeper, and are happy to be able to present herewith the first comprehensive overview of the new Best of The Dean Martin Variety Show, with a level of specificity and detail that has yet to appear anywhere else.

That said, bear in mind that this is not a definitive rundown of the entire content of the discs — that will have to wait until review copies are circulated in advance of the official release — but it is far and away the most complete and accurate picture to date of what this new compendium has to offer.

Singin’ The Blues

First, the not-such-good-news…

For starters, one of the key differences between this new collection and the older one marketed by Guthy-Renker is that while each volume of the latter comprised an assortment of clips drawn from various episodes and seasons of The Dean Martin Show, the new sets are organized by individual episodes. At first blush, that may sound like precisely what those critical of the G-R set’s piecemeal approach have been craving. However, the episode-by-episode strategy, at least as implemented in this instance, comes with a big caveat: It should NOT (regrettably) be taken to mean that these are whole, uncut shows that we’ll be getting.

Sources involved in the project have told us that episodes included on these DVDs run anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, with virtually all of the comedy sketches left intact. When the same shows were originally broadcast on NBC, they had running times of approximately 52 minutes. Reading between the lines, you’ve probably already guessed which portions of the programs had to be deleted for the new sets…

And yes, we’re sorry to affirm that the casualties that wound up on the cutting room floor were the usual victims — some of the musical numbers (though by no means all of them). The cost, difficulty and/or impossibility of clearing the rights simply forced their excision. In fairness, this is the same dilemma that confronts every entity that attempts to release vintage variety shows, and even a few other types of series, such as The Wonder Years (which has still never seen the light of day on DVD) that incorporated large amounts of music.

It should also be pointed out that the original trailer that Time-Life assembled for YouTube to tout the new collection (since withdrawn) contained a couple of misplaced clips. As we learned, neither the sequence in which The Dingaling Sisters performed “A Whole Lotta Lovin'” from the 7th season opening of the series, nor the segment featuring Ginger Rogers with Dean, are included on the new DVDs. Both, however, are featured on the Guthy-Renker set — Ginger on Vol. 9 and The Dings at the start of Vols. 5 through 28.

Look For The Silver Lining

On the other hand, although the rest of the scenes depicted in the trailer are all contained in the new 6-DVD Time-Life set, they don’t do it justice. Not shown are a number of real gems that didn’t make it onto the G-R volumes, but which appear to be, or are likely to be, encompassed within the T-L collection. We’ve called attention to some of them in the passages that follow.

Moreover, NBCU’s press handout about the new set vows that the 6-DVD treasury boasts a whopping 80 musical performances — no small sum by any count, and truly encouraging if a good number of them don’t duplicate what was on the G-R discs.

What we are able to deliver at this point is a marquee listing, obtained by the Super Site from sources connected with the project, of all of the Dean Martin Show episodes utilized for the new Time-Life releases. Included are the shows’ original air dates, guest stars, and bonus features that round out each disc.

Then, to illustrate the potential wealth of material that this new collection could add to the existing DMS oeuvre, we’ve supplemented the information about the first two DVDs with our own notes, offering context and perspective in comparing the new discs with the prior G-R volumes and the original telecasts. For our purposes, we have chosen to focus on the programs’ musical content, since that’s the aspect of The Dean Martin Show that visitors to our site have repeatedly indicated to us is nearest and dearest to their hearts…

(Time-Life Video)
Release Dates: 1- & 2-DVD sets: May 24, 2011; 6-DVD set: June 14, 2011

DVD 1 (to be sold as a single volume, and as part of both the 2- and 6-vol. sets)

1) Original Air Date: 2/3/66
Guests: Bob Hope, Joel Grey, Juliet Prowse

Super Site Annotation: Right off the bat, we can state categorically that even if only some of the musical numbers originally shown on this episode are included on this disc, it would be a worthwhile purchase. To name but one that would make it so: An outstanding, exuberant song-and-dance mélange performed by Joel Grey that blends the standard, “Shine On Your Shoes”, with an excerpt from Herb Alpert‘s “Whipped Cream”. Since Grey is listed by T-L as a guest on this episode, it’s a good bet that the number will be on here (it was not on the Guthy-Renker reels).

Another song from this episode that has never appeared on a commercial DVD is Dean’s warm and cozy rendition of “Home”, which was actually co-written in the 1930s by one of the musical arrangers on Dean’s series, Geoff Clarkson, at the tender age of 16.

Dean opened this episode with “C’est Si Bon” and joined Bob Hope and Juliet Prowse for “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”. Both were on the G-R set (Vols. 3 & 5, respectively), and so, will probably wind up on this new set, too.

Joel Grey (above, with Dean, and below, with dancers) shows off energetic vocal and terpsichorean chops with “Shine On Your Shoes”, topped off by a dollop of “Whipped Cream”, in a number from the 2/3/66 episode of The Dean Martin Show that might be included on Disc 1 of the new Best Of The Dean Martin Variety Show collection from Time-Life.

2) Original Air Date: 9/23/65
Guests: Peggy Lee, John Wayne, Jack Jones, Krofft Puppets

Super Site Annotation: This is the second episode of The Dean Martin Show ever broadcast and the earliest featured in this collection. Since Dean’s opening number, “Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On”, is his only solo performance on this particular episode, it seems reasonable to assume that it will turn up here, along with his cute duet with The Kroftt Puppets on “I’ve Got Your Number”. He also managed to wrangle John Wayne into pairing with him on “Don’t Fence Me In”. If any of those numbers are included on this DVD, it would be a first; none was featured on the G-R set.

What almost assuredly won’t make the cut here are solos by Peggy Lee, Jack Jones and Shari Lewis (sadly, none of those performances made it onto the Guthy-Renker reels either). What hopefully will survive is a fabulous closing rendition of “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” with Dean, Peggy, and Jack.

3) Original Air Date: 9/14/67:
Guests: Jimmy Stewart, Orson Welles

Super Site Annotation: This was the premiere episode of the series’ third season. Musical numbers included Dean opening with “The Birds and the Bees”, singing “Welcome to My World” from the couch, clowning with Orson Welles on yet another rendition of “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”, and moseying along with Jimmy Stewart on “Ragtime Cowboy Joe”. All were included on the G-R volumes.

4) Original Air Date: 4/3/69
Guests: Don Rickles, Don Adams, Dom DeLuise, Michael Landon

Super Site Annotation: The listing of Don Rickles and Don Adams as guests on this episode is somewhat disingenuous: They simply did a walk-on, coming out of Dean’s closet. Besides, it was already on one of the G-R DVDs, as was Michael Landon‘s Dixieland medleys (first solo and then with Dean), and Dean and Dom DeLuise‘s comical recitation of the alphabet with Dean’s Girls, wrapped up with a truncated, but melodious version of “A – You’re Adorable”.

BONUS FEATURE INTERVIEWS ON DISC 1: Florence Henderson, Jonathan Winters, Gail Martin Downey, and Angie Dickinson

DVD 2 (to be sold as part of both the 2- and 6-vol. sets)

1) Original Air Date: 11/23/72:
Guests: Jack Benny, Lou Jacobi, Nipsey Russell, Rodney Dangerfield

Super Site Annotation: This could be a real winner if it includes one or more of the following segments from the original broadcast: Dean’s opening number with The Dingaling Sisters (“Then I’ll Be Happy”); his mid-show solo (“Non Dimenticar”); his medley with The Dings (“Love Is Just Around The Corner” and “My Ideal” ); The Dings’ standalone song-and-dance number (“The Laziest Gal In Town”); the closing tribute to the 1948 MGM musical Words and Music (don’t hold your breath for those last two). None of the above showed up in the G-R collection; but what did was nonetheless both musically and comedically delightful — a “sing-off” between Dean and Jack Benny, with each joined by his own set of Dingaling Sisters — and it may well make it into this release, too.

DING-DONG: Could Dean and The Dingaling Sisters be calling on viewers of Disc 2 in T-L’s new series?

2) Original Air Date: 10/13/66 (Time-Life incorrectly listed the date as 9/13/66)
Guests: George Burns, Dinah Shore, Jonathan Winters

Super Site Annotation: Dean’s opening number on this episode — “If You Knew Susie” — and his duet with Dinah on “Shine on Harvest Moon” graced the G-R discs, and although his on-the-couch rendering of “I’m in the Mood for Love” didn’t, it was featured on the 2001 single-DVD compilation, Dean Martin: That’s Amoré (now out-of-print), so it might pop up anew here.

3) Original Air Date: 1/15/70:
Guests: Sammy Davis, Jr. Paul Lynde, Andy Griffith

Super Site Annotation: Both Dean’s opening and couch songs (“Let the Good Times In” and “I Don’t Know Why”, respectively), as well as Andy Griffith‘s “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady” (definitely an acquired taste), had spots on the G-R platters; but that was not the case with either Sammy‘s solo, “Wichita Lineman”, or his medley with Dean, so if included here, either one would be making its official DVD debut (though the medley incorporates so many songs that it’s hard to see an economically viable way that they could all be cleared).

BONUS FEATURE INTERVIEWS ON DISC 2: Jonathan Winters, Phyllis Diller, Norm Crosby, and Lee Hale

SAM’S SONG: That’s one of the tunes on which Dean harmonized with Sammy Davis, Jr. on the original Jan. 15, 1970 telecast of The Dean Martin Show. But the sizable number of compositions mixed into the medley that they performed may well make it too expensive to clear all of the musical rights involved for inclusion on DVD 2 of Time-Life’s set.

DVD 3 (available solely as part of the 6-vol. set)

1) Original Air Date: 3/21/68
Guests: Bob Newhart, Tony Bennett, Florence Henderson

2) Original Air Date: 4/5/73
Guests: Peter Sellers, Rodney Dangerfield, Dom DeLuise, Nipsey Russell, Lou Jacobi

3) Original Air Date: 9/29/66
Guests: Duke Ellington, Andrews Sisters, Tim Conway, Frank Gorshin, Lainie Kazan

4) Original Air Date: 2/11/71
Guests: Debbie Reynolds, Paul Lynde, Marty Feldman, Pat Cooper

BONUS FEATURE INTERVIEWS ON DISC 3: Florence Henderson, Lainie Kazan, and Gail Martin Downey

DVD 4 (available solely as part of the 6-vol. set)

1) Original Air Date: 9/14/72
Guests: Gene Kelly, Dom DeLuise, Rodney Dangerfield, Kay Medford

2) Original Air Date: 1/18/68
Guests: Florence Henderson, George Burns, Eddie Albert

3) Original Air Date: 9/25/69
Guests: Elke Sommer, David Janssen, Charles Nelson Reilly, Ralph Edwards

BONUS FEATURE INTERVIEWS ON DISC 4: Carol Lawrence, Angie Dickinson, and Lee Hale

DVD 5 (available solely as part of the 6-vol. set)

1) Original Air Date: 11/10/66
Guests: Phyllis Diller, Sid Caesar

2) Original Air Date: 2/15/68
Guests: Ethel Merman, Lainie Kazan, Roger Miller

3) Original Air Date: 4/4/68
Guests: George Gobel, Robert Mitchum, Jimmy Stewart, Shecky Greene

BONUS FEATURE INTERVIEWS ON DISC 5: Phyllis Diller, Lainie Kazan, and Susie Ewing (née Susie Lund of The Golddiggers)

DVD 6 (available solely as part of the 6-vol. set)

1) Original Air Date: 11/23/67
Guests: Woody Allen, Kate Smith

2) Original Air Date: 10/5/67
Guests: Phil Silvers, Eddie Arnold, Janet Leigh, Mills Brothers

3) Original Air Date: 9/19/68
Guests: Lena Horne, Zero Mostel, Shecky Greene, Buddy Ebsen

BONUS FEATURE INTERVIEWS ON DISC 6: Norm Crosby, Carol Lawrence, and Susie Ewing (née Susie Lund of The Golddiggers)

We’ve been told to anticipate the arrival of screeners and/or liner notes within the next two weeks or so, and as soon as we have them at our disposal and had a chance to review them, we will post not only complete, verified content listings for all 6 DVDs, but also, the same type of comparative analyses for all of the discs that we applied above to the first two.

Even as Time-Life readies this new collection of material from The Dean Martin Show produced in conjunction with NBC Universal, the 29 volumes of Guthy-Renker’s own The Best of The Dean Martin Variety Show remain on the market. And sources close to the Time-Life venture have confirmed to us that neither Guthy-Renker nor Greg Garrison Productions have any involvement with the new Time-Life sets.

It was The Golddiggers Super Site that was the first to report back in 2007 on the filing of a lawsuit brought by NBCU against Guthy-Renker, Greg Garrison Productions and several other defendants over home video rights to The Dean Martin Show. We also broke the news in 2008 that an out-of-court settlement had been reached by the parties in the case; and while terms of that settlement were never publicly disclosed, and the major litigants have declined to comment on them, it would seem within reason to infer that the current availability of Dean Martin Show product from two different companies may be a direct upshot of the settlement, with Guthy-Renker and Garrison Productions apparently being allowed to continue selling via mail order the 29 volumes that they already have in the can, while NBCU was evidently granted the right to create new Dean Martin Show DVDs targeted to the retail market.

Indeed, what both Time-Life and NBC spokespersons have been able to confirm to us is that they have the right to produce future installments of The Best of The Dean Martin Variety Show. So with a number of rare, previously-unreleased segments promised in the upcoming set, and the potential for more down the road in future sets (should this new one be well-received), we think it’s important that Dinophiles lend their support to this latest release…and we’ll furnish even more reasons for doing so in our next report.

For ongoing alerts, announcements and developments relating to the new Dean Martin Show DVDs, as well as all aspects of Dean, The Golddiggers, and The Dingaling Sisters, we invite you to visit our sister site — Dean, Golds and Dings — and its Facebook page, where clicking the Like button at the top of the page will automatically deliver important updates to your Facebook news feed:

Many Dean Martin Show fans, as well as industry insiders and observers, will be following this story over the next few days and weeks; so in order to give anyone who would like to express his or her views on the subject the opportunity to do so, we will, for only the second time since launching the Super Site in 2007, herewith open up a special forum, making it possible to leave Comments directly after this post…

38 Responses to An Exclusive Preview of The New Dean Martin Show DVD Sets

  1. Barry says:

    Looking forward to the new only if the Golddiggers shows are released..I can wish can’t I?

  2. Video Vision says:

    Yes, Barry, and it’s not only a wish that we share with you, but one that we know is now receiving attention in the right places; so the more voices that are added to the chorus, the greater the chances that such a wish might eventually come true.

  3. Dennis B says:

    Does anyone know if Deans couch version of Stars Fell on Alabama will be included on any of these discs. He hit a home run with his rendition!

  4. Video Vision says:

    Dennis, there’s no record of it being on any of the episodes that make up the forthcoming sets, so unfortunately, the answer to your question would appear to be no. But inquiries like yours in a forum such as this can still have a beneficial impact, since these comments will undoubtedly be read by those who will have the say in determining the content of future Dean Martin Show releases.

  5. Edward Aginsky says:

    Thanks for the great article. Based on your story, I’ve already pre-ordered my copy of the Collector’s Edition through Amazon.

    I sure hope this is just the beginning of these DVDs because from what I’ve read there were over two hundred Dean Martin Shows made over the years….and if they were for sale, I’d buy ’em all!

  6. Video Vision says:

    We’re with you all the way on that, Edward; and if enough folks like you get behind this initial set of releases, it increases the chances that we’ll see more down the line.

  7. Finn Tellefsen says:

    I’d be lying if I didn’t say that my initial reaction was disappointment when I read the breakdown of this new set; looks like 16 of the 20 shows covered here were already used in some fashion by GR. Song wise the GR collection used around 80 or so shows out of 250 produced, so I was hoping for all “new” material from Time Life, alas that now seems a pipe dream…

    I have of course pre-ordered the set regardless, and I am grateful that Time Life included one of the most glaring GR omissions; the duet with Sammy Davis, even if the rest of the episode was extensively covered by GR already. As a matter of fact, this set would have been “the answer” had it not been for the 29 DVD GR set that most of us – the fans – already own.

    Time Life did such a marvelous job with the Andy Williams & Tom Jones shows (despite the maddening edits); their menu breakdowns, “Songs only” feature, and most importantly (and where GR was seriously lacking) listing the airdates, was just wonderful! Hope this is the case here as well.

    I hope this is only the first in a long line of releases, and how about finally releasing the jewel in the crown – the 12/21/67 Christmas show with the Sinatra & Martin families – in its entirety? (PLEASE don’t edit the medley, I’ll gladly pay extra for it!!)

    It’s impossible to go wrong with any hitherto unreleased shows from the first 5 seasons; I would especially like to see more of Dean’s work with Louis Armstrong (10/21/65 duet) Phil Harris & George Burns (12/12/68) and Tony Bennett (10/31/68) etc. Would also love to see the Bobby Darin duet, the Everly Brothers, and some of the “Welcome to my World” end-segments (all omitted by GR) I could go on, but let’s just see if there will be a 2nd installment first.

    Thanks again for the info, keep it coming!

  8. Video Vision says:

    Our hats off to you, Finn, for a very astute and balanced assessment of Time-Life’s new Dean Martin Show Set. Clearly, you are a knowledgeable and avid connoisseur of the series — precisely the type of person to whom we seek to cater, and also the type to which the creators of this new package are looking to appeal.

    One point that you raised, though, that we would like to clarify is about Dean’s duet with Sammy Davis, Jr. from the Jan. 15, 1970 episode. While Sammy is indeed billed by T-L as appearing on the version of that episode that’s included on DVD 2 of the new collection, and while we, too (as well as, no doubt, hundreds of fans) would love to see the Dean-Sammy medley be on the disc, what we actually wrote was that we were a bit dubious about that possibility, owing to the expense that would be entailed in clearing the rights to the many songs that were used in that segment. However, we’ll be able to state for sure what material will or won’t make the final cut as soon as we’ve been given a screening copy to review and filed our follow-up report in the next two weeks or so.

    But we couldn’t agree with you more about being willing to swallow the cost of paying higher prices for the product in order to see more musical performances included. We believe that many supporters of the series feel that way, as well, and we’ll go into more detail about that in our next installment.

    We also heartily second your wish list for other DMS episodes to receive the reissue treatment in the future, with the 1967 Christmas show — aka “Christmas with The Martins and The Sinatras” — seeming like an ideal candidate for the 2011 holiday season, since it’s been, for years, one of the programs in the series most requested by fans. As for any re-release of the “Welcome To My World” medleys…Well, the prospect alone leaves us floating on air — although we have to add that the actual materialization of it would be a lot more satisfying!

  9. Michelle DellaFave says:

    I am so happy that more DVDs are coming out of dear Dean and the show. For me they bring back such fond memories. I always loved all the music on the show and having had the blessed opportunity to sing and dance and even do skits with Dean makes these releases even more joyous.

    I do hope that somehow, more musical numbers are eventually included. I would pay more for them… and I am glad to know that a Golddigger was included in the interviews. Of course my wish would be that the shows were all complete, without cuts. It was a “variety show” at it’s best. Working with Dean and The Dingaling Sisters are treasured memories for me. The finish of the shows from the 6th season with the “Welcome To My World” medleys ended Thursday night with a peaceful close to an entertaining hour. Thank you NBC and Time Life!

  10. Video Vision says:

    Michelle, we thank you for your input. As someone who must have logged as much time as anyone singing and dancing on Dean’s show each week, for two seasons as one of The Golddiggers and for three as one of The Dingaling Sisters, you are one of the rare few who possess an insider’s view of both working side-by-side with Dean on a regular basis and witnessing how his series was produced.

    That you are also a fan of Dean and the program itself reflects what a compelling performer Dean was and what a well-crafted series it was that came to be built around him by wizards like Greg Garrison and Lee Hale.

    Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge the extent to which your own presence on the program, as well as that of your colleagues in The Golddiggers and The Dingaling Sisters — and especially, your vocal solos, which often seemed to make even Dean swoon — contributed to the overall excellence of the series. Indeed, it’s our hope that when these new sets from Time-Life are released, there’ll be ample footage featuring not only Dean and his guest stars, but also the regular female singer-dancers on his show of which both he and his viewers were so fond.

  11. Denny says:

    Wow! I’m thrilled to hear the news that there are more pieces of Dean’s show ready to come out! The only thing that could be better news would be to hear that the whole shows would be released in their entirety. I’m a little concerned about hearing that some of the songs will be deleted. I am, and always have been a lot more excited about the songs than the skits. I have the GR series and tend to pass by the skits to watch and listen to the songs. Of particular interest to me are the duets and the songs with the Dingalings and Golddiggers. With those, Dean often manages to combine beautiful music with that fabulous funny personality of his. I hope they haven’t cut many of the songs out! I figure that if I can pay for a regular music CD, I certainly should be willing to spend a bit more to get the music from Dean’s show. Thank you Time-Life and NBC!!

  12. Video Vision says:

    Denny, we echo your sentiments entirely, but believe, as we’re sure that you and other fans do, as well, that these new sets are a good first step, and that if we support them, then more will surely follow. And make no mistake that there will be previously-unreleased musical numbers on these new DVDs, which should peg them as must-haves for DMS enthusiasts — just how many musical performances and which ones, we’ll know better very soon.

  13. Jacqueline Cornella says:

    Wonderful memories of such a fabulously entertaining show.
    Of course every Bergenfield resident tuned in to see the great talent of our very own Michelle DellaFave and her sister Tanya.

  14. Video Vision says:

    As it just so happens, Jackie, we’ve had the good fortune to catch a number of your own performances on Youtube, both as lead female singer with The Infernos Band and more recently, as a solo artist, so it comes as no surprise to us that someone as talented as you would have such good eyes and ears for talent in others — including, of course, those two other New Jersey gals-made-good that you mentioned: Michelle DellaFave, who first came to prominence as one of The Golddiggers and then became a fixture on Dean’s show as one of four singing Dingaling Sisters; and her real-life sister, Tanya DellaFave, who also became a Golddigger, appearing on the first season of the group’s syndicated series and performing a pair of solos on their Golddiggers: Today LP.

    Like you, we think that Michelle is just one more reason to savor Dean’s show, and we know that not only you, but thousands of others, as well, would love to see all of the Golddiggers programs — including the ones that featured Tanya — eventually have their day on DVD, too.

  15. Matthias Kripel says:

    I think it is great that parts of my favourite show will be released. It would be perfect if all musical pieces would be in.

    Do you know if the DVDs will be also available in Austria/Europe?

  16. Video Vision says:

    We’re not aware, Matthias, of any plans by Time-Life to market their Best of The Dean Martin Variety Show sets outside of North America. However, we’re also not aware of any restrictions being placed on overseas sales of the product through online U.S. vendors such as Amazon. As a result, the only potential barrier that we can envision to watching these programs abroad is that you’ll very likely need to have a DVD deck capable of playing Region 1 encoded discs. But with such a unit at the ready, you should have no problem being able to order and view any of the upcoming Dean Martin Show releases.

  17. Donna M Butler says:

    The Dean Martin Show & the Ding A Ling Sisters were the highlight of my childhood. I would support the music, whole heartedly!

  18. Video Vision says:

    Donna, that support is both gratifying and appreciated, adding one more vote to the count of those eager to see not only more Dean, but more Dings, too.

  19. Susan says:

    As an avid fan who has idolized Dean Martin for approximately 43 years, I am thrilled to hear that additional material will be released and will be among the first on line to make a purchase. Adding what appears to be a WONDERFUL DVD set to my extensive collection will be a ‘Dream-Come-True’. Dean has always been a very positive influence in my life. I continue to enjoy his music, movies, and episodes of his TV Show/Roasts and do not think we will ever see another entertainer like him.

    I wish that ALL of his complete shows were being released and that songs were not deleted as Dean’s couch songs were my favorite part of the show as well as the songs he sang with the Ding-A-Ling Sisters and Golddiggers. Every Thursday evening his charm and charisma endeared him to his millions of fans. He made everything look so effortless and did it with such ease. On our screens, we saw that soft, boyish side of him when we tuned in our sets to his weekly TV Variety Show. His devilish grin and great sense of humor entertained us for more than a decade and it would be SO WONDERFUL for future generations to be able to witness what we were so very fortunate to have witnessed in our lifetime……a truly remarkable man and a wonderful, multi-talented entertainer.

    Thank you to Time-Life Video and NBC for sharing my fondest memories of a VERY RARE talent that we will see but once-in-a-lifetime.

  20. Video Vision says:

    Susan, within the space of just a couple of paragraphs, you’ve succeeded in eloquently summing up what entire biographies have sought to do — namely, you’ve defined the essential qualities that made Dean Martin such a personable and endearing host of his own series, someone whom audiences felt comfortable inviting into their homes week after week for the better part of a decade.

    Mastering what cultural observer and pundit Marshall McLuhan termed the “cool medium” of television was a skill that few of Dean’s professional peers were ever able to accomplish — and yet he seemed able to do it with a grace and ease that almost made it look effortless. Of course, that’s one of the tricks of a great performer; and as Greg Garrison was fond of noting, Dean was, first and foremost, a performer. Sure enough, as we all now await the release of these newest editions of his show, he’s still, all these years later, keeping us glued to our screens and wanting more.

  21. Kylie says:

    I`m sorry I missed the big announcement, having been away on vacation enjoying the last of the beautiful weather here in Australia.
    I arrived home today and checked my e-mails, there are so many to get to, starting tomorrow.
    I checked in here at the site to discover this wonderful announcement regarding the release of some of The Dean Martin Shows.
    This is a dream come true 🙂
    As Michael knows I had little hope this would ever happen.
    Wow ! Maybe I`m only dreaming all this 🙂
    This is the first really big step towards the releases of The Dean Martin Shows.
    And knowing Dean’s family (referring here to Gail) are involved is wonderful and gives me hope there will be further releases.
    For now, it is a little sad the shows will be edited down from 53 minutes but I think we are so lucky to be getting anything at all considering all the copyright problems.
    I hope firstly Deans songs will be included in the shows as they were originally aired, especially the opening songs and the couch songs.
    I know we may not get to see many of the medleys Dean did with fellow guest stars, which is a shame.
    I would much rather see some of the comedy sketches edited out instead.
    My other big hope is the Welcome to My World medleys with The Golddiggers will be included and the medleys with The Ding a Ling Sisters.
    I hope we`ll also get to see The Ding a Ling Sisters perform, they just have to include The Tennessee Stud in these.
    Something I had worried about were the interviews, I suspected they might be interwoven into the shows but I`m so relieved to see they are added as bonus features.
    This evening I`m full of joy and I doubt if I`ll be able to sleep, lol
    My other hope is these sets will be easily available to Australia but I`ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
    I know I will have this 6 dvd collection in my possession as soon as possible.
    This is what I have been hoping and praying for 🙂
    My 21st birthday has been full of surprises but nothing can match this 🙂
    I am so thrilled 🙂
    Hugs and Kisses
    from Kylie xxxoooxxx

  22. Video Vision says:

    Kylie, the new DVDs won’t be officially sold outside of North America, but if you take a look at our above reply to another visitor inquiring about the overseas availability of these sets, you’ll see our mention of the fact that they can be ordered from U.S.-based online merchants such as Amazon. And of course, they could also be purchased by those living Stateside and shipped as gifts to friends in foreign countries. So who knows…Perhaps the latter method is how you’ll receive yours. 🙂

  23. Lindsay Bloom says:

    I’m the last Ding-A-Ling Sister that was hired for season 8 back in 1972-1973. I was so excited and hopeful when I heard that NBC was going to release several volumes of the Dean Martin Show this May, as none of my sketches, musical numbers, etc. were ever included in the previous releases by Guthy-Renker.
    This recent article contains in-depth research regarding the upcoming releases. And alas, it appears that NBC has also cut most of the musical numbers… say I’m disappointed is an understatement. I would so love to have the complete Season 8 to show my children!
    So many fans have asked me how they can get copies of our “Ding-A-Ling Sister” performances! And yes, there are new, younger generations who are fans as well!
    I hope that one day soon NBC will make the complete, entire, Dean Martin Shows available!!!!
    I was 22 when I worked on these shows. I’m now 60. I hope I don’t have to wait much longer…….
    God Bless, Lindsay Bloom

  24. Video Vision says:

    Lindsay, we know that the musical numbers that you and your Sister Dings performed during that 8th season of The Dean Martin Show, as well as the medleys for which the four of you joined Dean each week, were among the most creative, entertaining, and satisfying of any ever shown on the series. And as we’ve witnessed from remarks left not just on the Super Site, but also on other Internet platforms such as YouTube, it’s clear that there exists, all over the world, a pent-up desire to see much more of The Dingaling Sisters and The Golddiggers, appearing both center stage and in tandem with Dean.

    Hence, we share the frustration that you, so many of your colleagues, and tens of thousands of fans feel about the short shrift that’s thus far been given to The Golds and The Dings when it comes to reissues of material from Dean’s series. However, that’s simply one more reason why we think it’s so important that both Dean Martin Show viewers and cast alumnae such as yourself utilize platforms such as this one to express their wishes regarding future releases. The executives who make decisions about what to include in any possible future installments ARE paying attention, so now is the time to speak up.

    As we’ve stated before, the forthcoming Dean Martin Show anthology spotlighted here is obviously far from the be-all and end-all that most of us would like to see. But constituting as it does the inaugural output from a freshly-minted joint effort by Time-Life and NBC Universal, we believe it represents a promising start. And as the title lyric from the old Cy Coleman-Dorothy Fields ditty reminds us, “It’s Not Where You Start, It’s Where You Finish.”

  25. Barry says:

    I am also disappointed hearing a lot of the songs are not going to be included in this new release. The “Welcome to my World” segment at the end of the show was one of the many highlights and memories I have watching Dean on Thursday night at 10 PM. Come on people, the demand is there so let’s get it done right this time!!

  26. Video Vision says:

    Amen, brother!

    One would think that out of the 28 “Welcome to My World” medleys that were shown during the one season of The Dean Martin Show in which they were telecast — 1970-71 — there surely must be at least one such segment that contains three songs whose rights could be cleared for inclusion on a “Best of” DVD collection.

    It was a letdown when none of the medleys showed up on any of the Guthy-Renker volumes, and we regret to report that it’s been confirmed to us by sources at Time-Life that despite all of the fine musical performances that will be featured on the new, upcoming Best of The Dean Martin Variety Show DVDs, not a single “Welcome To My World” clip will be among them.

    However, their very omission once again points up the value of both loyal viewers of Dean’s series, and regulars who appeared on it, taking the time to make known what they’d like to see included in prospective future releases of material from the program. After all, if the folks producing this stuff want to sell it, they need to know what people want to buy. So we appreciate your contribution to that effort, Barry, and we encourage other fans and cast members alike to follow suit.

  27. ballenest says:

    I have already pre-ordered the 6 DVD set from Amazon even though I, too, am disappointed we will be seeing a lot of the same material as was in the GR sets. I am, however, very happy that these new DVDs are more affordable.

    Hopefully, one of the future releases will include “In the Misty Moonlight.” Dean only sang part of the song once, but it is my favorite… and I love to see and hear him sing any part of it.

  28. Video Vision says:

    Ballenest, in doing a little research, the only record that we could find of Dean performing “In The Misty Moonlight” on his program was with The Golddiggers as one-third of the “Welcome To My World” medley that capped the November 12, 1970 episode of the show (the other two songs that rounded out that medley, by the way, were “Strangers In The Night” and “Blue Moon”).

    Since you mentioned that Dean sang only part of “In The Misty Moonlight” and did it only once, that would strongly suggest that the aforesaid rendition is the one that you have in mind. And inasmuch as those “Welcome To My World” medleys are not only our personal favorites, but also, judging from many of the other comments that we’ve received, among the most popular and in-demand segments among fans of the series, it’s easy to see what a great choice the 11/12/70 edition of WTMW would make as one of the first of those glorious medleys to be reissued.

    Of course, in order to transform a dream like that from misty moonlight into tangible reality, the best chance that we have is for Dean devotees to make their wishes known. So, as we’ve stated before and state here yet again, now that, for once, we actually have the ear of some of those who make these decisions, what better time could there be than the present to get the ball rolling. We thank you, Ballenest, for stepping forward to aid the cause, and invite others to do the same.

  29. Graham says:

    Hi, from Great Britain. First of all may I just say that the forthcoming DVD releases are most welcome, and a must-have for all true “Deanagers” everywhere. I’ve read a couple of posts as to what should be available on DVD. Well, my personal preference would be for a release of Dean’s London concert from 1983, in it’s ENTIRE un-edited content. I believe the show was recorded by Molinaire, at the June 7th concert at the London Apollo Victoria Theatre. It was recorded, then badly cut and edited for screening on the Showtime TV network. So much brilliant content was lost, and one or two segments added which weren’t even part of the concert !!
    Let’s have the PROPER concert released.

  30. Video Vision says:

    Graham, control of footage of the London concert, unlike that of Dean’s television series, rests not in the hands of NBC Universal, but rather, falls under the aegis of Greg Garrison Productions and Dean’s own company, Sasha Productions. Although it’s very likely that a DVD release of the complete event would be popular with Dean’s fans, we would also anticipate that owners of the program would probably find it both difficult and expensive to clear all of the substantial amount of musical numbers performed at the concert, and that factor may well be one of the primary reasons why it hasn’t been packaged for home video up until now, as well as why it would remain hard to do so in the future. On the other hand, if a way could be found to make it economically viable, it’s likely that the copyright holders of the program would want to make it available for sale — and we’d certainly be all for that.

  31. Alan McDonald says:

    Hi from the UK. Great news that we can enjoy, once again, some of Dino’s performances. I have already reserved the 6-dvd set!! I already have the G-R set plus the ‘Roasts’. I know there is bound to be duplication in the T-L issue but if this is the only way to get ‘new’ material so be it. It is disappointing that some of the musical segments are being edited – it is Dino’s vocals that are the real attractions (after all these can be watched and enjoyed over again, the sketches once seen do lose their appeal). Also, just wish that there was a way for ‘Welcome to My World’ medleys to be included – they were real highlights.

    Dino has a great fan base in the UK, why oh why is not more of his work released for the UK market (and when some is made available, why do we have to wait for months for a release date over here?).

    Finally, hope that everyone gets behind these releases to ensure that there will be ‘more to come’!


  32. Video Vision says:

    Alan, we may be oceans apart geographically, but we can tell you that all of the thoughts that you expressed about the forthcoming Dean Martin Show DVDs fit perfectly right alongside ours, as well as those of other fans of the series from whom we’ve heard from all corners of this Earth. Indeed, enthusiasm for the inclusion of generous helpings of vocal performances by Dean, coupled with those universally popular “Welcome To My World” medleys, constitutes a consensus that appears to extend across all international boundaries.

    It won’t be too much longer before we’ll be able to provide a complete rundown of all the musical highlights contained in the 6-DVD set, and in the meantime, we echo your call for devotees of Dean’s program everywhere to support these new releases…and beyond that, to voice their opinions, just as you did, about what kinds of content they’d like to see go into any future volumes of Dean Martin Show material. After all, with the powers that be actually listening, what better time could there be for Dinophiles around the globe to bring out their wish lists?…

  33. Patrick Vana says:

    I would most like to see all episodes of the Dean Martin Show from the fall 1971/spring 1972 and fall 1972/spring 1973. Dean Martin was an awesome entertainer, acting, singing, dancing, comedy, etc. I still feel that way, even though the last Dean Martin Show was made over 35 years ago ! It seems like most of Hollywoods big name stars from the 1965- 1974 era appeared on the Dean Martin Show or Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts at one time or another. Ultimately, these shows were/are great entertainment, especially compared to most of the new TV shows being made today.

  34. Video Vision says:

    Patrick, regrettably (and, we believe, somewhat inexplicably), the upcoming Best of The Dean Martin Variety Show DVD releases contain no episodes from the 7th season of Dean’s series (1971-72) — the one that opened each week with the now-famous “Don’t Touch Your Dial” introduction, saw The Dingaling Sisters installed as the regular singer-dancers (and Dean’s much-adored vocal accompanists), and featured an array of big-name guest stars.

    Happily, though, three episodes from the eighth season of the series (1972-73) are included in the new 6-disc collection from Time-Life — but just how many of the musical portions of the programs remain intact is still an open question. Our advance preview screening of the first two DVDs in the set reveal that, as with all of the episodes that make up this new package, some significant scissoring of songs has taken place, due to the high cost of rights clearances.

    Nevertheless, we couldn’t agree more with your observation that these shows were and still are great entertainment — indeed, better by far than most of what passes for television entertainment today — and so, any fresh material from The Dean Martin Show that we fans can get our hands on is obviously better than none at all.

    For a complete review of all aspects of the forthcoming 6-DVD set, please stay tuned…We’ll have comprehensive coverage coming up very soon.

    In the meantime, we invite all of the many visitors to the Super Site to keep up with the latest developments on this front, as well as take part in online conversations with veterans of Dean’s series and other fans, too, by following us on the Facebook page of our sister site, Dean Golds and Dings at:

  35. Finn Tellefsen says:

    Any feedback now that it has been released?

  36. Video Vision says:

    As a matter of fact, Finn, you’ll find quite an earful about the new Dean Martin Show DVDs on several websites — none more opinionated than the customer reviews that accompany Amazon’s listing of the collection. There’s also been some reaction voiced on our own Dean, Golds and Dings site; and there will be a complete examination of the 6-DVD set coming within the next few days right here on The Golddiggers Super Site.

  37. I totally agree with Finn Tellefsen when he says:
    “I hope this is only the first in a long line of releases, and how about finally releasing the jewel in the crown – the 12/21/67 Christmas show with the Sinatra & Martin families – in its entirety? (PLEASE don’t edit the medley, I’ll gladly pay extra for it!!) ”

    I miss the days of variety show and TV family Christmas specials….Andy Williams, Perry Como, The Osmonds etc. Sadly it seems that the “stars” of today are very poor imitations of those from this era……Fairly obvious by the total lack of any variety shows these days. There are many of us who would love to see variety shows make a come back…unfortunately, you need talented stars for that….also sadly lacking these days

  38. Video Vision says:

    Sharlene, to read some of Finn Tellefsen’s post-release reflections on Time-Life’s first crack at reissuing material from Dean’s series — as well as our own review of that effort — be sure to check out For The Good Times: The Best of The Dean Martin Variety Show, right here on the Super Site.

    And to exchange views with other like-minded individuals who have the same reverence as you do for both variety programs of yore and the stars who made them shine, we’d recommend the website and Facebook page of our Internet sibling — Dean, Golds and Dings — where you can mingle not only with fellow and sister fans of the variety show genre, but also with many of those who actually performed alongside Dean every week on his series.

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