Dean Martin (June 7, 1917 – December 25, 1995) was an American singer, film actor and comedian.
Martin's hit singles included "Memories Are Made of This," "That's Amore," "Everybody Loves Somebody," "Mambo Italiano," "Sway," "Volare" and "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?” Nicknamed the "King of Cool," he was one of the members of the "Rat Pack" and a major star in four areas of show business: concert stage/night clubs, recordings, motion pictures, and television.
As a singer, Martin copied the styles of Harry Mills (of the Mills Brothers), Bing Crosby, and Perry Como until he developed his own and could hold his own in duets with Frank Sinatra and Crosby. Like Sinatra, he could not read music, but he recorded more than 100 albums and 600 songs.
His signature tune, "Everybody Loves Somebody", knocked The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" out of the number-one spot in the United States in 1964. This was followed by the similarly-styled "The Door is Still Open to My Heart", which reached number six later that year. Elvis Presley was said to have been influenced by Martin, and patterned "Love Me Tender" after his style. Martin, like Elvis, was influenced by country music.
By 1965, some of Martin's albums, such as “Dean "Tex" Martin,” “The Hit Sound Of Dean Martin,” “Welcome To My World” and “Gentle On My Mind” were composed of country and western songs made famous by artists like Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Buck Owens.
Martin hosted country performers on his TV show and was named "Man Of the Year" by the Country Music Association in 1966. "Ain't That a Kick in the Head", a song Martin performed in “Ocean's Eleven” that never became a hit at the time, has enjoyed a spectacular revival in the media and pop culture. As Martin's solo career grew, he and Sinatra became close friends.
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Martin and Sinatra, along with friends Joey Bishop, Peter Lawford, and Sammy Davis, Jr. formed the legendary Rat Pack, so called by the public after an earlier group of social friends, the Holmby Hills Rat Pack centered on Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, of which Sinatra had been a member. The Rat Pack were legendary for their Las Vegas performances. Las Vegas rooms were at a premium when the Rat Pack would appear, with many visitors sleeping in hotel lobbies or cars to get a chance to see the three men together. Their act (always in tuxedo) consisted of each singing individual numbers, duets and trios, along with much seemingly improvised slapstick and chatter.
For three decades, Martin was among the most popular acts in Las Vegas. Martin sang and was one of the smoothest comics in the business, benefiting from the decade of raucous comedy with Lewis.