Anita Madeleine Harris is an English actress and entertainer. Harris had a number of chart hits in the 1960s, she appeared in the Carry On films Follow That Carry On Doctor. Harris won a talent contest at the age of three. However, it was her penchant for figure skating which led to her performing career: after her family moved to Bournemouth when she was seven, she began skating at the neighbourhood rink becoming a regular at the Queens Ice Rink in London where a talent scout spotted her shortly before her sixteenth birthday and invited her to audition for a dance troupe, she performed in Europe and Las Vegas. On returning to the UK, she performed in a vocal group known as the Grenadiers and spent three years with the Cliff Adams Singers, being one of the few female members of that group, best known for BBC Radio's Sing Something Simple, she was still in her teens when spotted by Tony Lewis. This early single, a double A-side of "I Haven't Got You", written by Lionel Bart and "Mr One and Only", was not a hit.
Subsequent to their meeting, when they both auditioned for a musical revue, Mike Margolis and Harris formed a personal and professional relationship marrying in 1973. He became her manager and wrote the songs which served as her second and third singles: "Lies"/"Don't Think About Love" and "Willingly"/"At Last Love". In January 1965 she performed at the San Remo Music Festival, her duet with Beppe Cardile, "L'amore è partito", failed to reach the finals but to participate in such a star-studded event augured well for her stardom. She made her label debut for Pye Records with the May 1965 release "Trains and Boats and Planes", although rival versions by both the song's composer Burt Bacharach and Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas eclipsed her recording, she had four subsequent releases on Pye, including the only evident recording of the Burt Bacharach/ Hal David composition "London Life". In 1966, she moved to CBS Records where her debut release was her debut album: Somebody's in My Orchard, her chart breakthrough came in the summer of 1967 with the single "Just Loving You", a Tom Springfield composition which singer Dusty Springfield had suggested that Tom give to Harris after Dusty and Harris had performed on the same episode of Top of the Pops.
Recorded at Olympic Studios in a session produced by Margolis and featuring harmonica virtuoso Harry Pitch, "Just Loving You" had been released in January 1967 but did not reach the UK Top 50 until 29 June 1967. After peaking at No. 6 on 26 August 1967 "Just Loving You" remained in the UK Top 40 until the end of the year, was reported to have accumulated UK sales of 625,000 in six months. Besides charting at No. 18 in Ireland, "Just Loving You" was a Top Ten hit in South Africa where sales reached 200,000 copies. The disc was released in September 1967 in the United States where it rose to No. 20 on the "Easy Listening" chart in Billboard and approached the mainstream Pop "Hot 100" chart. It rose no higher than No. 120 on the "Bubbling Under" chart. In January 1968 Harris made her only appearance on the UK album chart when her Just Loving You album reached No. 29. The sustained interest in "Just Loving You" predicated a mild chart impact for her follow-up single "The Playground", released in September 1967.
This reached its chart peak of No. 46 by 28 October 1967, the same week "Just Loving You" returned to the Top 20 for three more weeks. However she did score a substantial hit with her 5 January 1968 release, a remake of the standard "Anniversary Waltz", which spent eight weeks in the UK Top 40, peaking at No. 21. After just missing the UK Top 50 with the single "We're Going on a Tuppenny Bus Ride", she made her final chart appearance with her rendition of "Dream a Little Dream of Me". Released on 26 July 1968, her single version peaked in the UK Top 50 at No. 33, whilst the Mama Cass Elliot version peaked at No. 11. From 1961 she made numerous television appearances as a performer as an actress, her few film roles included a cameo as a casino singer in Death Is a Woman and co-starring roles in the 1967 comedy films Follow That Camel and Carry On Doctor. After a third album release, Cuddly Toy in 1969, she shifted the focus of her career from recording. In December 1970 Thames Television debuted the children's TV series Jumbleland which she co-produced and in which she starred as Witch Witt Witty.
She co-hosted The David Nixon Magic Show in the 1970s, appeared on the Morecambe and Wise Show in 1971 and 1973. In 1981 she was in the line-up for the Royal Variety Performance, singing "Burlington Bertie" This performance she reprised at the Queen Mother's 90th Birthday celebration at the London Palladium, in 1990, in the presence of the Queen, Princess Margaret and the Duke of Edinburgh in a large company of artistes presenting music hall, featuring many well known TV and stage personalities; that same tribute to the star she had presented several times on the long running BBC TV show, The Good Old Days. She was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1982 when surprised by Eamonn Andrews at London's Talk of the Town, she was still appearing as herself on programmes up to 2001, in particular Boom Boom: The Best of the Original Basil Brush Show, French & Saunders and Bob Monkhouse: A BAFTA Tribute. From the early 1970s she toured in several editions of a one-woman stage show which, as Anita Harris in the Act!, was broadcast in 1981.
It was a televisation of her p
Cass Elliot known as Mama Cass, was an American singer and actress, best known as a member of the Mamas & the Papas. After the group broke up, she released five solo albums. In 1998, she was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her work with the Mamas & the Papas. Ellen Naomi Cohen was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on September 19, 1941, the daughter of Bess and Philip Cohen. All four of her grandparents were Russian-Jewish immigrants, her family was subject to significant financial stresses and uncertainties during her childhood years. Her father, involved in several business ventures throughout his life succeeded through the development of a lunch wagon business in Baltimore which provided meals to construction workers, her mother was a trained nurse. Elliot had a brother, a younger sister, who became a singer and recording artist. Elliot's early life was spent with her family in Alexandria, before the family moved to Baltimore when Elliot was 15, where they had lived at the time of Elliot's birth.
Elliot adopted the name "Cass" in high school borrowing it from actress Peggy Cass, according to Denny Doherty. She assumed the surname "Elliot" some time in memory of a friend who had died. While in Alexandria, she attended George Washington High School; when Elliot's family returned to Baltimore, she attended Forest Park High School. While attending Forest Park High School, Elliot became interested in acting, she won a small part in the play The Boy Friend, a summer stock production at the Hilltop Theatre in Owings Mills, Maryland. She left high school shortly before graduation and moved to New York City to further her acting career. After leaving high school to pursue an entertainment career in New York, Elliot toured in the musical The Music Man in 1962, but lost the part of Miss Marmelstein in I Can Get It for You Wholesale to Barbra Streisand. Elliot would sometimes sing while working as a cloakroom attendant at The Showplace in Greenwich Village, but she did not pursue a singing career until she moved to the Washington, D.
C. area to attend American University. America's folk music scene was on the rise when Elliot met banjoist and singer Tim Rose and singer John Brown, the three began performing as the Triumvirate. In 1963, James Hendricks replaced Brown, the trio was renamed the Big 3. Elliot's first recording with the Big 3 was "Winkin', Blinkin', Nod", released by FM Records in 1963. In 1964, the group appeared on an "open mic" night at The Bitter End in Greenwich Village, billed as "Cass Elliot and the Big 3", followed onstage by folk singer Jim Fosso and bluegrass banjoist Eric Weissberg. Tim Rose left the Big 3 in 1964, Elliot and Hendricks teamed with Canadians Zal Yanovsky and Denny Doherty to form the Mugwumps; this group lasted eight months. In the meantime and John Sebastian co-founded the Lovin' Spoonful, while Doherty joined the New Journeymen, a group that included John Phillips and his wife Michelle. In 1965, Doherty persuaded Phillips that Elliot should join the group, which she did while she and the group members were vacationing in the Virgin Islands.
A popular legend about Elliot is that her vocal range was improved by three notes after she was hit on the head by some copper tubing while walking through a construction site behind the bar where the New Journeymen were playing in the Virgin Islands. Elliot confirmed the story in a 1968 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, saying, It's true, I did get hit on the head by a pipe that fell down and my range was increased by three notes, they were revamping it, putting in a dance floor. Workmen dropped a thin metal plumbing pipe and it hit me on the head and knocked me to the ground. I went to the hospital. I had a bad headache for about two weeks and all of a sudden I was singing higher. It's true. Honest to God. However, friends said that the pipe story was a less embarrassing explanation for why John Phillips had kept her out of the group for so long, the real reason being that he considered her too fat. With two female members, the New Journeymen needed a new name. According to Doherty, Elliot had the inspiration for the band's new name.
The New Journeymen was not a handle, going to hang on this outfit. John was pushing for the Magic Cyrcle. Eech, but none of us could come up with anything better we switch the channel and, hey, it's the Hells Angels on the Carson show... And the first thing we hear is: "Now hold on Hoss; some people call our women cheap, but we just call them our Mamas." Cass jumped up: "Yeah! I want to be a Mama." And Michelle is going: "We're the Mamas! We're the Mamas!" OK. I look at John. He's looking at me going: "The Papas?" Problem solved. A toast! To the Mamas and the Papas. Well, after many, many toasts and John are passed out." Doherty said that the occasion marked the beginning of his affair with Michelle Phillips. Elliot was displeased when he told her of the affair. Doherty has said that Elliot once proposed to him, but that he was so stoned at the time that he could not respond. Elliot was known for her sense of humor and optimism, was considered by many to be the most charismatic member of the group, her powerful, distinctiv
George Robert Crosby was an American jazz singer and bandleader, best known for his group the Bob-Cats, which formed around 1935. The Bob-Cats was a New Orleans Dixieland-style jazz octet, he was the younger brother of actor Bing Crosby. Bob Crosby was a regular on The Jack Benny Program, he hosted his own afternoon variety show, The Bob Crosby Show, which aired from 1953 to 1957. Crosby received two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 8, 1960, for television and radio. Crosby was born in Spokane, Washington, to English-American bookkeeper Harry Lowe Crosby and Irish-American Catherine Harrigan, the daughter of a builder from County Mayo in Ireland; the couple had seven children: Larry, Ted, Catherine, Mary Rose, George Robert, popularly known as Bob. Crosby attended Gonzaga College. During World War II, he served in the U. S. Marines, leading a band for much of his time in service. Crosby began singing in the early 1930s with the Rhythm Boys, which included vocalist Ray Hendricks and guitarist Bill Pollard, with Anson Weeks and the Dorsey Brothers.
He led his first band in 1935 when the former members of Ben Pollack's band elected him their titular leader. In 1935 he recorded with the Clark Randall Orchestra led by Gil Rodin and featuring singer Frank Tennille, father of Toni of Captain and Tennille. Glenn Miller was a member of that orchestra, which recorded the Glenn Miller novelty composition "When Icky Morgan Plays the Organ" in 1935. Crosby's "band-within-the-band," the Bob-Cats, was a dixieland octet with soloists from the larger orchestra, many from New Orleans; the band included at various times Ray Bauduc, Yank Lawson, Billy Butterfield, Charlie Spivak, Muggsy Spanier, Irving Fazola, Nappy Lamare, Jack Sperling, Joe Sullivan,Jess Stacy, Bob Haggart, Walt Yoder, Bob Zurke. In the spring of 1940, during a performance in Chicago, teenager Doris Day was hired as the band's vocalist. For its theme song the band chose George Gershwin's song "Summertime"; the band's hits included "South Rampart Street Parade", "March of the Bob Cats", "In a Little Gypsy Tea Room", "Whispers in the Dark", "Day In, Day Out", "Down Argentine Way", "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby", "Dolores", "New San Antonio Rose".
A bass-and-drums duet between Haggart and Bauduc, "Big Noise from Winnetka", became a hit in 1938–39. There were reunions in the 1960s. Bob Haggart and Yank Lawson organized a band that combined dixieland and swing to try to carry on the legacy of Bob Crosby. From the late 1960s until the mid 1970s, the band was known as the World's Greatest Jazz Band, but when both became dissatisfied with the name they changed it to the Lawson-Haggart Jazz Band. During World War II, Bob Crosby spent 18 months in the Marines touring with bands in the Pacific, his radio variety series, The Bob Crosby Show, aired on NBC and CBS in different runs from July 18, 1943, to July 16, 1950. This was followed by Club Fifteen on CBS from 1947 through 1953 minus a brief interlude when he was replaced as host by singer Dick Haymes during parts of 1949 and 1950. During his stint on Club Fifteen, he was teamed with the ever-popular Andrews Sisters three nights per week, singing with them and engaging in comedy skits, he first met the trio in 1938 when his orchestra backed their Decca recording of "Begin the Beguine", their popular vocalization of Artie Shaw's big band hit.
One can't help when hearing these old Club Fifteen broadcasts how eerily similar Bob and the Andrews Sisters sound to the trio's frequent and hugely successful pairings with brother Bing Crosby on the Decca label. Bob and Patty scored a hit duet on Decca Records with their duet recording of the novelty "The Pussy Cat Song", which peaked at No. 12 on Billboard. A half-hour CBS daytime series, The Bob Crosby Show, followed from 1953 to 1957. Bob introduced the Canadian singer Gisele MacKenzie to American audiences and subsequently guest-starred in 1957 on her NBC television series, The Gisele MacKenzie Show. On September 14, 1952, Bob replaced Phil Harris as the bandleader on The Jack Benny Program, remaining until Benny retired the radio show in 1955 after 23 years. In joining the show, he became the leader of the same group of musicians who had played under Harris. According to Benny writer Milt Josefsberg, the issue was budget; because radio had strong competition from TV, the program budget had to be reduced, so Bob replaced Phil.
Prior to joining Benny on the radio, based on the east coast, would play with Benny during Benny's live New York appearances, he was seen throughout the 1950s on Benny's television series. As a performer, Crosby had tremendous wit combined with a laid-back persona, he was able to swap jokes competently with Benny, including humorous references to his brother Bing's wealth and his string of losing racehorses. An exchange during one of the popular Christmas programs ran thus: Crosby muses to Jack that he's bought gifts for everyone but band member Frank Remley; when Jack suggests "a cordial, like a bottle of Drambuie", Crosby counters that Drambuie is an after-dinner drink and adds, alluding to Remley's penchant for alcohol, that "Remley never quite makes it to after dinner". Bob Crosby guest-starred in the television series The Gisele MacKenzie Show, he starred in his own afternoon variety show, The Bob Crosby show, that aired from 1953 to 1957. He fronted a TV prog
Kathryn Elizabeth Smith, known professionally as Kate Smith and The First Lady of Radio, was an American singer, a contralto, best known for her rendition of Irving Berlin's "God Bless America". She had a radio and recording career spanning five decades, which reached its pinnacle in the 1940s. Smith became known as The Songbird of the South after her enduring popularity during World War II and contribution to American culture and patriotism. Kathryn Elizabeth Smith was born May 1, 1907, in Greenville, Virginia, to Charlotte'Lottie' Yarnell and William Herman Smith, growing up in Washington, D. C, her father owned the Capitol News Company, distributing newspapers and magazines in the greater D. C. area. She was the youngest of the middle child dying in infancy; as a baby, she failed to talk until she was four years old, but a year she was singing in church socials. By the time she was eight, she was singing for the troops at Army camps in the Washington area during World War I. Smith never had a singing lesson in her life and possessed a'rich range' of two and a half octaves.
Her earliest performances were during amateur nights at vaudeville theaters in D. C, her earliest musical influences were her parents: her father sang choir at the Roman Catholic church. She attended Business High School in D. C.—which would become Roosevelt Senior High School—likely graduating in 1924. Alarmed by his daughter's evident penchant for the stage, her father sent her to the George Washington University School for Nursing—where she attended classes for nine months between 1924-25—withdrawing to pursue a career in show business, she got herself on the bill at Keith's Theater in Boston as a singer. Heading the bill was the actor and producer Eddie Dowling, who signed up the young singer for a revue he was preparing, it was called Honeymoon Lane, it opened in Atlantic City on August 29, 1926. A month it moved to Broadway. An indelicate review in The New York Times on October 31, 1926, under the heading "A Sophie Tucker Rival", said: "A 19-year-old girl, weighing in the immediate neighborhood of 200 pounds, is one of the discoveries of the season for those whose interests run to syncopators and singers of what in the varieties and nightclubs are known as'hot' songs.
Kate Smith is the newcomer's not uncommon name." From Honeymoon Lane, Smith went into the road company of Vincent Youmans' Hit the Deck, where she won acclaim singing "Hallelujah!" Back in New York, she took the company lead in George White's Flying High, which opened at the Apollo Theater on March 3, 1930, ran for 122 performances. As Pansy Sparks, Smith's role was to be the butt of Bert Lahr's cruel jibes about her girth, she said that she wept with humiliation in her dressing room after the show. Smith began recording in 1926, her professional musical career began in 1930, when she was discovered by Columbia Records artists-and-repertoire executive Ted Collins, who became her longtime manager in 50–50 partnership. She credited Collins with helping her overcome her self-consciousness, writing, "Ted Collins was the first man who regarded me as a singer, didn't seem to notice that I was a big girl." She noted, "I'm big, I sing, boy, when I sing, I sing all over!"Collins put Smith on radio in 1931.
That year, she performed the controversial top-20 song of 1931, "That's Why Darkies Were Born" and "Dream a Little Dream of Me." Her biggest hits were "River, Stay'Way From My Door", "The Woodpecker Song", "The White Cliffs of Dover", "Rose O'Day", "The Last Time I Saw Paris", "I Don't Want to Walk Without You", "There Goes That Song Again", "Seems Like Old Times", "Now Is the Hour". "Rose O'Day" sold over one million copies, her first to achieve this feat, was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA. Her theme song was "When the Moon Comes over the Mountain". Smith greeted her audience with "Hello, everybody!" and signed off with "Thanks for listenin'." In 1932, Smith appeared in Hello, Everybody!, with co-stars Randolph Scott and Sally Blane, in the 1943 wartime film This is the Army she sang "God Bless America". Smith was a major star of radio backed by Jack Miller's Orchestra, she began with her twice-a-week NBC series, Kate Smith Sings, followed by a series of shows for CBS: Kate Smith and Her Swanee Music, sponsored by La Palina Cigars.
The Kate Smith Hour was a leading radio variety show, offering comedy and drama with appearances by top personalities of films and theater for eight years. The show's resident comics and Costello and Henny Youngman, introduced their comedy to a nationwide radio audience aboard her show, while a series of sketches based on the Broadway production of the same name led to The Aldrich Family as a separate hit series in its own right in 1940. Smith made a dramatic appearance, starring in "Little Johnny Appleseed" on Silver Theater on May 14, 1944. Smith continued on the Mutual Broadcasting System, CBS, ABC, NBC, doing both music and talk shows on radio until 1960. Smith starred in two concurrent television programs in the early 1950s The Kate Smith Hour on NBC Television from 1950 through 1954, hosting until 1953 in the late afternoon hour of 4:00 pm ET. James Dean and Audrey Hepburn made early acting appearances on the show. Smith starred in the weekly The Kate Smith Evening Hour which included a rare American TV appearance by Josephine Baker as well as the only maj
Ella Jane Fitzgerald was an American jazz singer sometimes referred to as the First Lady of Song, Queen of Jazz, Lady Ella. She was noted for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, intonation, a "horn-like" improvisational ability in her scat singing. After a tumultuous adolescence, Fitzgerald found stability in musical success with the Chick Webb Orchestra, performing across the country but most associated with the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, her rendition of the nursery rhyme "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" helped boost both her and Webb to national fame. After taking over the band when Webb died, Fitzgerald left it behind in 1942 to start her solo career, her manager was Moe Gale, co-founder of the Savoy, until she turned the rest of her career over to Norman Granz, who founded Verve Records to produce new records by Fitzgerald. With Verve she recorded some of her more noted works her interpretations of the Great American Songbook. While Fitzgerald appeared in movies and as a guest on popular television shows in the second half of the twentieth century, her musical collaborations with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, The Ink Spots were some of her most notable acts outside of her solo career.
These partnerships produced some of her best-known songs such as "Dream a Little Dream of Me", "Cheek to Cheek", "Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall", "It Don't Mean a Thing". In 1993, she ended her nearly 60-year career with her last public performance. Three years she died at the age of 79 after years of declining health, her accolades included fourteen Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Fitzgerald was born on April 1917, in Newport News, Virginia, she was the daughter of Temperance "Tempie" Henry. Her parents lived together for at least two and a half years after she was born. In the early 1920s, Fitzgerald's mother and her new partner, a Portuguese immigrant named Joseph Da Silva, moved to Yonkers, in Westchester County, New York, her half-sister, Frances Da Silva, was born in 1923. By 1925, Fitzgerald and her family had moved to a poor Italian area, she began her formal education at the age of six and was an outstanding student, moving through a variety of schools before attending Benjamin Franklin Junior High School in 1929.
Starting in third grade, Fitzgerald admired Earl Snakehips Tucker. She performed for her peers on the way at lunchtime, she and her family were Methodists and were active in the Bethany African Methodist Episcopal Church, where she attended worship services, Bible study, Sunday school. The church provided Fitzgerald with her earliest experiences in music. Fitzgerald listened to jazz recordings by Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, The Boswell Sisters, she idolized the Boswell Sisters' lead singer Connee Boswell saying, "My mother brought home one of her records, I fell in love with it... I tried so hard to sound just like her."In 1932, when Fitzgerald was fifteen, her mother died from injuries received in a car accident. Her stepfather took care of her until April 1933; this swift change in her circumstances, reinforced by what Fitzgerald biographer Stuart Nicholson describes as rumors of "ill treatment" by her stepfather, leaves him to speculate that Da Silva might have abused her. Fitzgerald began skipping school, her grades suffered.
She worked as a lookout with a Mafia-affiliated numbers runner. She never talked publicly about this time in her life; when the authorities caught up with her, she was placed in the Colored Orphan Asylum in Riverdale in the Bronx. When the orphanage proved too crowded, she was moved to the New York Training School for Girls, a state reformatory school in Hudson, New York. While she seems to have survived during 1933 and 1934 in part from singing on the streets of Harlem, Fitzgerald made her most important debut at age 17 on November 21, 1934, in one of the earliest Amateur Nights at the Apollo Theater, she had intended to go on stage and dance, but she was intimidated by a local dance duo called the Edwards Sisters and opted to sing instead. Performing in the style of Connee Boswell, she sang "Judy" and "The Object of My Affection" and won first prize, she won the chance to perform at the Apollo for a week but because of her disheveled appearance, the theater never gave her that part of her prize.
In January 1935, Fitzgerald won the chance to perform for a week with the Tiny Bradshaw band at the Harlem Opera House. She was introduced to drummer and bandleader Chick Webb, who had asked his signed singer Charlie Linton to help find him a female singer. Although Webb was "reluctant to sign her...because she was gawky and unkempt, a'diamond in the rough,'" he offered her the opportunity to test with his band when they played a dance at Yale University. Met with approval by both audiences and her fellow musicians, Fitzgerald was asked to join Webb's orchestra and gained acclaim as part of the group's performances at Harlem's Savoy Ballroom. Fitzgerald recorded several hit songs, including "Love and Kisses" and " You'll Have to Swing It", but it was her 1938 version of the nursery rhyme, "A-Tisket, A-Tasket", a song she co-wrote, that brought her public acclaim. "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" became a major hit on the radio and was one of the biggest-selling records of the decade. Webb died of spinal tuberculosis on June 16, 1939, his band was renamed Ella and Her Famous Orchestra with Fitzgerald taking on the role of bandleader.
She recorded nearly 150 songs with Webb's orchestra between 1935 and 1942. In The New York Times obituary o
Dino Paul Crocetti, known famously as Dean Martin, was an American actor and singer. One of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the mid-20th century, Martin was nicknamed "The King of Cool" for his effortless charisma and self-assurance, he and Jerry Lewis formed the immensely popular comedy duo Martin and Lewis, with Martin serving as the straight man to Lewis' slapstick hijinks. A member of the "Rat Pack", Martin went on to become a star of concert stages, audio recordings, motion pictures and television. Martin was the host of the variety programs The Dean Martin Show and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, his relaxed, crooning voice earned him dozens of hit singles, including his signature songs "Memories Are Made of This", "That's Amore", "Everybody Loves Somebody", "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You", "Sway", "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?", "Volare". Martin was born Dino Paul Crocetti on June 7, 1917, in Steubenville, the son of Italian father Gaetano Alfonso Crocetti and Italian-American mother Angela Crocetti.
His parents were married in 1914. His father, a barber, was from Montesilvano and his mother's origins are believed to be from Abruzzo, although they are not known. Martin had an older brother named William Alfonso Crocetti, his first language was Italian and he did not speak English until he started school at the age of five. He attended Grant Elementary School in Steubenville; as a teenager, he played the drums as a hobby. He dropped out of Steubenville High School in the tenth grade because he thought he was smarter than his teachers, he bootlegged liquor, worked in a steel mill, served as a croupier at a speakeasy and a blackjack dealer, was a welterweight boxer. At 15, he was a boxer who billed himself as "Kid Crochet", his prizefighting earned him a broken nose, a scarred lip, many broken knuckles, a bruised body. Of his 12 bouts, he said that he "won all but 11". For a time, he shared a New York City apartment with Sonny King, starting in show business and had little money; the two charged people to watch them bare-knuckle box each other in their apartment, fighting until one was knocked out.
Martin knocked out King in the first round of an amateur boxing match. Martin gave up boxing to work as a roulette stickman and croupier in an illegal casino behind a tobacco shop, where he had started as a stock boy. At the same time, he sang with local bands, calling himself "Dino Martini", he got his break working for the Ernie McKay Orchestra. He sang among others. In the early 1940s, he started singing for bandleader Sammy Watkins, who suggested he change his name to Dean Martin. In October 1941, Martin married Elizabeth "Betty" Anne McDonald in Cleveland and the couple had an apartment in Cleveland Heights for a while, they had four children before the marriage ended in 1949. Martin worked for various bands throughout the early 1940s on looks and personality until he developed his own singing style, he flopped at the Riobamba nightclub in New York, when he followed Frank Sinatra in 1943. Martin attracted the attention of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Columbia Pictures, but a Hollywood contract was not forthcoming.
He met comic Jerry Lewis at the Glass Hat Club in New York. Martin and Lewis formed a fast friendship which led to their participation in each other's acts and the formation of a music-comedy team. Martin and Lewis's debut together occurred at Atlantic City's 500 Club on July 24, 1946, they were not well received; the owner, Skinny D'Amato, warned them that if they did not come up with a better act for their second show that night, they would be fired. Huddling in the alley behind the club and Martin agreed to "go for broke", they divided their act between songs, ad-libbed material. Martin sang and Lewis dressed as a busboy, dropping plates and making a shambles of Martin's performance and the club's decorum until Lewis was chased from the room as Martin pelted him with breadrolls, they did slapstick, reeled off old vaudeville jokes, did whatever else popped into their heads. The audience laughed; this success led to a series of well-paying engagements on the Eastern seaboard, culminating in a run at New York's Copacabana.
The act consisted of Lewis interrupting and heckling Martin while he was trying to sing, with the two chasing each other around the stage. The secret, both said, is that they played to each other; the team made its TV debut on the first broadcast of CBS-TV network's The Ed Sullivan Show on June 20, 1948, with composers Rodgers and Hammerstein appearing. Hoping to improve their act, the two hired young comedy writers Norman Lear and Ed Simmons to write their bits. With the assistance of both Lear and Simmons, the two would take their act beyond nightclubs. A radio series began in 1949, the year Martin and Lewis signed with Paramount producer Hal B. Wallis as comedy relief for the movie My Friend Irma, their agent, Abby Greshler, negotiated one of Hollywood's best deals: although they received only $75,000 between them for their films with Wallis and Lewis were free to do one outside film a year, which they would co-produce through their own York Productions. They controlled their club, record and television appearances, through these they earned millions of dollars.
In Dean & Me, Lewis calls Mar