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Original Martin and Lewis header art

The Martin and Lewis Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Martin and Lewis

Martin and Lewis at NBC mike for promitional appearance circa 1948
Martin and Lewis at NBC mike for promitional appearance circa 1948

The Martin and Lewis Show premiered on April 3 1949 with guest star Bob Hope
The Martin and Lewis Show premiered on April 3 1949 with guest star Bob Hope

Sheldon Leonard appeared in the Martin and Lewis Show as an ensemble actor and in recurring appearances as 'Soapy' Leonard
Sheldon Leonard appeared in the Martin and Lewis Show as an ensemble actor and in recurring appearances as 'Soapy' Leonard

Versatile actress Florence 'Flo' MacMichael was the Martin and Lewis Show ensemble performer portraying most of the feminine roles for the first year
Versatile actress Florence 'Flo' MacMichael was the Martin and Lewis Show ensemble performer portraying most of the feminine roles for the first year

Band leader Dick Stabile provided the musical accompaniment for Martin and Lewis for their entire career together
Band leader Dick Stabile provided the musical accompaniment for Martin and Lewis for their entire career together

Martin and Lewis promo still for 1949's My Friend Irma
Martin and Lewis promo still from My Friend Irma (1949)

The 1949 film My Friend Irma launched the Martin and Lewis series of 16 feature films
The 1949 film My Friend Irma launched the Martin and Lewis series of 17 feature films

Martin and Lewis in a promo shot for NBC circa 1951
Martin and Lewis in a promo shot for NBC circa 1951

NBC leveraged their investment in Martin and Lewis with their Colgate Comedy Hour over Televsion beginning in the Fall of 1951
NBC leveraged their investment in Martin and Lewis with their Colgate Comedy Hour over Televsion beginning in the Fall of 1951

Martin and Lewis Show premiere announcement for their final season over radio from September 16 1952
Martin and Lewis Show premiere announcement for their final season over radio from September 16 1952

Martin and Lews picked up several sponsors for their 1951 return to radio among them Adams' Chicle
Martin and Lews picked up several sponsors for their 1951 return to radio among them Adams' Chicle

Anacin sponsored Martin and Lewis' return to Radio from 1951 on
Anacin sponsored Martin and Lewis' return to Radio from 1951 on

Liggett and Myers helped pick up the tab for the return run of The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show from 1951 on
Liggett and Myers helped pick up the tab for the return run of The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show from 1951 on.

Liggett and Myers also promoted Chesterfield on The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show from 1951 on
Liggett and Myers also promoted Chesterfield on The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show from 1951 on.

Background

The unlikely combination of an ex-prize-fighter-card shark and a high school vaudeville performer came together in 1946 to propel the comedy team, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis to almost unheard of overnight success between 1946 and 1948. By 1948, the team was negotiating with the National Broadcasting Company network for an almost unheard of $500,000, one-year contract for their exclusive services and ultimately for a proposed 30-minute comedy-variety program to air during 1949, the team's first solo airing over Radio.

Jerry Lewis had been appearing on both coasts for four years trying to break into Radio and Film and had appeared over Radio only infrequently in bit parts prior to 1948. Dean Martin's only prior appearances over Radio had been in two variety spots between 1947 and 1948. It was the team's standing-room only variety and comedy acts on the stages across America that propelled them to overnight critical and popular success. So popular in fact, that historically tight-fisted NBC was willing to gamble $500,000 on the team for a sustaining, half-hour comedy-variety program in prime time.

Given the team's untested experience over Radio, NBC undertook a series of an estimated two or three 'pilots' or auditions to gauge their performances over Radio, beginning during the holiday season of 1948. The pilot airings were apparently successful enough to seal the deal. Keep in mind that Martin and Lewis wouldn't star together in Film for another four years at the time NBC signed them for The New Martin and Lewis Show. NBC was widely reported to be almost immediately uncomfortable with their contract, which obliged them to pay for the team's services whether they performed on-air, or not. As things developed, the team didn't premiere their NBC sustainer until April 3, 1949, essentially getting a free ride from NBC for the first quarter of 1949. The popular My Friend, Irma film, released in 1949, only added to the buzz over the, by then, well established comics, irrespective of how well they'd been doing their over Radio appearances. Their relatively minor roles in the Irma film, made it even more difficult for NBC to negotiate for lower compensation for the team when their contract came up for renewal for 1950. More on that, below.

When the new program ultimately premiered from New York, it was via taped, previously-recorded, live programs to packed studio audiences. NBC had only recently begun employing taped transcriptions for an estimated nineteen of their late 1948 and 1949 seasons of offerings.

The Martin and Lewis Show history

The premiere broadcast on April 3, 1949 employed much of the material they'd tested in their pilots and auditions for the series. Almost the entire script arc from the audition featuring Lucille Ball was lifted for the broadcast premiere with Bob Hope. The point was not lost on reviewers of the era, who felt that the writing for the team's first efforts was disappointingly formulaic. The mild panning of the first ten episodes of the new program continued until the Summer replacement series of 1949, in the Bob Hope Show's Swan-sponsored timeslot.

Radio and Television critic, John Crosby, reviewed The Martin and Lewis Show premiere of April 3, 1949 in his syndicated Radio In Review column from the May 2, 1949 Oakland Tribune:

 
New Comics Struggle To Get Started
 By JOHN CROSBY
 
     On their opening show, Dean Martin asked Jerry Lewis how big an egg they could lay.  "Well," remarked Lewis, "If we got a hen and had it hold back for two years..."  As a matter of fact, they didn't lay an egg exactly; on the other hand, the critics didn't do cartwheels up the aisles.  The general attitude was one of friendly skepticism.
     Martin and Lewis, whom NBC is grooming to replace some of its departed comedy stars, (KNBC 8:00 p.m. P.S.T. Sundays) fell victim to their own advance publicity, which was neither their own nor NBC's fault.  Their nightclub acts had aroused tumultuous enthusiasm among columnists and other people who go to nightclubs, and with good reason.  They're an awfully funny pair in a nightclub, especially after you've had a couple of drinks.
     On the radio, though, with its orderly mind, its jokes about Harry Truman, slow boats to China and Phil Harris' drinking, some of the originality and much of the spontaneity are lost.  Dean Martin, the good-looking young vocalist of the pair, sings like Bing Crosby used to.  Even when he's talking Martin sounds an awful lot like the Groaner.  This characteristic may very well infuriate rather than please the Bing Crosby crowd, a bunch of devout worshippers who want no other graven image cast in the likeness of their idol.
 
BORN SCREWBALL
 
     Lewis, a born screwball with a zany haircut and maniacal energy, is funny just to look at, but on the air, of course, you can't do that.  On the radio, in fact, he sounds like another Arnold Stang, which isn't entirely fair to his talents.  His special gift almost defies analysis.  He imitates boy seals or girl seals; sometimes he just makes noises which have no earthly counterpart.  When he talks English, which isn't often, he makes not much more sense.
     "I'm head over heels in love and I look better that way."  "Are you for real?"  "Oh, Dean, I'm so unworthy of you!"  I'm only twenty-three years old.  (He is, too.) What do I know?"
     On their first four shows they devoted most of their air time to expressing amazement at the fact that they were on the big time, a comic device of uncertain quality.  Almost invariably a girl is brought in to swoon over Martin--he looks a little like Cary Grant--and to gag at the sight of Lewis.  The pair is at its best heckling one another, but bog down badly when the guest star comes in.
 
HOPE LITTLE HELP
 
     On their first program Bob Hope stopped over to help out the newcomers.  It was a nice gesture, but it didn't work out well.  Hope's comedy--"Were you born or did your mother miss a question on 'Truth Or Consequences'?"--is too rational and too mechanistic for Martin and Lewis.  Also, Hope is a little too fast on his feet for them.  Subsequent shows produced William Bendix and Dick Powell, each participating in sketches which were pretty bad.  I think Martin and Lewis ought to stay away from guest stars and stick to their own crazy knitting.
     One nice asset NBC has provided for the program is Florence McMichael, a popular West Coast comedienne.  As a wacky and petulant secretary to Martin and Lewis, she makes even less sense than Lewis and fits into their act very nicely.  On the train for example, she looked under her bed to see if there was a man under it.  There was.  She was in an upper booth at the time.
     On their first program Lewis declared gloomily that in nightclubs people had to pay $10 to see them and they couldn't afford to dislike them.  "But the radio if free and at those prices they can afford to hate us."  I don't think anyone will hate them, but it may take a bit to get used to them.  And around the corner there's always television, where they ought to be tremendous.
Copyright, 1949, for The Tribune

The production acquired the services of five more writers and from the Summer 1949 season on, The Martin and Lewis Show began receiving better reviews and market share. NBC's unease with the deal it had struck with the comics continued, however, with many of the trade papers of the era reporting NBC's efforts to renegotiate their contract with their two new stars--to no avail.

NBC's disputes with Martin and Lewis continued throught the end of their first season, with NBC finally declaring throughout the trade papers that they'd not be renewing their contract with the now famous comics. In the interim, Martin and Lewis' brief appearances in the film My Friend Irma, continued to gain movie fans, and offers for Film projects for the pair began mounting up.

Though the first series of Martin and Lewis Show programs ended in January of 1950, by the Fall of 1950, NBC had re-signed the pair for their Colgate Comedy Hour over Television. The comedy-variety format called for rotating hosts. Beginning that Fall, Martin and Lewis began a series of rotating hosting appearances that eventually spanned five years--and 35 appearances.

In an attempt to capitalize on their renewed investment in the comics, NBC reintroduced The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show radio program in the Fall of 1951. The revised format returned to its roots, with the team performing sketches and Dean Martin performing one or two musical numbers before introducing their guest star for the remainder of the night's program. CBS was the first to begin airing both Television and Radio versions of their most popular programming. NBC and ABC soon followed suit and by 1952, American and Canadian audiences were enjoying both Radio and Television versions of many of their favorite programs.

The Martin and Lewis Show ran for seventy-three of a contracted seventy-eight installments before being canceled in July of 1953.

Martin and Lewis Show format changes and highlights

The format initially employed for Martin and Lewis' first season was relatively formulaic for the genre: a musical intro, a comedy sketch or two, a song by Dean Martin, introduction of the guest star, and the main sketch and closing musical number. The show followed that format for the first twenty-three episodes.

With the Fall season of 1949, The Martin and Lewis Show evolved into a format more reminiscent of CBS's The Danny Kaye Show from the mid-1940s: Martin and Lewis began a fifteen-program arc of storylines initially revolving around their purchase of a new nightclub, then morphing into their adventures following the success of their appearance in the 1949 film, My Friend Irma, and its aftermath.

The script arcs would introduce the evening's guest star in one role or another as part of the scripted story. The new format also expanded Sheldon Leonard's role as 'Soapy' Leonard their ostensible former agent, fixit guy and foil for most of their subsequent adventures. Heard regularly during that fifteen-program run were Leonard, Joe Kearns, Elvia Allman, Gale Gordon and occasional appearances by Gloria Blondell and Jane Morgan.

When the team returned to the air after beginning their Television appearances over NBC, the remaining seventy-three episodes returned to their initial 1949 format. Repackaged as The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show, the guest stars were introduced a bit earlier in the format, were a bit more involved in the sketches, and were given somewhat more time to perform. The 1951-1953 run was also notable for the remarkably diverse array of guest stars the program introduced:

  • Three guest appearances by Jack Webb
  • Two guest appearances by Jeff Chandler
  • A special 45-minute program featuring Frank Sinatra
  • Two appearances by Marlene Dietrich
  • Two appearances by George Raft
  • Two Appearances by Jane Wyman
  • Two Appearances by Linda Darnell

In addition, the programs guest-starred Jimmy Stewart, Shelly Winters, Rhonda Fleming, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Tony Curtis, Janet Leigh, Claire Trevor, Ann Blyth, Ann Sheridan, Jane Russell, Virginia Mayo, William Holden, and Mitzi Gaynor, among many others. These were often some of the entertainment world's most elusive or rarely heard celebrities over Radio and offered rare last appearances of many of them over the medium.

Initially broadcast from New York, the series moved to Hollywood in July of 1949 to accomodate Martin and Lewis' shooting schedule for My Friend Irma. The series originated from Hollywood for the remainder of its run, with occasional origination from New York and Chicago, again to accomodate the pair's expanding commitments. The Chicago originations ran for the month of December 1949.

Dick Stabile and his orchestra provided the musical accompaniment and scoring for the entire run. Stabile and his orchestra remained with Martin and Lewis for their entire career as a team. A highly versatile composer and saxaphone player, The Martin and Lewis Show provided Stabile with one of his longest running gigs over Radio.

Though the Martin and Lewis ensemble casts evolved over its various runs over four years, Sheldon Leonard remained one of its core contributors. The first seasons of the show also featured Florence 'Flo' MacMichael, Joe Kearns, and Frank Nelson in recurring appearances. And as noted above, once the production originated from Hollywood, Gloria Blondell made occasional recurring appearances in supporting roles, along with Elvia Allman and the program's announcer, Ben Alexander.

The announcers during the course of the run reflected the series' originating locations, but comprised Ed Herlihy, Bob Warren, Wayne Howell, Ben Alexander, Charles Martin, and George Fenneman. Jimmy Wallington was heard as the spokeman for the show's sponsors.

The writing talent for the series markedly improved the longer the series aired, with writers of the caliber of Jack Douglas, Ed Simmons and Norman Lear joining the team for the later runs. The Simmons and Lear scripts, in particular, were some of the best of the series.

NBC sustained the production through its first year contract with Martin and Lewis. When the series returned in 1951 it was sponsored variously by Dentyne and Chiclets Gum, Chesterfield and Fatima cigarettes and Anacin, regular sponsors of several NBC-packaged prime-time programs. Indeed, the series owed the multiple appearances of Jack Webb to his NBC Dragnet program and its sponsorship by Liggett and Myers.


Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis with special guest, Burt Lancaster, in a Colgate Comedy Hour kinescope from October 4, 1953

The Martin and Lewis Show captured the comedy team at the very arc of its rising stardom, and was undoubtedly instrumental in propelling their career together into an even higher orbit. In spite of NBC's differences with the team, they remained connected with NBC for their entire collaboration together. After the team parted company, NBC featured Dean Martin in his own, long-running and highly popular The Dean Martin Show, airing from 1965 to 1973. NBC had already launched The Jerry Lewis Show for a year in 1957. It's safe to say that whatever differences NBC had with Martin and Lewis, they were quite amicably resolved for over twenty-five years.

Series Derivatives:

AFRTS 'Martin and Lewis'; The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show; Colgate Comedy Hour [Television]
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Comedy Variety
Network(s): NBC; AFRTS
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): 48-12-xx Aud Lucille Ball
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 49-04-03 01 Bob Hope
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 49-04-03 to 53-07-14; NBC;
Syndication: NBC; AFRTS
Sponsors: Sustaining; Swan Soap; Chesterfield Cigarettes; Anacin; Dentyne and Chiclets Gum
Director(s): Bob Redd; Bob Adams [Producer]; Dick Mack [Producer/Director]
Principal Actors:
Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Lucille Ball, Ilene Woods, Florence 'Flo' MacMichael, Bob Hope, Michael Roy, The Martingales, William Bendix, Roger Price, Peter Lorre, Burl Ives, Arthur Treacher, John Garfield, Henry Fonda, Marilyn Maxwell, Tony Martin, John Carradine, Ralph Bellamy, Sheldon Leonard, Gloria Blondell, Frank Nelson, Frances Langford, William Boyd, Burt Lancaster, Victor Moore, Billie Burke, Jane Russell, Dorothy Kirsten, Hans Conried, Dinah Shore, Carol Richards, Bing Crosby, Arlene Dahl, Danny Thomas, Shelly Winters, Dennis Morgan, Jane Wyman, Joan Davis, Dale Evans, Mona Freeman, Alexis Smith, Gordon MacRae, Rhonda Fleming, William Holden, Linda Darnell, Tony Curtis, Corinne Calvert, Lizabeth Scott, Marlene Dietrich, Ann Sothern, Claire Trevor, Virginia Mayo, Boris Karloff, Rosemary Clooney, Jeff Chandler, Hoagy Carmichael, Jack Webb, Mitzi Gaynor, Laraine Day, Anne Baxter, Joanne Dru, Fred MacMurray, Debbie Reynolds, Phyllis Thaxter, Joseph Cotten, Vera Ellen, Gloria Grahame
Recurring Character(s): Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis; 'Soapie' Leonard [Sheldon Leonard]
Protagonist(s): None
Author(s): None
Writer(s) Dick McKnight, Ray Allen, Norman Sullivan, Chet Castellaw, Sod Resnick, Roger Price, Sy Rose, Mort Lachman, Jack Douglas, Charlie Isaacs, Ben Star, Ed Simmons, Norman Lear, Arthur Phillips, Austin Kalish
Music Direction: Dick Stabile and His Orchestra
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): Ed Herlihy, Bob Warren, Wayne Howell, Ben Alexander, Charles Martin, Jimmy Wallington, George Fenneman
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
119
Episodes in Circulation: 71
Total Episodes in Collection: 79
Provenances:

Billboard Martin and Lewis review of Season Premiere on April 3 1949 from April 30 1949 issue
Billboard Martin and Lewis review of Season Premiere on April 3 1949 from April 30 1949 issue
RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were the log of the radioGOLDINdex and newspaper listings.

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc


Much of the confusion in cataloging The Martin and Lewis Show seems to stem from the various edited and unedited tape recordings in circulation for the first two surviving recordings of the program, as well as the widely used, yet utterly inaccurate Martin and Lewis Show commercial cassette catalog of The Vintage Radio Place.

David Goldin describes the first two recordings in his collection as, "Possibly recorded December 21, 1948 for broadcast April 3, 1949," for the Lucille Ball recording. For the Bob Hope guested recording he states, "Possibly their first show for NBC. Unedited tape, lots of wild ad libs with Bob. The program aired right before the program with guest William Bendix. The above date might be the recording session, possibly for broadcast April 3, 1949." Remember that the Goldin catalog was initially cataloged almost exclusively from transcription tapes and discs, the majority of which now reside at the Library of Congress. A large number of the Goldin transcriptions were sold to Radio Spirits at around the same time.

As indicated in the Billboard Review at left, the reviewer, Sam Chase, reviewed what he referred to as the premiere broadcast of the Martin and Lewis Show that was broadcast on April 3, 1949. The reviewer twice underscored that the program of April 3rd is the premiere and stated that material for that broadcast "was culled from the auditions the comics made." This would seem to support Goldin's speculation as to the source of the first two taped Martin and Lewis recordings in his collection.

We have in our own collection, both renditions of the Lucille Ball guested pilot--an unedited recording of 38 minutes and a 29:56 minute edited, as-auditioned version. This allows us to compare the two scripts to determine what was edited for the final 30-minute version. Goldin also correctly cites the William Bendix guested program as the second of the series, which is supported by the contemporary newspapers announcements for April 10, 1949. If the William Bendix guest appearance was the second broadcast, then it follows that the Bob Hope appearance, also widely reported in the newspaper announcements of April 3, 1949, was in fact the premiere performance of the broadcast series, Q.E.D..

Given all of the above, we've concluded that the Bob Hope appearance on The Martin and Lewis Show was the series premiere. We've also concluded that the Lucille Ball guested recordings were either from December 1948 or possibly March 24, 1949.

OTRisms:

The Vintage Radio Place cites an audition recording with Bob Hope as the guest, in what it refers to as a "Christmas Program." The actual premiere recording of Bob Hope's guest appearance never mentions or even refers to Christmas in any context, however oblique. Whatever recording they're citing is either another pilot or audition, featuring Bob Hope, or it's simply in error. We're inclined to believe the latter, given other common inaccuracies in The Vintage Radio Place commercial cassette tape catalogs.

With the catalog below, we've managed to correct thirty titles in the circulating canon as well as adding some twenty-five titles to the known catalog.


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We don't pronounce our Golden Age Radio research as 'certified' anything. By the very definition, research is imperfect. We simply tell the truth. As is our continuing practice, we provide our fully provenanced research results--to the extent possible--right here on the page, for any of our peers to review--or refute--as the case may be. If you take issue with any of our findings, you're welcome to cite any better verifiable source(s) and we'll immediately review them and update our findings accordingly. As more verifiable provenances surface, we'll continue to update the following series log, as appropriate.

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[Date, title, and episode column annotations in
red refer to either details we have yet to fully provenance or other unverifiable information as of this writing. Red highlights in the text of the 'Notes' columns refer to information upon which we relied in citing dates, date or time changes, or titles.]







The Martin and Lewis Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
48-12-xx
--
Guest Lucille Ball
Y
[Unedited, 37-minute tape recording; probably a pilot or audition]
48-12-xx
--
Guest Lucille Ball
Y
[30-minute edited version; probably a pilot or audition]
49-04-03
1
Guest Bob Hope
Y
[Unedited, 38-minute tape recording; Season Premiere]

49-04-03
1
Guest Bob Hope
N
[30-minute edited version, as broadcast; Season Premiere]

49-04-03 Wisconsin State Journal
5:30 p.m.--Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis (WIBA):
new series with Flo McMichael, Mary Hatcher, Dick Stabile's orchestra; Bob Hope, guest.
49-04-10
2
Guest William Bendix
Y
49-04-10 Wisconsin State Journal
5:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
William Bendix.
49-04-17
3
Guest George Marshall
N
49-04-17 Wisconsin State Journal
5:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
George Marshall, film director.
49-04-24
4
Guest Dick Powell
N
49-04-24 Wisconsin State Journal
5:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WMAQ): with
Dick Powell (on WIBA at 5:30).
49-05-01
5
Guest Madeleine Carroll
Y
49-05-01 Wisconsin State Journal
5:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with Madeleine Carroll.
49-05-08
6
Guest Peter Lorre
Y
49-05-08 Wisconsin State Journal
5:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis
49-05-15
7
Guest Burl Ives
Y
49-05-15 Wisconsin State Journal
5:30 p.m.--Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis (WIBA):
Burl Ives, guest.
49-05-22
8
Guest Arthur Treacher
Y
49-05-22 Long Beach Press-Telegram
8:00-KFI--
Arthur Treacher will offer his services as a butler to Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. He feels that men of such unconventional antics need the service of a gentleman's gentleman.
49-05-29
9
Guest John Garfield
Y
49-05-29 Wisconsin State Journal
5:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
John Garfield.
49-06-05
10
Guest Henry Fonda
Y
49-06-05 Wisconsin State Journal
5:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Henry Fonda.
49-06-12
11
Guest Marilyn Maxwell
Y
49-06-12 Wisconsin State Journal
5:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Marilyn Maxwell.





49-06-21
12
Guest Tony Martin
Y
[Moves to The Bob Hope Show slot on Tuesdays]

49-06-21 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA):
take over vacationing Bob Hope's time; Tony Martin, guest.
49-06-28
13
Guest John Carradine
Y
49-06-28 Wisconsin State Journal - 8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with John Carradine.

Announces
Ralph Bellamy as next guest
49-07-05
14
Guest Ralph Bellamy
Y
49-07-05 Wisconsin State Journal - 8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with Ralph Bellamy in his "Detective Story" role.
49-07-12
15
Guest Charles Ruggles
N
49-07-12 Gettysburg Times
WNBC 9:00 Martin and Lewis:
Charles Ruggles.
49-07-19
16
Guest Vincent Price
N
49-07-19 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Vincent Price.
49-07-26
17
Guest Frances Langford
Y
[Production moves to Hollywood]

49-07-26 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and and Lewis (WIBA): with
Frances Langford.
49-08-02
18
Guest Bill 'Hopalong Cassidy' Boyd
Y
49-08-02 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Bill "Hopalong Cassidy" Boyd.

Announces
Burt Lancaster as next guest
49-08-09
19
Guest Burt Lancaster
Y
49-08-09 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 8:00 Martin and Lewis
49-08-16
20
Guest Victor Moore
Y
49-08-16 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 8:00 Martin and Lewis

Announces
Billie Burke as next guest

49-08-23
21
Guest Billie Burke
Y
49-08-23 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 8:00 Martin and Lewis
49-08-30
22
Guest Jane Russell
Y
49-08-30 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): and
Jane Russell, motion picture star.
49-09-06
23
Title Unknown
N
49-09-06 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 8:00 Martin and Lewis

49-09-13 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m. —
Fibber McGee and Molly (WIBA): begin 15th radio year with hour-long anniversary show; guests include Irene Dunne, Bob Hope, Perry Como, Hal "Gildersieeve" Peary, 'Robert Young, 'William Bendix, Dennis Day, Phil Harris, Alice Faye.





49-10-07
24
The Life Story of Dean and Jerry
New Nightclub
Y
[Martin and Lewis return on Fridays]

49-10-07 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WMAQ):
return from two-week vacation.

Announces
Dorothy Kirsten as next guest

49-10-14
25
Hiring Dorothy Kirsten For the Nightclub
Y
49-10-14 Wisconsin State Journal
WMAQ 7:30 Martin and Lewis

Announces
George Jessell as next guest

49-10-21
26
Dean and Jerry Need A Producer
Y
49-10-21 Wisconsin State Journal
WMAQ 7:30 Martin and Lewis

49-10-28
27
The 'South Pacific' Ticket Adventure
Y
49-10-28 Wisconsin State Journal
WMAQ 7:30 Martin and Lewis

Joseph Kearns as Ticket Seller

49-11-04
28
Dean and Jerry Try to Report A Murder
Y
49-11-04 Wisconsin State Journal
WMAQ 7:30 Martin and Lewis

49-11-14
29
Dean and Jerry Buy A Football Team
Y
49-11-14 Wisconsin State Journal
9 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WMAQ):
buy a footfall team and play on it.

49-11-21
30
Title Unknown
N
49-11-21 Wisconsin State Journal
WMAQ 9:00 Martin and Lewis

49-11-28
31
Jerry Needs to Prove His Age
Y
49-11-28 Wisconsin State Journal
WMAQ 9:00 Martin and Lewis

49-12-05
32
Exterminators At A Chicago Resort
Y
[Originates from Chicago]

49-12-05 Wisconsin State Journal
WMAQ 9:00 Martin and Lewis
49-12-12 Pre-Empted
-
[Preempted]

49-12-12 Wisconsin State Journal
WMAQ, WIBA 9 p.m.--
Herbert Hoover "Reorganization of the Federal Government"

49-12-12 The Bee
Herbert Hoover is to discuss "reorganization of the Federal Government" in an NBC broadcast at 10 tonight from Washington as part of the two day meeting of the national Citizens Committee for the Hoover report.
The program cancels Martin and Lewis.
49-12-19
33
The Christmas Ball

Y
[Christmas Program]

49-12-19 Capital Times
9 p.m.--Martin and Lewis:
a dreary Christmas gets a lift--WMAQ.
49-12-26
34
Title Unknown
N
49-12-26 Syracuse Herald Journal
Monday 10:00 P.M.--WSYR--Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, comedy show, with Flo McMichael.
50-01-02
35
Title Unknown
N
50-01-02 Wisconsin State Journal
WMAQ 9:00 Dean Martin Jerry Lewis
50-01-09
36
Title Unknown
N
50-01-09 Wisconsin State Journal
WMAQ 9:00 Dean Martin Jerry Lewis
50-01-16
37
Title Unknown
N
50-01-14 The Bee
NBC is letting it be known that the contract of Comedians Martin and Lewis is not to be renewed after their first year.
Now Monday nights, they have been board at various times. Apparently they did not go over as well on radio as they have in night clubs and television.

50-01-16 Wisconsin State Journal
WMAQ 9:00 Dean Martin Jerry Lewis
50-01-23
38
Title Unknown
N
50-01-23 Wisconsin State Journal
WMAQ 9:00 Dean Martin Jerry Lewis
50-01-30
39
Title Unknown
N
50-01-30 Wisconsin State Journal
WMAQ 9:00 Dean Martin Jerry Lewis.

50-01-24 Syracuse Herald Journal
NBC HAS rescheduled its summer feature, "Dangerous Assignment," adventure series starring Brian Donlevy, and will air it Monday nights over WSYR in the 10 to 10:30 spot, starting Feb. 6...The show takes the place of the Martin and Lewis show.





The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
51-10-05
1
Guest Dinah Shore
Y
[Martin and Lewis return to Radio, after starting their Television program; shows originate from Hollywood; sponsored by Anacin and Chesterfield]

51-10-01 Wisconsin State Journal
Martin and Lewis, now at work on a picture, will be back on radio--and soon. This is in spite of doctor's orders that Jerry must take it easy. Martin and Lewis return to radio Friday night at 9 o'clock. After their success on TV last fall, NBC decided to put them back to work on the radio airlines.

51-10-05 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): new series of comedy shows with Dick Stabile's band, guest stars.
51-10-12
2
Guest George Raft
Y
51-10-12 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA).
51-10-19
3
Guest Bing Crosby
Y
51-10-19 Wisconsin State Journal - 7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA).
51-10-26
4
Guest Arlene Dahl
Y
51-10-26 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): fun with Dean and Jerry.
51-11-02
5
Guest Denise Darcel
Y
51-11-02 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA).
51-11-09
6
Guest Danny Thomas
Y
51-11-09 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): comedy with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, the Skylarks quintet and Dick Stabile's orchestra.
51-11-16
7
Guest Shelley Winters
Y
51-11-16 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA).
51-11-23
8
Guest Dennis Morgan
Y
51-11-23 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA).
51-11-30
9
Guest Jane Wyman
Y
51-11-30 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA).
51-12-07
10
Guest Joan Davis
Y
51-12-07 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis
51-12-14
11
Guest Jane Russell
Y
51-12-14 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with Jane Russell.
51-12-21
12
Guest Helen O'Connell
Y
51-12-21 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis
51-12-28
13
Guest Dale Evans
Y
51-12-28 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): comedy and music of Dick Stabile's orchestra.
52-01-04
14
Guest Mona Freeman
Y
52-01-04 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): fun and music with Dean and Jerry.
52-01-11
15
Guest Hans Conried
Y
52-01-11 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Robert Newton, English film star.
52-01-18
16
Guest Frank Sinatra
Y
[Special 45-minute program]

52-01-18 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA):
special 45-minute show; Frank Sinatra, guest.
52-01-25
17
Guest Alexis Smith
Y
52-01-25 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Alexis Smith.
52-02-01
18
Guest Gordon MacRae
Y
52-02-01 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Gordon MacRae, Carole Richards.
52-02-08
19
Guest Rhonda Fleming
Y
52-02-08 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Rhonda Fleming.
52-02-15
20
Guest William Holden
Y
52-02-15 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
William Holden in distorted version of "Born Yesterday".

52-02-22
21
Guest Linda Darnell
Y
52-02-22 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Linda Darnell.
52-02-29
22
Guest Tony Curtis
Y
52-02-29 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Tony Curtis.
52-03-07
23
Guest Corinne Calvet
Y
52-03-07 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA):
Corrine Calvet, guest.
52-03-14
24
Guest Lizabeth Scott
Y
52-03-14 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Lizabeth Scott.
52-03-21
25
Guest Marlene Dietrich
Y
52-03-21 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Marlene Dietrich.
52-03-28
26
Guest Ann Sothern
Y
52-03-28 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Ann Sothern.
52-04-04
27
Guest Claire Trevor
Y
52-04-04 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis
52-04-11
28
Guest Virginia Mayo
Y
52-04-11 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA):
Virginia Mayo, guest.
52-04-18
29
Guest Boris Karloff
Y
52-04-18 Wisconsin State Journal - 7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with Boris Karloff.
52-04-25
30
Guest Ann Sheridan
Y
52-04-25 Wisconsin State Journal - 7:30 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with Ann Sheridan; last show of season.





52-09-16
31
Guest Rosemary Clooney
Y
52-09-16 Long Beach Press-Telegram
"The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show"
returns to KFI radio at 9 tonight. Special guest with the NBC madmen of mirth will be singer Rosemary Clooney. High light of the kickoff series will be a takeoff on "The Greatest Show on Earth," with Martin, Lewis and Miss Clooney cast in circus roles. Music-wise, Miss Clooney sings her popular version of "Botchime." Martin will sing three songs, "Hominy Grit," "You Belong to Me" and "Once in a While."
52-09-23
32
Guest Jeff Chandler
Y
52-09-23 Syracuse Herald-Journal
Movie personality
Jeff Chandler will join Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis tonight when they do a burlesque on the James brothers, western badmen. Their radio show is heard each Tuesday at 9 over WSYR.
52-09-30
33
Guest Jimmy Stewart
N
52-09-30 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Jimmy Stewart.
52-10-07
34
Guest Jane Wyman
Y
52-10-07 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Jane Wyman.
52-10-14
35
Guest Hoagy Carmichael
Y
52-10-14 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Hoagy Carmichael in takeoff on "You Bet Your Life."
52-10-21
36
Guest Ann Sheridan
N
52-10-21 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Ann Sheridan.
52-10-28
37
Guest Joan Davis
N
52-10-28 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Joan Davis.
52-11-04
--
Pre-Empted
--
[Preempted for Election Returns]
52-11-11
38
Guest Dorothy Lamour
N
52-11-11 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): plus
Dorothy Lamour.
52-11-18
39
Guest William Holden
N
52-11-18 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
William Holden.
52-11-25
40
Guest George Jessel
N
52-11-25 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
George Jessel in takeoff on "Dragnet."
52-12-02
41
Guest Ann Blyth
N
52-12-02 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Ann Blyth in takeoff on psychological drama.
52-12-09
42
Guest Linda Darnell
N
52-12-09 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Linda Darnell.
52-12-16
43
Guest Ginger Rogers
N
52-12-16 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Ginger Rogers.
52-12-23
44
Guest Tony Martin
N
52-12-23 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Tony Martin in mad saga of piracy.
52-12-30
45
Guest Esther Williams
N
52-12-30 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Esther Williams.
53-01-06
46
Guests Jack Webb and Victor Mature
N
53-01-06 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Jack Webb and Victor Mature.
53-01-13
47
Guest Jack Webb
Y
53-01-13 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Jack Webb in takeoff on "Dragnet."
53-01-20
48
Guest Janet Leigh
N
53-01-20 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Janet Leigh.
53-01-27
49
Guest Tony Curtis
N
53-01-27 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Tony Curtis in satire on drama of submarine service.
53-02-03
50
Guest Terry Moore
N
53-02-03 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Terry Moore in satire on "Come Back, Little Sheba."
53-02-10
51
Guest George Jessel
N
53-02-10 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with George Jessel in take-off on "Drums Along the Mohawk."
53-02-17
52
Guest Donna Reed
N
53-02-17 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Donna Reed in burlesque on "Rip Van Winkle."
53-02-24
53
Guest Marilyn Monroe
N
53-02-24 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Marilyn Monroe, Julie Harris, Leslie Caron, Marge and Gower Champion.
53-03-03
54
Guest George Raft
N
53-03-03 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
George Raft.
53-03-10
55
Guest Zsa Zsa Gabor
N
53-03-10 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Zsa Zsa Gabor.
53-03-17
56
Guest Gloria Swanson
N
53-03-17 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Gloria Swanson.
53-03-24
57
Guest Phil Harris
N
53-03-24 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Phil Harris in take-off on "You Bet Your Life."
53-03-31
58
Guest Jack Webb
Y
53-03-31 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Jack Webb.
53-04-07
59
Guest Mitzi Gaynor
Y
53-04-07 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Mitzie Gaynor.
53-04-14
60
Guest Linda Darnell
Y
53-04-14 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Linda Darnell.
53-04-21
61
Guest Vic Damone
Y
53-04-21 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Vic Damone in satire on French Foreign Legion; "The Sheik," "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree," "Alone."
53-04-28
62
Guest Laraine Day
Y
53-04-28 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Laraine Day in sketch about hillbilly baseball.
53-05-05
63
Guest Anne Baxter
Y
53-05-05 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Anne Baxter in heart-throb drama of emotion and commotion.
53-05-12
64
Guest Joanne Dru
Y
53-05-12 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Joanne Dru.
53-05-19
65
Guest Fred MacMurray
Y
53-05-19 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Fred MacJurray.
53-05-26
66
Guest Debbie Reynolds
Y
53-05-26 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Debbie Reynolds in detective-story satires on bedtime tales.
53-06-02
67
Guest Jeff Chandler
Y
53-06-02 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Jeff Chandler.
53-06-09
68
Guest Phyllis Thaxter
Y
53-06-09 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Phyllis Thaxter.
53-06-16
69
Guest Joseph Cotten
Y
53-06-16 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Joseph Cotton.
53-06-23
70
Guest Vera Ellen
Y
53-06-23 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Vera Ellen.
53-06-30
71
Guest Ida Lupino
N
53-06-30 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Ida Lupino.
53-07-07
72
Guest Marlene Dietrich
Y
53-07-07 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): with
Marlene Dietrich.
53-07-14
73
Guest Gloria Grahame
Y
53-07-14 Wisconsin State Journal
8 p.m.--Martin and Lewis (WIBA): Final show of season has
Gloria Grahame as guest.





AFRS R-Series 'Martin and Lewis' Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
48-12-22 Lucille Ball
N





AFRTS END-156 'Martin and Lewis' Radio Program Log











Date AFRTS No. Title Avail. Notes
49-02-xx
William Bendix
N
49-12-05
26
Visiting Chicago
N
51-10-12
33
Title Unknown
N
51-01-21
William Boyd
N
51-01-20 Pacific Stars and Stripes
Sunday 9:30--Martin and Lewis (With
Hopalong Cassidy)

51-01-28
Unknown
N
51-01-27 Pacific Stars and Stripes
Sunday 9:30--Martin and Lewis.

51-02-04
Victor Moore
N
51-02-03 Pacific Stars and Stripes
Sunday 9:30--Martin and Lewis (Guest:
Victor Moore).

51-02-11
Burt Lancaster
N
51-02-10 Pacific Stars and Stripes
Sunday 9:30--Martin and Lewis (Guest:
Burt Lancaster).

51-02-18
Billie Burke
N
51-02-17 Pacific Stars and Stripes
Sunday 9:30--Martin and Lewis (Guest:
Billie Burke).

51-02-25
Jane Russell
N
51-02-24 Pacific Stars and Stripes
Sunday 9:30--Martin and Lewis (Guest:
Jane Russell).

51-03-04
Caesar Romero
N
51-03-03 Pacific Stars and Stripes
Sunday 9:30--Martin and Lewis (Guest:
Caesar Romero).

51-03-11
Unknown
N
51-03-10 Pacific Stars and Stripes
Sunday 9:30--Martin and Lewis

51-03-18
Dorothy Kirsten
N
51-03-17 Pacific Stars and Stripes
Sunday 9:30--Martin and Lewis (Guest:
Dorothy Kirsten).

51-04-08
Unknown
N
51-04-08 Pacific Stars and Stripes
Sunday 9:30--Martin and Lewis

51-04-15
Unknown
N
51-04-15 Pacific Stars and Stripes
Sunday 9:30--Martin and Lewis

52-09-19
Denise Darcel
N
52-09-15 Pacific Stars and Stripes
AND FOR DOWN TO earth comedy, be sure to hear the "Martin and Lewis" escapades Friday at 9:30 p.m. Lovelly
Denise Darcel is the guest of Dean Martin and his sidekick Jerry Lewis. The action concerns how Jerry grows by leaps and bounds to reach the halls of higher learning at UCLA.






The Martin and Lewis Radio Program Biographies




Dean Martin
[Dino Paul Crocetti]

Stage, Radio, Television and Film Actor; Recording Artist
(1917-1995)

Birthplace: Steubenville, Ohio, U.S.A.

Radiography:
1947 Scout About Town
1948 Elgin Thanksgiving Day Greeting To America
1949 The Martin and Lewis Show
1949 Sealtest Variety Theater
1949 Closed Circuit:  NBC's Parade Of Stars Weekly Preview
1949 The New Swan Show
1950 Academy Awards Program
1950 Guest Star
1950 The Big Show
1951 The House Of Music (Audition)
1951 The Bing Crosby Show
1952 Christmas Seal Sale
1954 Capitol Records Ground-Breaking Ceremony and Luncheon
1957 Friar's Club Tribute To Jack Benny
1959 The Frank Sinatra Timex Show
'Kid Crochett' circa 1944
'Kid Crochett' circa 1944

Martin married lovely Elizabeth Anne 'Betty' McDonald in 1941. She was the mother of Gail, Claudia, Craig and Deana Martin. The couple split in 1949.
Martin married lovely Elizabeth Anne 'Betty' McDonald in 1941. She was the mother of Gail, Claudia, Craig and Deana Martin. The couple split in 1949.


Billboard article on rising singing sensation Dean Martin from January 15 1944
Billboard article on rising singing sensation Dean Martin from January 15 1944

Bill Smith Billboard review of Martin and Lewis appearance at the Havana-Madrid Club in New York from September 28 1946
Bill Smith Billboard review of Martin and Lewis appearance at the Havana-Madrid Club in New York from September 28 1946

Martin's second wife Jeanne Biegger was the former Orange Bowl Queen for 1943.
Martin's second wife Jeanne Biegger was the former Orange Bowl Queen for 1943.


Dean Martin circa 1950
Dean Martin circa 1950

Martin and Lewis' first feature film was 1951's At War With the Army
Martin and Lewis' first feature film was 1951's At War With the Army

The Comics' 7th outing in film was 1953's Scared Stiff with Lizabeth Scott and Carmen Miranda
The Comics' 7th outing in film was 1953's Scared Stiff with Lizabeth Scott and Carmen Miranda

Martin and Lewis film No. 8 was The Caddy from 1953
Martin and Lewis film No. 8 was The Caddy from 1953

Matchbook from Dean Martin's Dino's Lodge on Sunset Blvd, a popular watering hole for The Rat Pack between 1954 and 1967
Matchbook from Dean Martin's Dino's Lodge on Sunset Blvd, a popular watering hole for The Rat Pack between 1954 and 1973.

Dino's Lodge on 'the Strip' served as the erstwhile location for the popular 77 Sunset Strip Television program from 1958 to 1964
Dino's Lodge on 'the Strip' served as the erstwhile location for the popular 77 Sunset Strip Television program from 1958 to 1964

Dean Martin's 1960 film Ocean's 11 helped set the standard for 'cool' for a generation.
Dean Martin's 1960 film Ocean's 11 helped set the standard of 'cool' for a generation.

Dean Martin with sons Ricci (left) and Dean Paul (center) from 1961 Sid Avery photo
Dean Martin with sons Ricci (left) and Dean Paul (center) from 1961 Sid Avery photo

1970's Airport was arguably Dean Martin's best film
1970's Airport was arguably Dean Martin's best film
'Kid Crochett' was Dino Paul Crocetti's ring name during his boxing career. Clearly a play on his Italian surname, the addition of the second 't' also avoided any connection with the word 'crochet,' which would undoubtedly have proved inimical to his boxing image. But boxing wasn't Dean Martin's only gig growing up in Steubenville, Ohio. He'd also worked in a steel mill, as a gasoline attendant, and as a card-sharp in local bootleg casinos while awaiting his break as an entertainer.

Born and raised in Steubenville, Dino Paul Crocetti reportedly spoke no English until he attended elementary school. By the age of 16, Crocetti, as 'Kid Crochett' began compiling a respectable 36-11 record as a welterweight boxer--his already distinctly prominent schnozz and upper lip apparently taking the brunt of his eleven losses.

He began singing after dropping out of Steubenville High School in the tenth grade, performing as a front man for various local bands. Though initially changing his performing name to Dino Martini, the 'Kid Crochett' moniker proved somewhat harder to abandon as late as the mid-1940s.

Dean Martin was first married in 1941 to the former Elizabeth Anne 'Betty' McDonald, a union that lasted eight years and produced four of his seven children--Gail, Claudia, Craig and Deana. Martin was drafted into the Army in 1944, serving a year stateside before being discharged with a 4-F classification.

Upon his return to civilian life, Martin pursued his singing career in earnest, quickly climbing up the Billboard Magazine 'nightclub' charts, and culminating in a 16-week stand at the Riobamba Club in New York, taking the place of a fortuitous last-minute cancellation by Frank Sinatra. The Riobamba gig created all the buzz Dean Martin needed to put his crooning career into overdrive.

With the largesse of a friend--reportedly comedian, Lou Costello--Martin underwent reconstructive rhinoplasty to correct his nose. The surgery transformed his appearance and better suited his growing image as a romantic crooner. 1946 found Martin booked at Atlantic City's 500 Club, sharing a bill with the then 20-year old comic, Jerry Lewis. Their gig at New York's Havana-Madrid Club was cited in the September 12, 1946 review of their performance in Billboard Magazine. The rest, as is too often said, was entertainment history. The union began a ten-year career together as one of entertainment history's most popular teams.

The meteoric rise in their career found them performing together on Stage, on Radio, in Television, and beginning in 1949, in a series of seventeen films together:
  • My Friend Irma (1949)
  • My Friend Irma Goes West (1950)
  • At War With The Army (1951)
  • That's My Boy (1951)
  • Sailor Beware (1952)
  • Jumping Jacks (1952)
  • Road to Bali (1952) in a cameo
  • The Stooge (1953)
  • Scared Stiff (1953)
  • The Caddy (1953)
  • Money From Home (1953)
  • Living It Up (1954)
  • 3 Ring Circus (1954)
  • You're Never Too Young (1955)
  • Artists and Models (1955)
  • Pardners (1955)
  • Hollywood Or Bust (1956)

The team's 1949 Radio program, The Martin and Lewis Show, over NBC, began the first of 4 years performing over Radio. Beginning in 1951, NBC used the team 35 times to host its Colgate Comedy Hour between 1951 and 1955. In addition to their Radio, Television, and Film appearances, the variety duo were also undertaking continued appearances on the Stage to packed audiences.

For Dean Martin, the experience was not without its shortcomings. Dean Martin's marriage to Elizabeth dissolved in 1949, owing to a combination of his accelerating career and Betty's growing alcohol dependence. His film portrayals with Jerry Lewis found him invariably cast as the romantic lead, crooner, and straight man for Jerry Lewis. Realizing he had the talent for more challenging dramatic roles, the seemingly endless typecasting throughout his Martin and Lewis films proved increasingly limiting.

Dean Martin remarried in September 1949, to the former Jeanne Biegger, a former Orange Bowl Queen and model. The union lasted twenty-four years, producing three children: Dean Paul, Ricci and Gina. Though ultimately divorcing in 1973, Dean and Jeanne Martin maintained a reportedly loving, strong parental tie with all of their children. Indeed, after Martin's relatively short marriage to his third and last wife, Catherine Hawn, Jeanne Martin and Dean Martin remained very close until Dean's death in 1995.

After the dissolution of Martin and Lewis, Dean Martin's solo career took off like a force unto itself. Often cited as the 'king of hip', the crooner's Capitol and Reprise record singles and albums launched to the top of the Billboard charts for the remainder of his singing career. His solo outings in Film comprised another thirty-five of his lifetime fifty-one feature films--primarily Westerns and Adventures, as well as his four, campy James Bond sendups as Matt Helm. Most notably, his compensation for his extraordinary performance in 1970's Airport, was a reported $7,000,000.

NBC Television launched Martin's The Dean Martin Show in 1965, one of the network's most successful prime-time variety shows in its history. References to his wife 'Jeannie' became an integral element of virtually every script for the eight-year series. Often depicted on the small screen with a beverage and cigarette in his hand, it turns out that the beverage in question was simply apple juice. But the image of Dean Martin as a hard-drinking, ultra-cool, playboy stuck with him for the remainder of his performing career. In 1974 the program was relaunched as The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts, running under that title for another 10 years.

The infamous "Clan", more commonly referred to as "The Rat Pack," further extended his image as the epitome of the 1970s playboy. As a practical matter, Martin's true relationship with Joey Bishop, Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford and Sammy Davis, Jr. extended more to the golf course than to carousing around Las Vegas every night.

Martin had, indeed, been a lifelong smoker, but his private drinking habits were reportedly greatly exaggerated throughout his career. At home, Dean Martin was a reasonably devoted father and family man, who preferred golfing, watching old westerns on Television, and reading for pastimes.

After ostensibly retiring from show business in 1985, Dean Martin settled into a comfortable retirement with family and friends until the tragic death of his son, Dean Paul in an F-4 jet crash in 1987, while on active duty with the California Air National Guard. The tragic loss of Dean Paul, formerly the lead singer in the popular rock group, Dino, Desi and Billy, left his father devastated for years after.

After Dean Paul's death, Dean Martin spent the remainder of his life with close friends and family, playing golf, reportedly watching some of the earliest western films on a daily basis, and making rare appearances on Television. He passed away on Christmas Day, 1995. The shock of his passing extended far beyond his entertainment friends and associates. The entire world mourned the passing of the 'hip-culture' icon of the 1970s and one of the entertainment industry's most beloved performers.


We could find no better tribute to Dean Martin than the AP-syndicated Bob Thomas obit from the December 26, 1995 Hutchinson News:
 

Dean Martin dies at 78
 By Bob Thomas
Associated Press Writer
 
     LOS ANGELES - Dean Martin, the easygoing, highball-sipping crooner who left the hit comedy team of Martin and Lewis to become a member of Hollywood's Rat Pack and the star of his own TV variety show, died Monday at 78.
     The singer died at his Beverly Hills home of acute respiratory failure, said his longtime agent and friend Mort Viner.
     Martin and Jerry Lewis were top stars in movies, television and nightclubs when Martin broke up the act in 1957.  The smart money figured Lewis would prosper while Martin would fade.
   But the dark-haired, handsome Martin became a much bigger star than he had been as straight man and singer, beginning with the 1958 war drama "The Young Lions," which also starred Montgomery Clift and Marlon Brando.
     With stardom came membership in the Rat Pack, the Hollywood boys club that included Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr. and Peter Lawford, with John F. Kennedy, Lawford's brother-in-law, an honorary member.
     "Dean was my brother - not through blood, but through choice," Sinatra said Monday in a statement.  "Good times and bad, we were there for each other.  Our friendship has traveled down many roads over the years and there will always be a special place in my heart and soul for Dean.
     "He has been like the air I breathe - always there, always close by."
     Among Martin's other movies:  "Some Came Running," "Rio Bravo," "Who Was that Lady?" "Sergeants 3," "Toys in the Attic," "Kiss Me Stupid," "The Bells Are Ringing," "The Sons of Katie Elder," "The Silencers," "Texas Across the River," "Murderer's Row" and "Airport."
     He once cited the two greatest turning points in his career:  "First, meeting Jerry Lewis.  Second, leaving Jerry Lewis.  I became a real actor because of those two things."
     His smooth baritone on such songs as "That's Amore" and "Volare" made him a favorite with record-buyers.  He was one of the few non-rockers to top the charts in 1964, when his "Everybody Needs Somebody" hit No. 1.
     He described his singing style with typical humor:  "I copied Bing Crosby 100 percent."
     Then he conquered television.  In 1965, NBC first presented "The Dean Martin Show," a musical variety hour through which Martin ambled with customary ease, often pretending to be soused.
     The spontaneous appearance of the show was for real.  Martin's contract stipulated that he would appear only on the day of the show and then have the most rudimentary of rehearsals.
     "The Dean Martin Show" was high-rated for most of its eight years.  It was followed by "The Dean Martin Comedy Hour" in the 1973-74 season and then a series of celebrity "roasts."
     Dino Paul Crocetta was born June 17, 1917, in Steubenville, Ohio, the son of an Italian immigrant barber.  For the first five years of his life, the boy spoke only Italian.
     Martin worked in the steel mills, fought as a welterweight and at 16 delivered bootleg liquor around Steubenville.  He also dealt cards in a gambling room behind a cigar store and began singing in clubs.
     A bandleader named Sammy Watkins hired the young singer and renamed him Dean Martin.  He eventually was booked into New York where his loose, mellow style began to catch on.
     In 1946, Martin was booked into the 500 Club in Atlantic City, N.J., at $500 a week.  That's where he first shared a bill with Jerry Lewis.




Jerry Lewis
[Joseph Levitch]

Stage, Radio, Television and Film Actor; Film Director, Writer and Producer; Humanitarian
(1926--)

Birthplace: Newark New Jersey, U.S.A.

Radiography:
1946 This Is Your FBI
1947 Scout About Town
1947 The Big Story
1948 Elgin Thanksgiving Day Greeting To America
1949 Sealtest Variety Theater
1949 Closed Circuit:  NBC's Parade Of Stars Weekly Preview
1949 The Martin and Lewis Show
1949 The New Swan Show
1949 Command Performance
1950 Guest Star
1950 The Big Show
1951 A Tribute To Bing Crosby
1951 The House Of Music (Audition)
1951 The Bing Crosby Show
1952 Christmas Seal Sale
1953 Guest Star
1954 Bud's Bandwagon
1955 Family Theater
1958 The Breakfast Club
1959 Hollywood Salutes the National Guard

Jerry Lewis circa 1944
Jerry Lewis circa 1944

Jerry Lewis at home with son Ronald wife Patty and son Gary circa 1951
Jerry Lewis at home with son Ronald wife Patty and son Gary circa 1951

Jerry Lewis circa 1966
Jerry Lewis circa 1966

Jerry Lewis and wife Patty were featured in a 1958 Oldsmobile ad from Life Magazine
Jerry Lewis and wife Patty were featured in a 1958 Oldsmobile ad from Life Magazine

Jerry Lewis' oldest son Gary became famous in his own right with his Rock 'n' Roll group Gary Lewis and The Playboys
Jerry Lewis' oldest son Gary became famous in his own right with his Rock 'n' Roll group Gary Lewis and The Playboys

Jerry Lewis was award the French Legion d'honneur in 2006
Jerry Lewis was awarded the French Legion d'honneur in 2006
Joseph Levitch was born into an entertainment family. His parents were Danny Lewis a former vaudevillian and Rachel Brodsky a piano player for a local New Jersey radio station. Performing from the age of five, by age 15 he'd adopted the stage name Joey Lewis, performing a comedy-variety act miming popular recording artists while playing their records. He reportedly adopted the name Jerry Lewis to avoid any 'promotional confusion' with either famed comedian Joe E. Lewis or Joe Louis the heavyweight boxer. Young Lewis' aspirations were unquestionably already set very high.

Upon graduating from New Jersey's Irvington High School, Jerry Lewis struck out to make a name for himself in the entertainment industry. After bouncing around the older vaudeville stages and clubs that remained of the era, Lewis begain to find an audience for his wacky routines.

Jerry met and married former Ted Fio Rito band singer Patti Palmer [Esther Calonico] in 1944. By 1945, the couple were the proud parents of Gary Harold Lee Levitch, who later acheived popular fame with the Rock 'n' Roll group, Gary Lewis and The Playboys. The couple later had five more children--Ronald, Scott, Christopher, Anthony and Joseph Lewis. The couple remained together for the next thirty-six years, eventually divorcing in 1980.

At the age of 19, Jerry Lewis found himself sharing a bill with up and coming crooner Dean Martin, at Atlantic City's 500 Club. The spontaneous interaction between the two caught on, and over the next year they teamed up throughout the east coast, slowly gaining an audience. Their gig at the Havana-Madrid club in 1946 caught the attention of the trade papers of the era and their career as a team began to take off.

By 1947 they were beginning to play to packed houses throughout the midwest and east coast. The buzz continued until it caught the attention of the NBC Radio network. By the fall of 1948 they were in negotiations with the network for a reported one-year, $500,000 exclusive radio contract. NBC knew they had something special on contract but weren't sure what to do with the team. NBC auditioned the format for their Radio program a few times before giving the team a green light for the premiere of their Martin and Lewis Show over Radio on April 3, 1949.

The reviewers of the era loved the talented young team but almost uniformly disliked the format and the formulaic jokes. Martin and Lewis reworked the sketches over the course of the first eleven episodes and by the Summer of 1949 they began hitting their stride. Originally broadcast from New York, film producer Hal Wallis, responding to their growing buzz, cast them for a 'small role' in Wallis' My Friend Irma film. Wallis was so impressed by their adlibbing for the camera that he expanded their role in the film. The production moved to Hollywood to accomodate their shooting schedule.

My Friend Irma, the film, premiered in October of 1949, two months before NBC's exclusive contract with the comics was due to expire. The rave reviews and the growing response to their Radio program served as a springboard to an intial sequel to My Friend Irma, and a contract for another initial four films for Hal Wallis.

NBC, rethinking its popular success with Martin and Lewis offered them another contract for both Television and Radio. After performing as alternate hosts on NBC's Colgate Comedy Hour, NBC put the team back on Radio in the retitled Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show in the fall of 1951, this time backed by several high-profile Radio sponsors.

The Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show ran for two more years over Radio. The weekly guest stars comprised many of the actors and actresses they were working with in their growing list of film projects as well as many of the historically 'Radio-shy' performers of the era. The format was relaxed, both Martin and Lewis were becoming accomplished hosts in their own right, and their films continued to capture larger audiences.

After their departure from Radio, they continued to alternate-host NBC Television's Colgate Comedy Hour until the Fall of 1955. In the interim, the team had performed in another eight feature films as Martin and Lewis. Their seventeenth film together was Hollywood Or Bust (1956). Upon completing the film, Dean Martin expressed his dissatisfaction with the series of roles he'd been typecast in, and the team ultimately agreed to go their separate ways.

Having long been billed as Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, neither partner found any difficulty launching separate solo careers. Dean Martin resumed a highly successful singing and recording career and began branching out into more dramatic film roles. Jerry Lewis began hosting his own comedy-variety Television program, The Jerry Lewis Show, over NBC. The program ran for a year.

Jerry Lewis remained with Paramount Studios after the split with Dean Martin and appeared in his first solo film outing with 1957's The Delicate Deliquent. In addition, borrowing yet another page from his still successful singing partner, Lewis undertook a singing career, eventually producing a couple of chart-toppers, Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody and It All Depends On You. He eventually produced an album titled Jerry Just Sings.

Jerry Lewis' excursions into other media were apparently more by way of proving something to his growing fans than to himself. Possessed of a high intellect and drive, Jerry Lewis' real passion was Film.



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