Dean Martin – Pretty Baby (1957)

FrontCover1Dean Martin (born Dino Paul Crocetti; June 7, 1917 – December 25, 1995) was an American actor, singer and comedian. One of the most popular and enduring American entertainers of the mid-20th century, Martin was nicknamed “The King of Cool” for his seemingly effortless charisma and self-assurance.

Martin gained his career breakthrough together with comedian Jerry Lewis, billed as Martin & Lewis, in 1946. They performed in nightclubs and later had numerous appearances on radio, television and in films. Following an acrimonious ending of the partnership in 1956, Martin pursued a solo career as a performer and actor.

Martin established himself as a notable singer, recording numerous contemporary songs as well as standards from the Great American Songbook. He became one of the most popular acts in Las Vegas and was known for his friendship with fellow artists Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr., who together formed the Rat Pack.

Starting in 1965, Martin was the host of the television variety program The Dean Martin Show, which centred on Martin’s singing and comedic talents and was characterized by his relaxed, easy-going demeanor. From 1974 to 1984, he was roastmaster on the popular Dean Martin Celebrity Roast, which drew notable celebrities, comedians and politicians.

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Throughout his career, Martin performed in concert stages, nightclubs, audio recordings and appeared in 85 film and television productions. His relaxed, warbling, 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?” and “Volare”.

Pretty Baby is an album recorded by Dean Martin for Capitol Records during two sessions on January 28 and 30, 1957. The backing orchestration was conducted by Gus Levene. The completed album was released on June 17, 1957. (wikipedia)

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Dean Martin waited two years following Swingin’ Down Yonder before recording his second full-length LP, Pretty Baby (though, of course, he recorded singles, EPs, and film soundtrack material in the interim). This time, under the baton of Lee Gillette, he essayed a 12-song set of ballads, among them semi-standards (and Bing Crosby hits) like “It’s Easy to Remember” and “Only Forever.” He didn’t seem nearly as involved as he had on the uptempo Swingin’ Down Yonder, and the gimmicky female backup accompaniment undercut the romantic mood, making this a less satisfying album than it might have been. Still attempting to reconstruct his career in the wake of his breakup with Jerry Lewis, Martin doesn’t seem to have focused yet on his potential as an albums artist, and this collection doesn’t rank with those of competitors and labelmates like Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole. (by William Ruhlmann)

I’m not sure of the complaints on this album. I love the female back-ups they give this a real 50’s sound. As far as a romantic singer, I don’t need Dino to romance me. He sounds very happy on this album, it has a few familiar songs for me and I like the general premise. (William Crawford)

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Personnel:
Charles Richard ‘Dick’ Cathcart (trumpet)
Edwin L ‘Buddy’ Cole (piano)
Joseph G. ‘Joe’ Comfort (bass)
Nick Fatool (drums)
Charles T. ‘Chuck’ Gentry (saxophone)
Dean Martin (vocals)
Julian C. ‘Matty’ Matlock (clarinet)
Edward R. Miller (saxophone)
Alvino Rey (guitar)
Elmer R. ‘Moe’ Schneider (trombone)
Vincent Terri (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. I Can’t Give You Anything But Love (McHugh/Fields) 2.38
02. Only Forever (Monaco/Burke) 3.08
03. Sleepy Time Gal (Lorenzo/Whiting/Alden/Egan) 2.43
04. Maybe (Flynn/Madden) 2.12
05. I Don’t Know Why (I Just Do) (Ahlert/Turk) 2.29
06. Pretty Baby (van Alstyne/Jackson/Cahn) 2.00
07. You’ve Got Me Crying Again (Newman/Jones) 1.43
08. Once In A While (Edwards/Green) 2.50
09. The Object Of My Affection (Tomlin/Poe/Grier) 2.34
10. For You (Burke/Dubin) 2.17
11. It’s Easy To Remember (Rodgers/Hart) 3.15
12. Nevertheless (I’m In Love With You) (Kalmar/Ruby) 2.48

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