Old TIme Radio At Its Finest

In the late 1940s and early 1950s Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis created some of the most irresistible hilarity in the history of entertainment. Now you can enjoy the Martin and Lewis Show, which aired on NBC Radio from 1949 through 1953. Listen in to the Podcast, and find out what all the fuss was about!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Meet Me At The Copa

Dean and Jerry's live act was a sensation from the moment they first shared the stage at Skinny D'Amato's 500 Club in Atlantic City. Although we can get a sense of what it must have been like to see them in person when we listen to the old radio shows or watch the Colgate Comedy Hour appearances, by all accounts their onstage antics surpassed anything anyone had ever witnessed. It's also difficult in our time to appreciate the sensation they caused wherever they went. In my lifetime, only the Beatles have created that kind of wild pandemonium - and perhaps the only other entertainers of the 20th century to do so were Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley. Yet few people today would be likely to place Martin and Lewis in the same rarefied strata as those others.

In 1950, as an established act, Dean and Jerry broke their own attendance record at New York's famed Copacabana. When they first played the club in 1946, they received second billing to Vivian Blane - a big star in Hollywood and on Broadway at the time. In Dean and Me, Jerry reports that the billing arrangement lasted only that first night. After that, she opened for them - and they became headliners wherever they played.

I hope that the Podcast will help to convey how significant Martin and Lewis were during the decade they were together, and that it will inspire a new generation of fans.

Here's some firsthand reporting of the act's appearance in 1950 from Big Bands and Big Names (whence came the images of the Copa posters).

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