YouTube sure takes care of its regular users well. Indeed they resemble nothing so much as the neighborhood ‘pusher’, supplying me with the stuff they know I’ll shoot up hungrily upon first sight. Apropos of yesterday’s post in which I mentioned reading Nick Tosches superb bio of Dean Martin, YT greeted me this morning with this terrific little segment of Edward R. Murrow’s ‘Person To Person’, in which he visits Mr. and Mrs. Dean Martin at their home on Mountain Drive in Beverly Hills. Dean has just finished his first dramatic role in the movie ‘The Young Lions’. It turns out that although he did perform one song for the picture the decision was made to excise it, which seems to please the modest and here very straight-forward Dino. We meet the two oldest of his seven children, the incredibly well-behaved Craig Martin and Claudia Martin (first marriage kids) as well as his lovely second wife Jeanne. Dean is so off-handedly charming, so middle-class low-key and sincere that it’s a little hard to make the jump ten years into the future to the sun-tanned, tuxedoed, cigarette-and-drink in-same-hand swinger who was (in my opinion) Carson’s greatest guest. Nonetheless, it’s Dean and visiting him truly is like visiting an old friend. This was the secret I suppose to his success. As Tosches points out in his book, his television show was a hit across the country because of a quality he came by naturally, one that can’t be taught; ‘No man begrudged Dean his riches and success.’


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