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Dean Martin




Dean Martin Festival

Boyhood Footsteps



Steubenville fondly remembers celebrity Dean Martin, known for his smash-hit singing, weekly TV shows, prolific movies, and popular stage appearances.  Dino Crocetti was born in Steubenville in 1917 and spent his boyhood growing up in Steubenville until he left at age seventeen to pursue his dreams in the world of entertainment.




Dino Crocetti was the son of Italian immigrants.  His father was a barber, and he had one brother Bill.  He dropped out of high school in the tenth grade and began working in one of the local steel mills.  He fought as a boxer under the name Kid Crochet and worked a variety of jobs in local clubs. 


Dino started his entertainment career singing.  At age seventeen he expanded his singing gigs to Ohio nightclubs outside of his hometown and eventually met success singing in the clubs in New York City.  In 1940, he changed his name to Dean Martin. 


In 1944, Dean Martin secured a regular fifteen-minute radio program broadcast in New York.  Two years later his single “Which Way Did My Heart Go?” was a hit.  That same year, Dean Martin met comedy partner Jerry Lewis while performing in Atlantic City.  The duo became popular for their comedy routines, with Martin playing the straight man and Lewis playing the fool.  Their partnership lasted for ten years, during which they made sixteen movies together. 


Dean Martin resumed his singing career (“That’s Amore” was hugely successful in 1953).  The year 1958 was extremely productive, as he acted in his first drama The Young Lions, began hosting specials for NBC, was a popular entertainer at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, and released his song “Volare.”  The following year saw the founding of the Rat Pack with their movie Some Came Running.  Rat Pack hit Ocean’s Eleven premiered in 1960.


In 1964 Martin’s “Everybody Loves Somebody” topped the charts.  The following year, The Dean Martin Show began as a weekly variety show that ran for eight years.  Dean Martin made his fifty-fifth film, Cannonball Run Part II, in 1984.


Dean Martin died on Christmas Day in 1995.



Dean Martin Festival

Join thousands of Dean Martin enthusiasts in his hometown at the tenth annual celebration of his life and achievements.  Fans gather in Steubenville, Ohio, to enjoy performances of top Dean Martin impersonators, see Dino's hometown, and share memories.  Included in the weekend activities are a film festival, memorabilia show, parade, concerts, and a memorial Mass.  Festivities are held at several locations in downtown Steubenville.  Deana Martin Griffeth, Dean Martin's daughter, and her husband John Griffeth are regular guests for the event.


Dates for the 2006 Dean Martin Festival---To Be Announced


To be put on the mailing list for the Dean Martin festival, send an email with your mailing address to the Dean Martin Festival Committee


For more information about the festival, see the following links:


Boyhood Footsteps

Although the home where home where Dean was born is no longer standing, several places that played key roles in his boyhood life can be seen when you visit Steubenville.  Dean grew up in the South-end neighborhood, and the site of his home (a) is a lot at 319 Sixth Street.  This was also the location of his father’s barber shop.  Around the corner is St. Anthony’s Church (b), where Dino was baptized.  Dean was educated at Grant School (c) on South Fourth Street.  On the North end of downtown is Wells School (d), formerly Wells High School, where Dean attended ninth and tenth grade.  One block away is Naples Steak and Spaghetti House (e), one of Dean’s favorite places for Italian food and which hosted Dean’s friends and family for a dinner during his visit to Steubenville in 1950.  Steps leading to what was once the Walkers Café (f) can be seen from Washington Street.  Dean Martin liked to hang out here, and he entertained the patrons with his singing.  The Spot Bar (g) on South Fourth Street is the last existing bar where Dino went with his pals.  He used to play dice in the back room. 


The Mansion Museum (h) of the Jefferson County Historical Association on Franklin Avenue displays some Dean Martin items in the Celebrity Room.  In the Wedding Room on the second floor is a wedding dress that was handmade by Dino’s mother.


The building that now houses Gertrude Lee Candies was once Dean’s parents’ last residence (i) before he moved them to Los Angeles.   


The Dean Martin Mural (j), painted by Robert Dever in 1998, celebrates the memory of this local favorite.  Route 7 has been named Dean Martin Boulevard (k).  In the Gazebo Park at Route 7 and North Fourth Street is a State Historical Marker (l)  that was dedicated by Ohio Governor Bob Taft.  The plaque commemorates June 7 - Dean Martin’s birthday - as Dean Martin Day, an official State of Ohio holiday.


For a map of these sites, click here.