Dean Martin Festival
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
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
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
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
For more information
about the festival, see the following links:
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
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
South Fourth Street. On the North end of downtown is
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.
(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
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
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.