Happy Birthday Dean!

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Alberici Sisters: Linda Eichberg and Maria Lauren with Dean Martin backstage at Bally’s Las Vegas

 

Excerpts from BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS

“Maria:  Before our last shows, I made a point of visiting Dean for more than the usual few minutes. I asked him if he thought he would do another tour with Frank Sinatra. In his loose Dino way he shook his head, pointed his finger and said, “He’s too pushy….” I finished his sentence with, “And you’re an easy going guy.” I knew Dean’s remark was truth said in jest. I was going to miss this pre-show ritual of give and take. I could feel the buzz and energy of the audience on the other side of the curtain which always got my heart pumping faster. Backstage we had our own buzz. While a few of the musicians tuned up, Ken Lane joked around with them.”

“Linda: Vegas was fun, easy, comfortable—too comfortable. I was getting this ‘now or never’ feeling about branching out in show business. There was so much more I wanted to do. But I was torn between enjoying this moment of success or pushing ahead to what was next, career wise. We were developing friendships, getting chummy with the guys in the orchestra and with Roger, Dean’s personal valet and assistant. Roger said that Dean liked to have a hotel room where he could sneak backstage without using any common areas or elevators…”

Dean -Martin- Backstage

“Maria: Our times in The Golddiggers gave us a lifetime of experiences. All of us girls were very different but very alike in many ways. We had a deep sense of caring for each other and professionalism. Besides our talent, we all contributed a special something to the group…. Linda and I always knew how blessed we were to be a part of the ‘Big Time’ and the magic that surrounded Dean Martin. He worked with our favorite entertainers but he treated us like we were his favorites too. We celebrated special occasions and shared private jokes and messages together. Dean was so dear to us.”

We are very grateful for the many years we spent working and playing with Dean. From his television show in the early 1970’s to his retirement in the early 1990’s, each moment was “beyond our wildest dreams”! Happy Birthday Dean!! 

Copyright – all rights reserved

Our Summer With Jerry Vale

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The Golddiggers backstage with Jerry Vale – 1973 Summer Tour – Pictured clock-wise from left to right: Linda (Alberici) Eichberg, Patti (Pivarnik) Gribow, Maria (Alberici) Lauren, Robin (Hoctor) Horneff, Jerry Vale, Colleen (Kincaid) Jackson, Lee Nolting, Deborah Pratt, Susan Buckner

We are sad to hear about the passing of Jerry Vale at 83 years old. It was a privilege to listen to his silky voice during our performances with him. We have some very fond memories of him. One of them was when he cooked a gourmet Italian meal for all of us. He had a beautiful family and was dearly loved.

Excerpts from “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams”…

“Maria: We toured almost the entire summer of ‘73 with the legendary Italian crooner Jerry Vale. I personally loved listening to his show because in my teens I used to sing along with his albums at home. Now, as The Golddiggers we shared the co-star billing with him.

Jerry-ValeJerry Vale opened the show with a few songs like ‘Lonely is a Man Without Love’ which had a lilting melody and built into a dramatic ending. Jerry’s songs were brilliantly arranged but the orchestrations were crisp and not overpowering with tasty tempo changes which usually led the way to a flawless high note soaring above the orchestra. His clear, cultured voice was always the focus of attention. After he engaged the audience, he would introduce us for our portion of the show.”

 

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Alberici Sisters: Maria Lauren (bottom) and Linda Eichberg (top)

“Linda: We did a wide variety of music. ‘I Want to Be Happy’ was done in a campy Marilyn Monroe style then the tempo would swing during ‘Black Magic,’ while the ‘Torch Medley’ gave each girl a featured song… The duet, showcasing Maria and me, brought in the sounds of contemporary pop music, segueing into a foot stomping, hand-clapping gospel version of ‘Time and Love.’”

Jerry Vale, Las Vegas Visitor:

‘What’s it like working with the Golddiggers? I love it. What’s not to like? They’re eight beautiful young ladies giving the audience all they have. I watch their show almost all the time. I enjoy going to work just to see them. They wouldn’t have to do anything, just stand there and let me look at them.'”

“Maria: Jerry Vale flirted with the audience as he sang his sophisticated version of the Tom Jones hit, ‘Help Yourself’—“Just help yourself to my lips, to my arms….” then turned the mood with the romantic, ‘My Love Forgive Me.’… I think all the women in the audience believed he was singing to them. Jerry would lighten it up with some Italian jokes and stories, keeping everyone in the palm of his hand as he sang the classics, ‘Return to Me,’ ‘Mala Femmina,’ ‘Mama’ and ‘Al-di-la.’ As soon as he opened his mouth to sing those Italian standards there would be thunderous ovation…”

 

Jerry-Vale-The-Golddiggers-poster“We played a lot of the Music Fairs with Jerry Vale, some of these theaters were shaped like circus tents, some were open to the outside and some were enclosed. The Valley Forge Music Theater and the Cape Cod Melody Tent were humongous ‘theaters in the round’ that seated three thousand or more. Another stop on our way was the Westbury Music Fair…

During our summer tour, Jerry Vale’s five-year old daughter visited him. She was adorable and was in awe of our sparkling costumes. With the help of the staff, we had a modest little Golddigger outfit made for her birthday. She looked really cute in it. We gave her the finishing touches by fixing her hair and applying a touch of make-up. One night, she surprised her dad by coming out on stage in the outfit. The audience loved it, especially her dad.”

 

Copyright: Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

The Alberici Sisters and the LA Winds Jazz Band at Vitello’s

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“SHOWSTOPPERS” The Alberici Sisters & the LA Winds Jazz Band!

A musical tribute to the showstopping entertainers of the Big Band & Rat Pack era!

You will be transported back to the glamorous days of The Rat Pack and dazzling Las Vegas! The fabulous music and big band sounds from the LA Winds Jazz Band will bring to life this golden era as the sisters sing the songs that were famous when ‘swing was king’ plus other showstopping favorites!

Come join us Sunday, June 1st, Upstairs at Vitello’s Jazz and Supper Club for the fun and for a toast to launch Dean Martin’s birthday week! Let’s party! ~ Maria & Linda

For Tickets

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ABOUT THE PERFORMERS

ALBERICI SISTERS

Maria Lauren and Linda Eichberg are the youngest generation of singers around today who toured with The Rat Pack and are the musical link to entertainment icons of the 20th Century! During their show you’ll hear what it was like to perform and hang-out with entertainment legends Louis Prima, Eydie Gorme, Bob Hope, Joan Rivers, Milton Berle, Jay Leno, Sammy Davis Jr. and tour with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin as well as other celebrities. Fox TV recently called the Alberici Sisters: “Glamour gals from the Rat Pack days… grooviest girls of all time!”

The Alberici Sisters started their careers on the east coast singing with Big Bands in their early teens and became internationally renowned entertainers who boast a command performance for the Royal Family of Monaco. Critics claim their vocal blend is both “dynamic” and “smooth as silk.” Singers and dancers, the sisters were part of The Golddiggers, regulars on The Dean Martin Show and also performed on The Tonight Show and many other television variety series.

Maria and Linda are co-authors of the exciting book, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams… “a backstage pass to entertainment life in the 1970’s.”

“DELIGHTFUL ALBERICI SISTERS ARE SHOWSTOPPERS ANYWHERE …together they are loaded with talent.” –  Gen Tully, Philadelphia Inquirer

LA WINDS JAZZ BAND

Big band jazz was born in the mid-1920’s, one of American music’s most enduring
creations. The LA Winds Jazz Band keeps the tradition hotter and more alive than ever.
This 17-piece firecracker pays homage to classic Basie-style grooves but also explores
exciting newer sounds. And all of it, every note, is smokin’.

The Jazz Band was born at Pierce College in 2003, as the partner to the Los Angeles
Symphonic Winds. Their reputation spread quickly; the very next year they toured the
south of France, performing seaside along the Cote D’Azur. In 2007, they were invited
back to perform in Austria at the Mid-Europe Festival for Wind Music, which featured
the best groups from around the world. They also play repeat performances at the
Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center and the Warner Center’s Fourth of July concerts.

Directed by John Mitchell and Dave Weston, they’re truly “a rocket, in the pocket.” Don’t
miss them.

Featured Guests

Adding to this evening of musical entertainment are co-hosts and singers, Dave Berges and Marianna Riccio.

Dave Berges is also a featured vocalist with the Woody James Big Band and the Big Bad Jazz Band. As an actor in film and stage, Dave received critical acclaim for his work in original productions that premiered at the Crown Theater in North Hollywood.

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Marianna Riccio rejoins the LA Winds Jazz Band and the Alberici Sisters after her vocal jam with Jamie Foxx and Drake at the BET Award pre-party and her guest appearance on Larry King Live on CNN-TV.

 

upstairslogocsUPSTAIRS AT VITELLO’S JAZZ & SUPPER CLUB

4349 Tujunga Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604

818.769.0905

See you there!

NBC and The Tonight Show ‘Gold’

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Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Johnny Carson and Frank Sinatra

We taped Dean Martin’s TV Show at NBC in Studio 4, right next to the famed “Tonight Show”. You never knew who you were going to run in to during a taping or rehearsal. There was always a cavalcade of stars passing through, a Hollywood ‘Who’s Who’. It was 1974 and “The Tonight Show” and “The Dean Martin Comedy Hour” were the ‘kings’ of the television variety shows.

Excerpt from the book, BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS

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Linda (Alberici) Eichberg, Dean Martin Golddigger: We started meeting some other stars and realized they were not like their TV identities. I would come across Johnny Carson in the hallways of NBC a lot and make small talk; he’d ask us who was on Dean’s show that week. He was not as tall as I thought he was going to be but he was every bit as charming as he was on television. In general the celebrities we met were smaller in stature than they appeared on TV.”

Deborah-Pratt-

Deborah Pratt, Golddigger 1973-1974: We saw Johnny Carson at NBC and I thought, ‘Oh my God, my whole life I’ve wanted to be on The Tonight Show.’ I got up and as soon as I got up everybody joined me. We walked over to him and I said, ‘Excuse me Mr. Carson, we’re the Golddiggers and we want to be on your show.’ He sucked in his gut and kind of puffed up his chest and went, ‘Yes, of course, we’ll take care of that.’ Whoever his secretary was at his side said, ‘All right, we’ll handle that, when are you going to be in Vegas, and blah, blah, blah.’ They put it all together for us and the night we were on the show Joey Bishop was hosting… I was mad because he wasn’t Johnny Carson.”

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Maria (Alberici) Lauren, Dean Martin Golddigger: We did ‘Shake Your Tambourine’ and we all got to say something. Here we are two sisters from Newtown Square, Pennsylvania doing The Tonight Show! I didn’t care if Johnny Carson wasn’t the host that night. Joey Bishop was from our hometown area, so that was cool; plus he was a member of Dean’s fabled Rat Pack.”

*****

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The Rat Pack: Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop and Dean Martin

Johnny Carson also took the stage as a member of the Rat Pack. This famous live performance in St. Louis later became a TV special. Johnny even sings a little. Frank, Dean, Sammy and Johnny are having a ball in this clip from the show. The four of them together are classic!

In the early 1980’s…

We, the Alberici Sisters had a leave-of-absence from The Golddiggers for a few years and had the opportunity of be the opening act for a popular up and coming comedian named Jay Leno. We performed at a convention in Chicago together. He made an impression on us. We liked the refreshing ‘down home’ style of his show. He was the nicest guy.

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We appreciated the many years Jay Leno hosted “The Tonight Show.” There were a lot of laughs and superb guests. It was sad to see Jay leave the show but we are enjoying Jimmy Fallon. He’s a tremendous talent!

Good luck Jimmy; thanks for keeping variety shows alive!

 

Copyright, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams. All rights reserved.

 

The Dean Martin Show – Golddiggers Reunion 2013

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Maria Lauren and Linda Eichberg at The Dean Martin Golddiggers reunion,

A highlight of 2013 was the “Gold Event”! It was a reunion for those involved in the Dean Martin television shows and specials. Over the years, we performed with a variety of gals as the Dean Martin Golddiggers, some of them we haven’t seen in years, so this was a wonderful way to celebrate along with celebrities and those who worked so diligently behind-the-scenes.

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The Golddiggers with Lee Hale, Dean Martin Show musical director

Lovely Ladies from all over America attended, representing several groups of “Golddiggers”  from 1968 to 1991.

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Golddiggers Reunite! From left to right: Peggy Gohl, Colleen Kincaid Jackson, Linda Alberici Eichberg, Maria Lauren Alberici-Riccio, Melody Walczuk, Linda Bott, Patti Pivarnik Gribow, Marie Halton Peck & Joyce Garro

At the reunion, we had the opportunity to spend a few moments with the incomparable Florence Henderson and other guests of “The Dean Martin Show.”

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We wish you a blessed Holiday season. As we begin to celebrate the joys of Christmas, it is also sad to remember the passing of Dean Martin on Christmas day. However, this feeling is short lived as we remember our cherished moments with Dean.

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Photo Credit – timelife.com

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The Golddiggers, Christmas album

A GIFT FOR THE HOLIDAYS…

Alberici Sisters - Authors - Entertainers - Motivators

BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS captures behind-the-scene stories at the Dean Martin Show and touring with superstars like Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima, Gene Kelly, Jerry Vale, Donald O’Connor, Steve & Eydie,  Bob Hope, and so many more. Over 300 pictures! Exciting book selling on Amazon!

Enjoy some laughs! Dean Martin Roasts on YouTube!

All contents of this blog, copyright – Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

Swinging With The Big Bands & All That Jazz

This month has been filled with music as we sing and prepared for our upcoming performances with the “L.A. Winds Jazz Band.”

 This fantastic group of musicians, also know as the “Pierce Jazz Band” under the direction of John Mitchel and Dave Weston, can swing the iconic music from the 1940’s to the 1960’s like no other! We will be performing at Nola’s in Los Angeles on October 3rd, 7:30 – 9:30  and also at the Calabasas Performing Arts Education Center on October 13. We will be on the bill with the distinguished L. A. Symphonic Winds, an orchestra of 100 musicians conducted by Steven Piazza.

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Rehearsing with the band

AlbericiSisters & Big Band

Los Angeles Winds opens their season with — Eric Whitacre’s highly acclaimed and innovative Sin City spoof “Gawdzilla Eats Las Vegas”, plus the acclaimed L.A. Winds Jazz Band featuring the Alberici Sisters!

Sunday October 13, 2013 2:30 pm – Calabasas H. S. Performing Arts & Edu. Center. 

Hope to see some of you there!

ICONIC BAND MEMORIES PERFORMING WITH LOUIS PRIMA!

Excerpt from our book, BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS…

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“Mark Glick, NanuetTheater-Go-Round, stagehand: …The Nanuet had your Las Vegas type of performers there, everybody from Louis Prima to Pat Cooper to Liberace to Sergio Franchi to The Jackson Five. They would perform from Tuesday to Sunday, maybe two shows on Saturday and Sunday.

There were people like Buddy Hackett, who was such a nice guy… Then there were stars like Jerry Lewis, he was really nasty backstage but I loved his stupid slapstick type of humor.

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Sammy Davis Jr.

Sammy Davis, Jr. would come in at six for an eight o’’clock show, sometimes he’d have the patch over his eye, and the aroma of marijuana from under the door of his dressing room would fill the entire backstage area.

And the Golddiggers—my friends and I were seventeen, eighteen years old and here were these beautiful young ladies just a few years older than us prancing around the stage, it was wonderful. It was a fun place to work; we would have worked there for free. I got to smoke a joint with Cheech and Chong!”

“Maria: Louis Prima and Sam Butera’s show had so much energy that it was contagious. The music coming from the stage and into our dressing room kept us buzzing after our show. I must say it was utterly delightful to hear Louis and the band chant out the hit, “Oh Marie!” Louis sang with abandonment and with complete disregard to any sentiment while the audience cheered him on…”

“Linda: Louis Prima’s show was like a big jam session with wild trumpet, organ and drum solos. All the musicians had amazing talent and showmanship, each had an important part in the show, talking, jiving as well as playing. Louis was a fantastic trumpet player, masterful at delivering jokes and as a comic singer. His Italian novelty songs endeared him to the Italian Americans in the crowd. During ‘‘Just A Gigolo’’ the guys in the band joined him with a shout out, echoing. “Gigolo, Gigolo.”  Prima’s “I Ain’t Got Nobody was priceless. When he sang the part. “I’m so sad and lonely, sad and lonely, sad and lonely…., it was more of a tease, a reaching out to all the sad and lonely people in the audience to lighten up and they did… The show gave the appearance of being loose when actually it was very tight.”

“There’’s nothing like walking out and watching the people get turned on.”——Louis Prima

Copyright, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams. All rights reserved.

“Pretty Little Liars” – Pretty Little Friends

Pretty-Little-Liars-UsFrom the Editors of Us magazine, Collectors Edition of “Pretty Little Liars” on ABC Family, being displayed until October 10, 2013.

PRETTY LITTLE LIARS stars: Troian Bellisario, Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell and Ashley Benson.

“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!” was the statement used in Us Magazine to describe actress, Troian Bellisario of “Pretty Little Liars.” and her mom, actress and award winning writer, Deborah Pratt.

Watching Troian Bellisario grow into an accomplished actress has been a life long journey for us. Her mom is one of our Golddigger ‘gal pals’ from the “Dean Martin Show” and our families continue our friendship today.

The-Golddiggers-Alberici-Sisters-copyright-Beyond-Our-Wildest-DreamsFrom bottom left to right, clockwise: Linda Alberici Eichberg, Colleen Kincaid-Jackson, Robin Hoctor-Horneff, Deborah Pratt, Maria Lauren, Lee Nolting, Susan Buckner & Patti Gribow.

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Like her mom, Troian is a stunningly beautiful and talented woman. She is highly acclaimed for her role as Spencer Hastings in the TV series, “Pretty Little Liars.”
TROIAN BELLISARIO
We have shared many celebrations with Deborah and our ‘Golddigger sisters’.
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Maria & Linda sharing good times with Deborah Pratt and Patti Gribow.

After our Golddigger years there were weddings, New Years and many birthday celebrations throughout the years. Likewise our children have shared many memories and momentous events together.

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Troian Bellisario with Maria’s daughter, Marianna Riccio and Patti’s daughter, Gina Gribow at Marianna’s First Holy Communion.

Lindsay-Eichberg-Troian-Bellisario-copyright-Linda-EichbergLinda’s daughter, Lindsay Eichberg, with Troian at a birthday luncheon.
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 Troian gives Lindsay a ride at her first birthday party. 

When Troian was only three years old, she already had begun her career acting in the movie “Last Rites”.

A part of show business royalty, Troian’s father, Donald Bellisario created and produced many hit television series including “JAG”.

 

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Teenagers, Marianna and Troian

Troian and Marianna took their first swimming lessons together before they could even walk.

While in college, Troian and Marianna continued to share their love for the performing arts and starred in their individual alma-mater’s theater productions.

We have wonderful memories of childhood fun with Troian and our daughters Marianna and Lindsay. Isn’t that what life is all about… enduring friendships and lasting memories. 

Troian-Bellisario

Beauty inside and out…

 

 

Our daughters are now the same age we were when we performed and toured together as the Dean Martin Golddiggers with the stars of television and Vegas during the groovy 70’s.

 

BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS, book excerpts:

Maria: “Our times in The Golddiggers gave us a lifetime of experiences. All of us girls were very different but very alike in many ways. We had a deep sense of caring for each other and professionalism.” (p. 317)

Deborah: “We were backstage in Dean’s suite one night when the Rat Pack walked in. I’m sitting between Danny Thomas and Sammy Davis Jr. and Danny Thomas looked at me and said, ‘Well, you’re the highest yellow black woman I’ve ever seen in my life,’ and Sammy hit him! It was really funny, and I turned around and said, ‘It’s nice to meet you too.'” (p. 124 – 125)

Linda: “Several of the girls in the group were Christians, all of us were brought up with strong family values. We continually had to wrestle with the values we grew up with verses the standards of Hollywood and the rest of the world.” (p. 136)

- Registered Copyright, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams Beyond-Our-Wildest-Dreams