Dean Martin’s Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award Ceremony

Walking The Red Carpet

Excerpt from the book – BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS

What are the chances? The odds certainly were against us but out of thousands of young women, two humble girls from a family of nine children were chosen to be featured singers and dancers on The Dean Martin Comedy Hour. Now, here we are walking the Red Carpet at the 2009 Grammy Awards ceremony with Dean Martin’s family.

Alberici-sisters-the golddiggers-dean-martin-lifetime-achievement-grammy-award

Alberici Sisters

On this day a downpour was expected but it didn’t rain on our parade as waves of anticipation carried us to this moment. Dean was being honored for his “Lifetime Achievement” in entertainment along with R&B legends, The Four Tops, country icon Hank Williams, and pop singer Brenda Lee.

We felt like giggling teenagers again as we reunited with our special friends to walk the red carpet together as a group. Dean affectionately called us “my girls” and we were proud to have performed with him from 1973 through the next two decades as The Dean Martin Golddiggers. While the paparazzi snapped away, without missing a beat all of us struck a pose, just like the old days!

Golddiggers Grammy's

The Golddiggers – Deborah Pratt, Linda Eichberg, Maria Lauren, Susan Buckner, Marie Halton, Peggy Gohl

One of the reporters pushed forward with his microphone and pulled me and my sister aside to ask us a typical Dean question, “Ladies, ladies, tell me, did Dean Martin really drink?” We chuckled in unison and said in true Dean Martin fashion, “No, Dean didn’t drink; he told us he freezes it and eats it like a Popsicle.”

dean-martin-lifetime-acheivement-award cover

Once inside we were guided to our VIP seats. The ceremony warmed our hearts and it was hard to hold back the tears when Dean was given recognition with a video montage of some special moments from television, recordings and movies. We beamed with pride for our hero, who helped shape our careers with his charm, wit and showmanship.

Dean Lifetime Acheivement

When the time came for Dean’s children to accept his Grammy, we couldn’t help but recall being told the devastating news in 1987 that his son Dean Paul had been killed and the toll it took on Dean. In spite of his overwhelming sadness Dean continued to fulfill all his performance commitments with us as his opening act. He told us in a tender moment that entertaining helped him to ease his pain.

Grammy-Collage-Dean-Martins-family

Ricci steps to the podium and then Deana. They share their hearts about what their father meant to them and to the world of entertainment. There will never be anyone like Dean Martin.

As the award ceremony came to a close, it was off to the ‘after party’ where we listened to fantastic music and chatted with Dean’s daughter Gail, who was toasting her dad with a martini. We loved the story she told about her grand- son recently buying a skate- board with Dean’s picture on it, “With two other guys….” that would be the Rat Pack.

The-Golddiggers-Grammys-2009-Dean-Martin-Lifetime-Achievement-Award_

Dean’s Girls: Peggy, Marie, Maria, Linda, Deborah and Susan

As we celebrated that evening it all came flooding back—the stars, the memories… Touring with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin on the same bill, hanging out in the dressing rooms and at home with Sammy Davis Jr.; taping the Dean Martin TV show; opening the MGM Grand in Las Vegas with Dean and then appearing at Bally’s for so many years until Dean’s final performances. What an experience!

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

In Memory Of Ricci

We were shocked and saddened to here about the death of Ricci Martin this past week. Our hearts and condolences go out to his family.

RICCI-MARTIN

 

Dean Jeanne Ricci

The last time we spoke to Ricci was at the Grammy Awards. He was a dear man, a talented singer who carried on the legacy of his father with his love, stories and music.

Dean-Martin-Ricci-Martin

Rest in peace dear friend.

 

Advertisements

The Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra Rat Pack Tour – 1977

frank-sinatra-dean-martin-beyond-our-wildest-dreams-rat-pack-book

Excerpts from the book – BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS

“Linda: We were booked for what was being nicknamed the Rat Pack Tour in early summer 1977 with Dean and Frank Sinatra. Frank was already on the road with Pat Henry as his warm up so Dean brought us along for his opening act. Dean would have his conductor Ken Lane whereas Frank brought along Bill Miller to lead the orchestra while he sang. We’d worked with so many legendary Italian crooners and now to share the stage with both Dean and Frank Sinatra—it was a thrill of a lifetime.”

frank-sinatra-dean-martin-tarrytown-ny-77

“Maria: The tour kicked off on May 16, 1977 with two weeks at the Westchester Premier Theatre in Tarrytown, New York to be followed by a week at The Latin Casino, where we’d appeared so many times before. That meant home sweet home for us. After that we’d travel with Dean and Frank to Chicago’s famed Sabre Room for four nights. We had worked with Dean many times in Vegas and on television but this was far different. For one thing Dean rarely traveled outside of Las Vegas or Lake Tahoe to perform. It was an honor to be opening for Dean and Frank together, they were bigger than rock stars, they were the top.”

beyond-our-wildest-dreams-by-alberici-sisters-dean-martin-frank-sinatra

The Playbill at our first tour stop in New York!

 

“Maria: When the first day of rehearsal at the Westchester Premier Theatre arrived there was an air of respectful anticipation backstage as everyone hurriedly prepared for the headliners as if history was in the making. We began to feel the weight of their celebrity. Was Frank in the building yet? Would Dean arrive first to break the mounting tension? I lingered around with the rest of the backstage workers to get a first peek

They both showed up for rehearsal in tuxes. Frank was a little more casual, he was wearing a black top coat instead of his tux jacket. They faced off onstage like two matadors in search of a bull.

Frank-Sinatra-and-Dean-Martin-on-stage

Two pros at dress rehearsal

Our first rehearsal with the orchestra ended up like a private audition for Frank Sinatra. When we assembled on stage we were told Frank wanted to see our act—so we gave it our best shot. Would he like us? Well, he loved us. I never remember Dean or any other star asking to see our performance before the audience arrived so this revealed a lot about Frank Sinatra.

Opening night, some of us Golddiggers were backstage sitting on the stairs having a little chit-chat. We were waiting for the stage manager to give us the cue to take our places in the wings before the show. All of a sudden we gazed up to the top of the stairs—standing in the archway was Frank Sinatra. He had a powerful aura, he wasn’t a big man but he was bigger than life. Of course, we were speechless. He broke the silence by wishing us a good show and told us to “get that audience all worked up for us.” Wow, it felt like the king had arrived and was addressing his court.”

The-Golddiggers-frank-sinatra-beyond-our-wildest-dreams-book-alberici-sisters

The Dean Martin Golddiggers with Frank Sinatra: Clockwise from the bottom are Robyn Whatley-Kahn, Maria Lauren (Alberici Sisters), Joyce Garro, Frank Sinatra, Patti Pivarnik-Gribow, Linda Eichberg (Alberici Sisters) and Peggy Gohl.

HISTORY IN THE MAKING

“Elaine Bissell, Reporter Dispatch, White Plains, N.Y., May 18, 1977:

The pre-curtain arrival of celebrities, including Gov. Carey, former New York City Mayor Robert Wagner and even the beautiful Barbara Marx Sinatra, caused a flurry of excitement in the crowded theater as they settled down in the first row center, but the real thunder of applause and shouts from the adoring fans came when first Mr. Martin appeared and swayed precariously through a number of songs and then Mr. Sinatra, who simply walked on stage as though strolling to the corner to mail a letter—and the roof seemed to fall in.

For the next hour the flash of cameras and streaking ladies dashing down the darkened aisles to the stage to throw or hand flowers to the two singers in the spotlights was like half of an army choreographed in a ritual dance, while the other half sat with dazed faces and roaring with approval, with love, with worship, or moaning then shrieking with hysteria when either one walked anywhere near the edge of the stage.” – Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

© Copyright, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams, all rights reserved.

Happy Birthday Dean!

Dean-Martin-Linda-Eichberg-Maria-Lauren-The-Alberici-Sisters

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.” – Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

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

Golddiggers-Jerry-Vale-Beyond-Our-Wildest-Dreams

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.”

 

Goldiggers

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

alberici-sisters-maria-lauren-linda-eichberg-vitello's

“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

  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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.

marianna-riccio

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!

 

© Copyright, all rights reserved

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.

Alberici-Sisters-Maria-Lauren-Linda-Eichberg-L-A-Winds-Jazz-Band

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…

The-Golddiggers-1973-with-Louis-Prima

“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.

sammy-davis-jr.

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.” – Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

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

 

© Copyright, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams. All rights reserved.

Times with Lee Hale, Dean Martin Show – Musical Director

Is there a man who could be a director and teacher for countless young women of ambition and changing hormones and never lose his cool? Yes! His name is Lee Hale. Being two of “The Golddiggers” from 1973 and until 2003 (with a few years off in between), we had the opportunity to see the enormous respect Lee Hale earned from the show business community and from celebrities. We never once saw Lee lose his patience. He was always open to listening and would be generous with advice that would be both truthful and supportive. As the musical director and a producer of Dean’s TV Shows and Specials, he remained humble and kind, Lee was the person who made us, and all of Dean’s guest stars, feel comfortable.

ImageLee was a performer himself, so we knew he understood us as performers. He was also a gifted writer who wrote clever musical material for Dean Martin’s TV Shows and for “The Golddiggers” shows. He knew how to bring the best out of each girl by finding a special song that would make her shine. Lee had great musical instincts! Like an Uncle or a Dad, he had a genuine caring and supportive attitude. Lee Hale is the person responsible for bringing the Golddiggers act through several decades. He always believed in our singing abilities and he gave us challenging, showstopping material that grew us into leading ladies. In addition to our television appearances, we were a popular Las Vegas opening act that worked regularly for Dean Martin and many other stars until Dean’s retirement.

Lee Hale, still is a talented singer and songwriter. He was fantastic in our ‘Showstoppers’ “Golddiggers Reunion Show” with his original song, “Prostate Blues”. It brought the house down. He is our mentor and friend. Today, we are proud to be standing along side this versatile man as writers sharing our individual stories about Dean Martin and friends in our books. We are very grateful to him for the contributions he made to our book, “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams.”

Lee, we are so blessed to have had you in our lives! Happy Birthday Lee!!
With love, Maria Lauren and Linda Eichberg (Alberici Sisters)

Image

Alberici Sisters with Lee Hale at a recent book signing together

Excerpt from “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams”

“Lee Hale, Musical Director, The Dean Martin Show: Greg (Garrison) was always good to me because he kept upping my salary every year. I didn’t have any problem with him, he made it easy as far as The Dean Martin Show went because he never came around to rehearsals. Basically I put that show and the Golddiggers’ show together myself, just myself and the choreographer…

By the ninth season we were shooting on Saturdays. I would start on Monday putting together all the music for the show and deciding who was going to do what. Then on Tuesday we usually got our first guests in for rehearsal and they would rehearse Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On Friday we had a run through with all the staff, the cameramen and everybody involved in the show who hadn’t seen our rehearsals. And then on Saturday we were in the studio and we did all the camera work ahead of time and then the orchestra rehearsal was three hours in the afternoon. Greg’s motto was “We’re not making records” so we couldn’t go past that three-hour period. And I don’t think we ever did, we had to rush things along. The best part of it was, the writers and any agents or managers were not allowed at rehearsals so we just had the guests and us. The guests were always on their best behavior because they wanted to be part of a hit show so they didn’t give me any trouble…”  copyright, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams 2012 – 2013

                                         

                  Books by Lee HaleImage

Lee-Hale-Story

Purchase The Lee Hale Story: http://www.amazon.com/The-Lee-Hale-Story-Entertainers/dp/0984787801