Las Vegas – ‘Lady Luck’

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Alberici Sisters – Marianna Riccio ‘Lady Luck’ – The Rat Pack – Las Vegas

Things sure changed in Las Vegas since our first adventure performing in the main show room at Caesar’s Palace as members of The Dean Martin Golddiggers. That was in 1973 and for two Catholic girls who had never traveled away from home, this was the big time! However, we were a little timid about entertaining in ‘Sin City.’

On the other hand, we were tickled pink to know that we were performing with the best of the best. We savored the experience as entertainers working our charm on audiences that were dressed to the nines. Sinatra made Caesars Palace the place to be after a few brawls with hotel officials at The Sands.

Excerpt from the book, Beyond our Wildest Dreams… 

TV Radio Mirror Magazine, December 1973: “You can’t go home again.” Frank Sinatra takes exception to Thomas Wolfe’s infamous words. Frank practically lived in Las Vegas in the days of the legendary Clan (or Rat Pack). Then a series of punch-ins with various hotel officials made Frank so angry that he vowed he’d never appear again in the gambling spa that he helped put on the map. Maybe the years have mellowed the star but he’s planning a Las Vegas comeback. He’s set to resume his nightery career at Caesars Palace, certainly a fitting place for the “King of Singers.”

Pat Cooper, comedian: “I opened for Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Perry Como, the list goes on and on. I played everything in Vegas. Everything. I played the Riviera, I played the Caesars, I played the Flamingo, I played the Sahara, I played them all. At the time Caesars was the best. The Sands started to collapse when that guy hit Frank Sinatra. Frank quit the Sands and went to Caesars and brought all his people over to Caesars and it hurt the Sands.”

~~~

Decades later, in 2003, we started doing reunion shows with the former Dean Martin Golddiggers featuring Marianna Riccio when she still had braces on her teeth. Then, a decade after that she returned the favor and featured us in her music video, ‘Lady Luck.’

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Music Artists: Marianna Riccio and the Alberici Sisters

It was a blast to do a parody of the Frank Sinatra song, ‘Luck Be A Lady’ with all the sophistication of classic Vegas while Marianna brings a little vintage fun to today’s Las Vegas.

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Marianna Riccio is ‘Lady Luck’ featuring the Alberici Sisters

The music video starts with a prelude of Marianna and her girlfriends contemplating a trip to Las Vegas which leads to a magical journey.

‘Lady Luck’ through the decades of Vegas…

Shooting the music video was a family affair, even our mom made a cameo appearance in it! Everything seems to have come full circle for it was our mom who took us on her singing jobs and introduced us to performing.

~~~

Today we’re singing and swinging with the LA Winds Jazz Band a classic Frank Sinatra tune to celebrate his 100th Birthday…

Who would have thought that we would still be singing with a Big Band, the songs made famous by members of the Rat Pack and featured in the music video, ‘Lady Luck?’

What do you have on your coffee table?

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The Alberici Sisters reminisce on times performing with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin

Book, ‘Beyond Our Wildest Dreams’ on Amazon

Life magazine, ‘Sinatra at 100’ on Amazon

~~~

© Copyright, all rights reserved.

 

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Gala Grand Opening – MGM Grand Hotel Las Vegas!

The Grand Opening of the Grandest Hotel in Las Vegas

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The Celebrity Room menu cover

Dean Martin and The Golddiggers were selected to open the new MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, the world’s largest casino! It was an elegant and gala affair! After the festive opening ceremonies, their sold out performance was held in the expansive, state of the art MGM Celebrity Room.

The story through the eyes of two of Dean Martin’s Golddiggers and Las Vegas historians is put together in a book. Excerpts from the book, BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS

Linda: “On December 5, 1973 we were back in Las Vegas, this time to appear with Dean opening night at the brand new MGM Grand Hotel. I felt like a princess, the taxi that delivered us to the door could have been a carriage. It was all so glamorous.
Opening night was one of the most fabulous nights of my life. It was such a huge deal, a big event for the city of Las Vegas and for us. Vegas was so different then, it had that old Hollywood magic. The city had style, everybody dressed up in those days. I usually wore long, slinky gowns in the evenings, before and after the show.”

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Linda & Maria Alberici, two of Dean Martin’s Golddiggers



Maria: “I thought the MGM was incredibly gorgeous, I liked it much better than Caesars because that place was so dark inside. Everything was a lot grander, so to speak, at the MGM—more open, and it was all about the Hollywood experience so I loved it. The movie star pictures beside the rooms were so glamorous. I thought, ‘Oh, what star’s picture will my room be next to? Maybe some of her magic will rub off on me.'”



History in the Making

PBS, The American Experience: “Kirk Kerkorian surpassed the size and scope of the International when he built the MGM Grand. The hotel had 2,100 guest rooms, five gourmet restaurants and the world’s largest casino. At 26 stories high, the MGM Grand was the tallest casino in the free world.

The completion of the MGM Grand led to the corporate revolution in Las Vegas. In order to have the funds required to finance the $106 million MGM, Kerkorian sold his International and Flamingo Hotels to the Hilton Hotel Corporation, marking the first time a publicly owned conglomerate was in charge of a Las Vegas casino…”

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MGM Grand Hotel in the 1970’s – Photo Credit: UNLV Libraries

Dr. Gene Moehring, Professor of History, UNLV: “Raquel Welch was the one that set off the bomb that started the construction of the MGM Grand. You didn’t have any high rise hotels in Las Vegas until the Riviera in 1955 because there’s water under the valley and no one knew if the aquifers would mess up the high buildings. All the early hotels were two and three stories, that was it; they were like ranches that went on for fifty rooms but they weren’t high rises.

Vegas was the first place to give deluxe, using the French word, luxury rooms to the middle class for a low rate. When they ran the place in the fifties and sixties the mob would give you a nice room for ten dollars a night. They’d get it all back in the casinos. Very few hotels opened in Las Vegas in the seventies but in the sixties you had Caesars Palace open in 1966, Kerkorian had opened The International which is today the Las Vegas Hilton in 1968, and the first MGM Grand, today Bally’s, in 1973. ∗ So you had all that growth but it slowed down in the seventies…”

© Copyright, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

∗ The MGM fire in 1980 was the worst disaster in Las Vegas history.

Read more in the book BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS.

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Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis’ Surprise Reunion

dean-martin-jerry-lewis-reunion-with-frank-sinatraJerry Lewis’ birthday is March 16th and we are reminded of when history was made in 1976. Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis finally made peace. Frank Sinatra brought them together on the Jerry Lewis’ 1976 Labor Day MDA Telethon at the Sahara in Vegas; it was almost exactly twenty years to the day since their split in 1956. The event made headlines all over the world but it was not news to us and the rest of Dean Martin’s Golddiggers. You see, weeks before we saw the rekindling of their relationship unfold at the MGM. 

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Center: the ‘matchmaker’, Frank Sinatra with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis

Excerpt from “BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS”

“Maria Lauren Alberici-Riccio (Golddigger, 1973 – 1991): Before the telethon reunion, Dean let us in on the private messages and jokes written with our lipstick that he had been leaving for Jerry Lewis via his dressing room mirror. Jerry played the MGM Grand and had left Dean some razzing but good humored remarks on the mirror prior to our engagement. Dean was like a little boy bragging about it to us, ‘Look at what I wrote to Jerry; look what ‘Crazy’ wrote to me. I answered him real good…’ He was so cute!”

dean & jerry

“Linda Alberici Eichberg (Golddigger, 1973 – 1989): When I congratulated Dean on making up with Jerry he blushed and said, ‘Aw, Frank’s idea, he wouldn’t leave me alone about it.’ I asked him, ‘Are you going to stay in touch?’ He only shrugged his shoulders as if to say, ‘Who knows?’ In any case, the world had been waiting for this moment for two decades and the press had a field day. And the Telethon took in boat loads of money because of Dean’s surprise visit…”

Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon

Read more! 

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Book Now on Amazon!

© Copyright, All rights reserved

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.” – 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

Dean Martin Up Close

Up close and personal with Dean Martin… he made it seem all so easy…

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Dean Martin – The King of Cool

“While the truth about Martin’s habits is hard to come by, certain facts about his career are crystal clear. Once considered en route to oblivion as the lesser half of the sundered comedy team of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin, he is now America’s highest-paid entertainer. And he is the only star who is a consistent draw at the theater while also appearing on weekly television. His defiance of traditional taboos and his obviousvirility (liquor+golf+an eye for girls) have made Martin a hero with the male audience. His Italian good looks, his suave manner and his way of cuddling up to a romantic ballad are enormously appealing to women. Thus, he is one of the few stars who seem to be liked equally by both sexes.” – Good Housekeeping, 1967; Excerpt  from Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

In our book, Beyond Our Wildest Dreams, we dig deep into the “King of Cool” image to find a man with a warm heart. It was an honor to perform with him as part of The Golddiggers but we were touched with a smile of pride when Dean fondly called us, “My Girls.”

maria-lauren- (aka)-maria elena-alberici - riccioMaria: My first impression upon meeting Dean Martin was that he was very, very charming. He looked the same in person as he did on TV. I can’t say that about all the stars I’ve met. It was a pleasure to watch him interact with all us girls. He never made a vulgar or cheap comment or anything like that. He was fun loving, good natured and made you feel comfortable.”Excerpt from Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

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Patti (Pivarnik) Gribow, Golddigger 1973-1977: My mom and all her friends were in love with Dean and, of course, his good looks. The persona, Dean Martin, appeared to be a cad and a real ‘player’ but in reality Dean was one of the nicest and genteel men I have ever met. He was exceedingly humble and once told me, “It’s so hard to be mean and so easy to be nice.” I will always carry that memory with me.”Excerpt from Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

Dean loved country music and on the Dean Martin Comedy Hour, Dean sang with the best country stars of the 70’s including Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Buck Owens, Doug Dillard, Lynn Anderson, Crystal Gayle, The Statler Brothers and many others.

Linda-Alberici-Eichberg “Linda: The country set was like a breath of fresh air equipped with a barn, a plow and a miniature horse. We would sing a sweet ballad on stacks of hay, our colorful prairie gowns draped around us and then skip to the other side of the set to sing the next song to some guitar picking and fiddle playing. I grew to have a greater appreciation of country music singing songs like ‘I Was Raised on Country Sunshine’, ‘You Got a Friend’, ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon’, ‘Houston’, ‘Jambalaya (On the Bayou)’ and ‘Country Roads’. Maria and I were ecstatic when we saw in the script that we would be doing ‘I Believe in Music’ with Dean. We sang the verse while Dean joined us for the chorus and then the whole cast extended their harmonies for a reprise as the scene peaked for a big finish—then cut to commercial.” – Excerpt from Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

DEAN MARTIN FANS…

The Dean Martin Fan Center Magazine is styled in a newsletter format filled with stories, photos, information, past and up-to-date current happenings by Neil Daniels.

Also, check out the Dean Martin Fan Center Website containing interesting topics pertaining to Dean Martin including “Showstoppers,” our musical tribute to Dean Martin and the showstopping entertainers with whom we performed.

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Dean Martin “Rat Pack”

June 7th is Dean Martin’s birthday. We celebrate the man and the entertainer!!

Brothers of the Super Bowl – Sisters of the Super Stars!

What are the odds? Two brothers are coaching the dueling teams in the Super Bowl game. The San Francisco 49ers coach, Jim Harbaugh competes against the Baltimore Ravens coach, John Harbaugh.Brothers of the Super Bowl

Musically, the Super Bowl started with a touching rendition of “America the Beautiful” by the Sandy Hook Elementary School Choir with Jennifer Hudson taking the lead to give it a gospel feel. Then, Alicia Keys gave a respectful rendition of the ”National Anthem” with a touch of jazz influence using just her voice and piano. The half-time was spectacular starring Beyonce. The production had an abundance of flashing lights, special effects and ‘girl power’; shortly after there was a power outage.

When the lights were all turned on, Baltimore took the win, a sweet victory for Raven’s star linebacker, Ray Lewis, who after 17 years is retiring. At the game conclusion, the brothers spoke the words, “I love you… congratulations.”

Love goes deep in families and sibling rivalry is natural but the competition can help us to be the best we can be.

~~~

Excerpts from “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams”

Maria and Linda: “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.”

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Dean Martin with The Alberici Sisters: Linda Eichberg & Maria Lauren

Maria and Linda: “Working with Dean was a safe haven for us and we continued performing with him until he retired in 1991.

Those were the happiest of times. We also felt Dean’s profound loss as he dealt with the tragic death of his son and we were there when Dean shared the details of his falling out with Frank Sinatra.

Looking back, it was a blessing to have each other to share this journey. There were many more adventures to challenge us and surprises beyond our wildest dreams but those are stories for another day.”

~~~

My sister, Linda Eichberg and I had the good fortune to entertain with super star legends as The Golddiggers and open for Dean Martin in Las Vegas until his last years before retirement. Dear to our hearts are the times in between our performances. We were like family sharing laughs, sorrows and tender moments.

Wishing you joyful moments. ~ Maria Lauren (aka) Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

Dean Martin and The Golddiggers circa 1975, back stage at the MGM Grand Las Vegas

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Excerpt from “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams”

Linda Alberici Eichberg [Dean Martin Golddigger & Co-Author]: “We would be chastised if we were even a minute late for our backstage call time, they would threaten to dock our pay. It was very, very strict. Dean gave his big dressing room to us along with the flowers and fruit that were meant for him. Dean would show up fifteen minutes before the show in a special room built for him on the side of the stage. He liked to come by private elevator directly from his hotel room to the stage, dressed and ready to go. I don’t think there was even a door on his little room but we all gathered there at a certain time every night to say hi to Dean before we went on. He had his water, snacks and drinks in there; all he had to do was stroll on to the stage a few feet away when it was time for him to make his entrance.

For Dean we did twenty minutes ahead of his act. When we worked with different artists the time would vary.”

Between taping the television show with Dean and traveling with him back and forth to Las Vegas to do our live show, we got an inside scoop into some of his personal life, including his tumultuous marriage to his third wife, Cathy Hawn. 

Patti (Pivarnik) Gribow, Golddigger 1973-1985: “Before the shows with Dean at the MGM we would often hear his wife, Cathy, stomp into his dressing room, scream at him, and then stomp off. We knew she was most unhappy that he was performing with the Golddiggers.

Dean once commented that he didn’t understand her anger, saying, “It’s just my image!” The truth is that our relationship with Dean was platonic, yet caring. Traditionally, prior to the performances, we would each give Dean a hug and a peck on the cheek for good luck.
Both Dean and “his girls” looked forward to these innocent and special show biz moments.”

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Martin married 26-year-old Catherine Hawn, on April 25,1973. She had been the receptionist at the chic Gene Shacrove hair salon in Beverly Hills. They divorced November 10, 1976… 

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Read more in our book “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams.”

Beyond Our Wildest Dreams is available now on Amazon!

Alberici Sisters - Authors - Entertainers - Motivators

Authors: The Alberici Sisters, Linda Eichberg and Maria Lauren


© Beyond OurWildest Dreams. All rights reserved.