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.

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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!

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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!

 

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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.

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Rest in peace dear friend.

 

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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.”

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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.

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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

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© Copyright, all rights reserved.

 

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!

 

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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.”

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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.

 

FRANK SINATRA – “I Love My Wife”

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Excerpt from BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS

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“Linda: At the start of our run newspapers all over the country ran photos of Dean and Frank performing together on stage again, The Rat Pack was back and we were right in the thick of it. Frank was the Chairman of the Board and he traveled with his kingdom wherever he performed…”

“Frank’s wife Barbara was around a lot to watch rehearsals, she was very elegant and regal. Barbara even instructed one of the girls on how to apply her makeup in a more glamorous fashion. Barbara gave her some marvelous tips. We learned a lot about presence, Frank had a regal bearing and so did Barbara. They knew who they were, who was in their kingdom and who wasn’t. They projected a feeling of being very secure in themselves.”

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“Maria: Frank added the song ‘I Love My Wife’ from a show of the same name that opened in New York that summer. I never heard anyone sing it but Sinatra, the song had beautiful lyrics that meshed perfectly with Frank’s musical arrangement, artfully penned by Nelson Riddle. The sweeping violins from that lush, full orchestra Sinatra had at his fingertips filled my heart with emotion. The song took on a life all its own since Barbara was present for some of the tour. They were practically still newlyweds after all. I’m sure she appreciated Frank’s sentimental nod to her, a tribute to their love for each other.”

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“Pat Cooper, comedian: Sinatra had an entourage of people who
thought he was Jesus Christ. I’m talkin’ about tough guys who bent
down for this guy. I mean, this guy had an army of people that
adored him, “Hey, Frank, I love you Frank. Mention me to Frank.
Tell Frank I’m outside. Tell him I loves him.” Not one of them were
men, not one of them were men if you know what I’m talkin’ about.”

“Maria: Frank was the master chess player, the manipulator of the chess board. One night he invited us all to dinner in a lovely private room backstage. The beautifully appointed tables were situated outside the receiving area where we spoke with his wife Barbara before we were seated. She looked stunning with her hair pulled back, accentuating her perfect features. When it was time for dinner the bodyguards were close by and escorted us to our tables…” – Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

 

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