The Ultimate Homage
Palm Springs became renowned as a hideaway for Hollywood celebrities back in the 20’s, but the resort region received its biggest boost from celebrities when the Rat Pack began hanging out at the Chi Chi room and the Riviera Resort back in the 50’s. Several members of Hollywood’s earliest edition of bad boys ended up buying homes in the city after Sinatra took up residence here. Dean Martin was one who purchased a place here to be near his friend Frankie and other Rat Pack members.
In what may be the ultimate tribute to the handsome Italian baritone, there are now 41 Dean Martin celebrity impersonators that can be hired through the Palm Springs based talent agency Gigmasters. The agency promotes these “Dean Martin Tribute” acts as suitable for weddings, private parties, and corporate events. To take just one example, Kenton Weaver who bills himself as a voice impersonator is available for performances of a show he calls, “Dino “n’ Friends.” It encapsulates the sort of show that Dean Martin put on at the Riviera Resort in Palm Springs back in the 50’s and 60’s when Sinatra would often “just happen” to show up and join him on stage. Next thing you knew, Sammy Davis would be up there as well. Of course, happenstance such as that is no longer possible, but Weaver is said to do a credible imitation of all three. The Gigmasters website allows you to take a listen before you hire any of their artists for an event.
A Choice Locale with a Stunning Design
The house that Dean Martin bought in Palm Springs was situated in the exclusive Alexander Vistas Las Palmas subdivision. The house was designed by the renowned architect William Krisel who built a number of homes in the region in his signature California Modern style. This house is built in a “butterfly” arrangement that features two wings opening out towards each other. It is surrounded by the Washingtonian Palms native to the region from which the city takes its name. It is next to sere hills that form a dramatic desert backdrop.
Dean Martin had a hit back in the 50’s with the song, “It’s 1200 Miles from Texas to Palm Springs.” The lyrics continue on to add, “But tonight it’s right next door. For a week each year, it’s the old frontier.” The stanzas pay tribute to several spots around Palm Springs that the Rat Pack liked to haunt such as the Shamrock and Almiera nightclubs. He even mentions driving down Canyon Drive hoping to see the governor ofTexas because tonight Palm Springs and Texas are right next door.
Dean Martin along with his wife Jeanne would regularly host tea dances on Sunday afternoons at their Palm Springs home. This would come after they played a round of tennis at the nearby Racquet Club. Martin could easily be persuaded to sing a few songs at these events, and one could never say when other members of the Rat Pack might show up to join in on the show.