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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0767920872, Paperback)They were the unlikeliest of pairs—a handsome crooner and a skinny monkey, an Italian from Steubenville, Ohio, and a Jew from Newark, N.J.. Before they teamed up, Dean Martin seemed destined for a mediocre career as a nightclub singer, and Jerry Lewis was dressing up as Carmen Miranda and miming records on stage. But the moment they got together, something clicked—something miraculous—and audiences saw it at once.
Before long, they were as big as Elvis or the Beatles would be after them, creating hysteria wherever they went and grabbing an unprecedented hold over every entertainment outlet of the era: radio, television, movies, stage shows, and nightclubs. Martin and Lewis were a national craze, an American institution. The millions (and the women) flowed in, seemingly without end—and then, on July 24, 1956, ten years from the day when the two men joined forces, it all ended.
After that traumatic day, the two wouldn’t speak again for twenty years. And while both went on to forge triumphant individual careers—Martin as a movie and television star, recording artist, and nightclub luminary (and charter member of the Rat Pack); Lewis as the groundbreaking writer, producer, director, and star of a series of hugely successful movie comedies—their parting left a hole in the national psyche, as well as in each man’s heart.
In a memoir by turns moving, tragic, and hilarious, Jerry Lewis recounts with crystal clarity every step of a fifty-year friendship, from the springtime, 1945 afternoon when the two vibrant young performers destined to conquer the world together met on Broadway and Fifty-fourth Street, to their tragic final encounter in the 1990s, when Lewis and his wife ran into Dean Martin, a broken and haunted old man.
In Dean & Me, Jerry Lewis makes a convincing case for Dean Martin as one of the great—and most underrated—comic talents of our era. But what comes across most powerfully in this definitive memoir is the depth of love Lewis felt, and still feels, for his partner, and which his partner felt for him: truly a love to last for all time.
(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:12 -0400)
For ten years after WWII, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis weren't only the most successful show business act in history, they were history. Starting as a fill-in for another act in Atlantic city, their improvised, anarchic routines soon sold out all the greatest venues in America. They made films, they made millions. They made a legend. But amidst the dazzling success and the late night laughter, tensions developed between the reserved straight man, Martin, and the manic goon, Lewis. When the duo, who had reinvented the comic double-act, split acrimoniously in 1956 they didn't speak to one another for the next 20 years. This is an intimate memoir of those years of fame and success by one of the only surviving legends of the rat-pack era.
(summary from another edition)
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