Friday, August 15, 2003

Ohio Moments

Steubenville's Martin outsang The Beatles

On Aug. 15, 1964, Steubenville native Dean Martin knocked the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" off the top of the music charts with his song "Everybody Loves Somebody," proving to his son that he still had it.

Martin was born Dino Crocetti in 1917 in Steubenville, where he attended Grant Elementary and played the drums with a Boy Scout troop. He dropped out of Steubenville High School at 16 and worked as a gas station attendant, a shoeshine boy, a mill worker and an amateur welterweight boxer, fighting under the name "Kid Crochet." The Depression made jobs scarce, so Martin began delivering bootleg liquor to gambling joints. He eventually became a card dealer and croupier in Steubenville.

Martin's singing career supposedly began one night in 1934 when friends pushed him on stage. Four years later, he landed a gig as a featured vocalist in Cleveland - and took the city by storm. In 1940 he took the name Dean Martin, and in 1943 he signed a contract to sing at New York's Riobamba Room.

Martin recounted how his son Dino was infatuated with The Beatles in the summer of 1964. "All I heard from him was 'The Beatles, The Beatles.' I told him that while they were a good group, I could put out a record that could make a No. 1 hit." And so he did.

Ohio State Fair history

In 1925 - on the 75th anniversary of the fair - more than 2,000 performers put on an "evolution of the fair" show. The show was divided into three 25-year periods.

Rebecca Goodman

E-mail or call (513) 768-8361.

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