Rat pack Atlantic City 500 club 1

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Rat pack Atlantic City 500 club 1 - V: The stint was dubbed 'Dean Martin and His...
V: The stint was dubbed 'Dean Martin and His Italian Friend,' but when Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. both showed up, the performance at the 500 Club in Atlantic City surpassed all expectations. Here the trio of (from left) Martin, Davis and Sinatra takes over the stage at the Missouri Avenue nightspot. Joey Bishop also made the trip. Photos coj lUftesy Don Altobell -'Mm -'Mm ii JLM r ""7 V - Martin, Sinatra and friends hit 500 Club 30 years ago By CHUCK DARROW Courier-Post Courier-Post Courier-Post Staff It started as a simple nightclub engagement. It ended as one of the most historic show business events in Atlantic Atlantic City history. Thirty years ago long before legal casino gaming came to Atlantic City the Jersey Shore glittered like Las Vegas, thanks to the old 500 Club and a gaggle of show business legends. On Aug. 18, 1962, Dean Martin arrived in Atlantic City for an extended visit to the legendary Missouri Avenue nightclub. Martin started his run singing solo that Saturday three decades ago today. But by the time the week was out, three of the world's best-loved best-loved best-loved voices were blending on the stage of the "Five." Five days into Martin's run he was joined by his buddy, Frank Sinatra. "My father billed it as 'Dean Martin and his Italian friend,' " recalled Pau-lajane Pau-lajane Pau-lajane D'Amato, daughter of club owner Paul "Skinny" D'Amato, who died in 1984. "I think that was very clever." D'Amato, a host at the Sands Hotel & Casino, was only 12 at the time. Even though she was too young to have attended any of the shows, the memories are strong, nontheless. "It was a very exciting time. You were very lucky if you got inside to see any of the shows." When asked if she remembered whether it was a particularly crazy time for her dad, D'Amato said that "would be an understatement. With stars like that at the club, it was chaotic. Funny, but chaotic." Don Altobell of Maple Shade was one of the lucky ones to see the show the final night. He remembered Sinatra was "Still lean and in marvelous voice. He simply glowed in the limelight. He immediately immediately became the star of the show." But the Martin-Sinatra Martin-Sinatra Martin-Sinatra pairing was only an appetizer for what was yet to come. On Aug. 26, Sammy Davis Jr., another member of Sinatra's "Rat -Pack," -Pack," joined his friends. Altobell calls the profile photo he took of the trio the "Mount Rushmore" of show business. For Atlantic City radio personality Sonny Schwartz, the August '62 appearances appearances at the 500 Club were the ultimate show business experience. "It's like the commercial says: It didn't get any better than that," said Schwartz, whose nightly program out of WMID (AM 1340) is syndicated on stations stations throughout the East Coast. "It was a classic. They did a lot of song parodies. Sinatra referred to Martin Martin as 'Drunky,' and they did things with Sammy you couldn't get away with today. For instance, Schwartz recalled Martin picking up Davis and handing him over to Sinatra with the explanation explanation it was "an award from the NAACP."). "It was too much. It was unbelievable." unbelievable." "Talk about thrilling," noted Altobell in a written reminiscence of the engagement. engagement. "Here was a guy who was living in a rowhouse in Philadelphia listening to the best singers of the day. The cost of the ticket was $25, which doesn't sound like much today. Back then, it was more than one-quarter one-quarter one-quarter of a weekly salary. Please see A STARRY, Page 2D

Clipped from
  1. Courier-Post,
  2. 18 Aug 1992, Tue,
  3. Page 37

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  • Rat pack Atlantic City 500 club 1

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