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DEAN MARTIN 1917-1995:
An exhibition from UNLV Special Collections


Dean Martin first performed in Las Vegas in 1949 at the Flamingo Hotel with Jerry Lewis. Martin and Lewis were at the height of their nightclub career. Together they were paid $15,000 a week. By the end of the first week, Jerry Lewis had run up a casino debt of $137,000. In 1952, the Sands Hotel opened under the baton of Entertainment Director, Vice-President and later President Jack Entratter, the night club impresario from New York's Copacabana Club. Entratter brought the biggest names in show business to the Sands by offering the biggest money. Entratter's headliners included Danny Thomas, Tallulah Bankhead, Tony Bennet, Edith Piaf, Lena Horne and of course Frank Sinatra. Sinatra in turn brought his friends, especially Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop and Dean Martin. Sinatra's Rat Pack presided over the Sands in its hey-day, lending their glamour to a town dominated by gambling and the mob. It was the entertainers who made Las Vegas a legitimate resort town.

The Rat Pack * Resources * Photos

The photographs used in this exhibit are all from the Sands Hotel Collection, UNLV Libraries Special Collections, and may not be reproduced without permission. The collection was donated to the library in 1980 by the Sands Hotel through the office of Al Guzman, then Director of Publicity and Advertising. The collection consists of the files of Al Freeman, Director of Advertising and Promotion for the Sands Hotel from 1952 until his death in 1972. The Sands Hotel was imploded Tuesday morning at 2 a.m., November 26, 1996. The original exhibit was designed and written by Peter Michel, Director of Special Collections, UNLV Libraries.

Updated Monday, 17-Dec-2012 10:54:28 PST
Content originator, Peter Michel, Director of Special Collections
Page Editors: Paulette Nelson & AHS