Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Winter Months: June In January

Dean Martin: June In January (live)


Dino’s on-stage shtick was well-known: cigarette in one hand, glass of Scotch in another, slurring half-remembered lyrics... Well, the smoke was real. The brown liquid was in fact ginger ale, the slurring was an act, and some of the lyrics were fudged on purpose to mask those he did forget. The model professional was at his best appearing blithely unprofessional.

This rendition of “June In January” – which appears on the Rat Pack Live at the Sands album, recorded in September 1963 – shows Martin at his mock-inebriated best, riffing with Antonio Morelli's orchestra (“you sure everybody was playing?”), cracking jokes at Sinatra, ad libbing (“give me a tshord”) and making funny voices before finishing the song off in proper crooner fashion. He’d then stagger off the stage sober and hit the bottle post-gig.