Lately I've been enamored by Dean Martin's songs. His voice is so soothing and his music so very relaxing. I also listened to Sinatra in the same vein, but though I liked him too, I didn't find him as peaceful as Dino.
My love-story started with "Volare - nil blu di pinto di blu" by Domenico Modugno. I totally fell in love with this song, when I first heard it with my wife. We had spent the day walking around Rome, looking through all all nooks and crannies, the ruins and palaces and the piazzas and fountains. Thoroughly enervated, we stumbled upon a rustic ristorante very close to where we stayed. It was called Cafe Romantica (or Romantiqa) and true to its name the ambience was beautiful and the food was delicious. I still remember the dreamy old man with his thick spectacles singing ...
"Vo...laare.. oh oh .. Can...taare… oh. oh.. oh.."
I didn't understand a word of it but it was such a sweet song that the tune stuck in my head. Later when I came back home, after a few rounds of googling, I was able to find the original song. And then I found Dean's version of it. It was different from what I heard, not exactly what I had been searching for. But it turned out that I liked Dean's version of the song better than the original one by Modugno. Maybe because it had enough English in it to let me sing along and make it my own. Or maybe it was just Dean's voice that I liked.
I have almost all his hit songs now (and am now searching for all the not-so-hit ones as well). I just love them all. His voice is so melodious and deep that you don't even need the music. In fact at times, the music is a distraction that I wish that I could remove. His songs are a way for me to slow down, take a deep breath, relax and maybe sing along and momentarily forget the stresses of daily life. And if I'm driving in traffic, I magically don't care anymore if the car behind me overtakes me to race to the red-light ahead.
And then his jokes and other antics are so endearing. His shows are filled with his style and personality. No wonder he's called the king of cool. It would have been swell if he was around these days.