You'll be hard-pressed to find any professional singer in the world that naturally, has as much "Dean" going on vocally, as Frank Lamphere. Really!
Singer Frank Lamphere singing "Ain't That a Kick In the Head" with one of the best big bands in the world.
Dean Martin 100 - Tribute Show. A 45-90 minute homage to one of America’s most popular entertainers ever, Dean Martin.
Crooner Frank Lamphere (not a Dean Martin impersonator in the usual sense) explores Dean Martin’s early years with songs such as: I'll Always Love You, That’s Amore (from the Martin & Lewis movie The Caddy) and You Belong To Me. There are the later 50’s hits like: Volare, Return To Me and Memories Are Made of This as well as some great songs that never were hits: Via Veneto, You Look So Familiar, and Rio Bravo from the film of the same name with John Wayne. Finally, Frank performs the Dean Martin successes of the 1960's. You’ll hear: The Door Is Still Open To My Heart, I Will, and Dean’s theme song Everybody Loves Somebody and many more.
Lamphere, who performs this show with an all star band has been a standout perfomer on the Midwest music scene for a number of years. Frank's long list of credits include: headlining act at the 2014 Chicago Festa Italiana, performances in New York, Las Vegas, singing for television commercials, headlining act at the 2014 Illinois Dean Martin Festival, fronted the jazz trio at the “5” star Peninsula Hotel, a Bulls game half-time performance at the United Center, house band at Jilly’s Naperville, and concerts in Milan, Italy.
Lamphere brings to this show, a great admiration for this classic music genre and especially for his favorite singer, Dean Martin. The show features Frank's sharp historical perspective, some good laughs, awesome musicianship and certain vocal characteristics that at times, make him sound very much like Dean.
Lamphere sings some Dean Martin songs during a recent performance at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas
When singing Dean Martin songs, Frank Lamphere sounds like Dean, singing his own songs, a few months after having recorded them. Make sense?
An imitator or an impersonator like an illusionist, attempts to make an audience think they are experiencing a facsimile of the person they seek to impersonate. In the case of the Dean Martin mimics, imitators, and impersonators, it's the constantly present cigarette, the wavy hair Dino style wig, the off colored and out of date jokes, and the onstage persona of a staggering drunk. All of the above designed to hide the fact that they rarely are able to sing, even mediocrely. Many tribute artists you'll see on You Tube, painfully attempt notes well below their natural vocal register. Still many others attempt to reproduce Dean's unique and subtle vibrato, that winds up sounding like a little lamb out in the pasture, making a baaaa...sound. This redundant imitation cheapens his great legacy and doesn't do justice to Dean Martin's depth of talent.
The real Dean Martin, was oozing with natural talent. As a singer, Dean posessed a magnificently beautiful voice. His romantic sometimes bordering on slurring tones eminated as the familiar baritone on such ballads as You Belong To Me and Where Can I Go Without You. According to historians, Dean had a way of phrasing that borrowed from both Bing Crosby and Harry Mills (Mills Brothers) but, that was uniquely his own. Further more, Dean had a seemingly carefree manner and modest attitude that conveyed to the audience "Hey, this ain't no big deal". There were few performers then and especially now who really are able to capture the subtle nuances, some of the intonation and overall essence of the voice that made Dino such a beloved singer.
"Frank Lamphere Sings Dean Martin" is a unique musical event. Frank Lamphere has a knowledge and passion for the traditional pop and jazz music that is uncanny. This knowledge, passion and musical ability is translated into a superb musical revue. Both a tribute to the glorious music of the past and a modern concert. Having a similar timbre to Dean's, undoubtedly developed from singing along to Dean's records as a kid, give Frank Lamphere's renditions of Dino's songs a realism not heard with other singers.
Listen for yourself!
Frank Lamphere chats with Deana Martin at the Dean Martin Festival in Steubenville, Ohio. Click on the photo to go to Deana's website.
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