Memories of Dean Martin – Grammy Award



The Dean Martin Golddiggers

Pictured clockwise from the bottom: Patti (Pivarnik) Gribow, Linda (Alberici) Eichberg, Robin (Hoctor) Horneff, Maria (Alberici) Lauren, Colleen (Kincaid) Jackson, Deborah Pratt, Susan Buckner, Lee Nolting

Grammy Lifetime Achievement honoring Dean Martin

I must say, this was a well-deserved award for a charismatic, talented performer and a wonderful man: Dean Martin. It was not only an honor to perform with Dean but most of all, I feel privileged to have shared life’s moments with him. I attended the Grammy Award ceremony with some of the talented ladies with whom I sang and danced as The Golddiggers. This brought back a surge of feelings and fond memories of our special times with Dean.

The former Dean Martin Golddiggers with the Alberici Sisters at The Grammy's

The Dean Martin Golddiggers

Pictured from left to right: Deborah Pratt, Alberici Sisters: Linda Eichberg & Maria Lauren, Susan Buckner, Marie Halton – Peck, Peggy Gohl

On the day of this event, the rain was predicted but the sun was shining, almost as big as the smile in our hearts, as my girlfriends and I walked down the red carpet, posed for photographs, and congratulated Dean’s family. Once inside, we settled into our seats in anticipation of a great show to celebrate the creative contributions of outstanding performers: The Four Tops, Brenda Lee, Gene Autry, and Hank Williams … When it was time for Dean Martin’s lifetime achievement award, my colleagues and I stood up like cheerleaders, hailing our hero!

Then for me, it was a rollercoaster of emotions … tears, pride, and humility. This was an era of show business history that will never come again. We had the distinct pleasure of witnessing and experiencing it; some of us for several decades as The Dean Martin Golddiggers. At the reception, we toasted our sisterhood, ate together, and listened to good music. As we left the building, it began to rain but not on our parade to Dean Martin’s memory.

It’s an honor to share these special memories.

That’s Amore!

Maria Lauren, AKA: Maria Elena Alberici

Dean Martin and The Golddiggers with the Alberici Sisters

The Dean Martin Golddiggers

 Pictured bottom row, left to right: Alberici Sisters – Maria Lauren and Linda Eichberg. Top row: Theresa Bishop, Patty Booth – Julius, Dean Martin, Patti Pivarnik – Gribow, Peggy Gohl 

A flash to the past! A video glimpse of what Larry King had to say about The Golddiggers, the talented ladies with whom I performed, during an interview on LARRY KING LIVE! It also includes our performances from 1973 and performances decades later in SHOWSTOPPERS!

Alberici-Sisters--Rat-Pack-bookExciting Book… A book documentary of showbiz in the ’70s, “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams” was written by my sister and me (Alberici Sisters: Maria Lauren and Linda Eichberg). It was an adventure to perform and hang out with legendary stars Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra,  Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, Gene Kelly, Louis Prima, Tom Jones…

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Maria-Lauren-MotivationThis is a blog about LIFE: Living, Inspiration, Fitness, Entertainment. It is produced in my own time and solely reflects my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted.

17 thoughts on “Memories of Dean Martin – Grammy Award

  1. Pingback: Streisand – Excellence – The Oscars | YourPowerfulLIFE Blog

  2. Hello Maria,

    What fun you must have had during those great shows. I keep thinking I should get the DVD’s.

    Wasn’t that show just the best? It was not to be missed, as our whole family truly enjoyed it. My mother thought Dean was the handsomest man on the planet. I agreed.

    I had some great albums of Frank Sinatra but someone else liked them as much as I did and they just disappeared.

    I lived near the Lighthouse, within walking distance, and I used to go there all the time from the age of 15 on, so I got to know a lot of the musicians that played in several of the big bands, which was a great experience.

    I miss the beach, the ocean, and those great times with the jazz greats of the day, this during the “Golden Age of Jazz” so it was pretty special to me. I would imagine you have the same type of nostalgic memories, ones that are so special that it’s hard to explain to anyone.

    Take care,


    • Sandi,

      It’s nice to know that you’re a great lover of jazz and the beach, just like I am! To top it off, your a fan of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra … I feel a kinship!

      Here’s a little trivia for you: Did you know that ‘The Alberici Sister’ were a part of ‘The Golddiggers’ for several decades? Currently, my sister Linda and I are writing a book about show biz, our performances with the legendary ‘Rat Pack’ and appearing with Dean on his TV series … etc.

      You can see a preview of our book at:

      Best wishes and many blessings,
      Maria Lauren
      AKA: The Alberici Sisters

  3. Your site looks great Maria!
    “Memories Are Made Of These”
    What a privilege for this 100% Italian-American girl from Chicago to perform with Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra …AND the priceless friendship I have w/ you and the other Golddiggers! When I was a go-go girl in 1967 for the World Teen Show, dancing with Dino, Desi, & Billy, I never dreamed I’d be moving to LA and work with Dino’s dad!
    Although I left The Golddiggers to pursue a solo career earlier than some of the girls, it’s wonderful the times we all get together, either to perform for an event or share in family celebrations, and watch our children grow up.
    Dean was the ultimate in class, crooning with charm and charisma. When Dean first introduced me to Frank and called me “little dago”, I was not even offended! The time Dean came backstage at the Sabre Room in Chicago to personally thank me for the pizzelle cookies my Nonna made for him, was just another example of his genuine love and respect for “famiglia”.
    “We are family, I got all my sisters and me…..” What a golden journey we are on!
    con amore, Joyce

    • Joyce, we ARE “sisters,” and just like every family, we experience each others ups and downs on life’s ‘golden’ journey!
      I commend you for following your heart, by using your talents to sing and play the piano, for blessed occasions in your church as well as super clubs in the LA area.
      Yes, Dean was proud to be an Italian, just like you are!

      Hey, I’m proud to be Italian too, (Alberici), even if I’m part Hungarian!

      Here’s to family … In the immortal words of Dean Martin, “That’s Amore!”

      Love, Maria

  4. What a time it was! Working with Mr. Cool was a smooth and silky experience. He glided through my arms and artfully dodged my dancers’ feet, as he crooned in my ears! I loved when Dean would do an aside with Harry Crane, my father-in-law, and the head writer of The Dean Martin TV Show. Dean would go to the wings and then come back on the set with a line and say it. I would start giggling, because Dean’s delivery was so hysterical. Harry’s lines were right on the nose, and I could always recognize his words and expressions. Harry was the comedians, comedian! FYI, Harry even wrote Dean’s Las Vegas’ acts.

    Maria, you and The Golddiggers performed smack dab in the middle of those fabulous shows. Here’s to you, my Golddigger sisters and to Harry and Dean.
    Lovingly, Sheryl Ullman

    • Thanks Sheryl, for reminding us about Harry Crane’s comedy writing contribution to Dean Martin’s TV and Vegas shows. I can tell you that the audience ate it up!
      After reading your story about working with Dean, I had to chuckle. Dean was always so confident and charismatic but he always managed to make us “girls” feel comfortable … That was Dean’s charm!
      Love and Blessings, Maria

  5. Very Cool Memories with Dean Martin
    I had the great honor of being invited to LA after a nationwide talent search (pre American Idol) and join seven wonderfully talented and beautiful ladies. We were taken to NBC to become The Golddiggers (pre Pussycat Dolls) and stand weekly in front of Les Brown and his orchestra to rehearse the musical numbers for the weeks show. One day when Dean came to rehearsal, after we had a few weeks worth of show were under our belt, I remember he looked around the room and pointed to me. With a very cool, very charming smile, he said, ”I want the singer with the riffs next to me”. Dean beckoned me to come stand next him, turned to Les and started the rehearsal. Guess he was feeling the need for a little extra soul and I was thrilled to accommodate the moment. The truth was that he found a way to find the best in each one of us and a time to shine his light, even for just a moment, on everyone. What a great gift.
    Being on and off stage with Dean, Sammy, Danny, Joey and even Frank (The real Rat Pack) had to be the coolest entre’ into Hollywood any young artist could ask for… and what was the best…I got to work with a great group of women, who to this day, are some of my best friends and that… was a great beginning.
    Deborah M. Pratt

    • Hi! Yes, our early years in The Golddiggers, which started for us in 1973 was a great learning experience but fun too!
      Deborah, I’m so proud of the award winning TV/Movie writer and director that you are and wish you much success with your exciting, futuristic book series, “Vision Quest.” I look forward to seeing the book trilogy develop into a movie trilogy on par with ‘Star Wars.’
      Much love,

  6. It sounds like you ladies had an unforgettable journey in The Golddiggers and a night that you will cherish for the rest of your lives! God Bless and keep soaring high!
    Love, Marianna

    • Marianna, you’re so sweet to check out my Blog page and make a comment. The bond we share as a mother and daughter ‘Growing in Love’ is special. I hope you know that your father and I are there for you always. We look forward to seeing you soar high on the wings of your dreams too.
      Thanks for being such a ‘Pro’ and taking the place of one of the Former Golddiggers during one of our ‘Showstoppers’ performances.
      For all those reading this, you can see some TV footage and song clips of Marianna on my Link page and even more fun stuff at:
      With unconditional Love, Mom

  7. Thanks for those wonderful memories. Reading your stories, I thought of Ken Lane, Dean Martin’s pianist and side kick. It got me thinking about when we were taping the Dean Martin TV Comedy Hour and doing the musical question and answer segment at the piano with Ken and Dean. Remember when Maria stepped up to the piano forgot her lines?? (yes, Maria Lauren) Greg Garrison decided it was cute and left Maria’s forgetful moment to air on national TV. (Isn’t it just like a sister to dish a little dirt on her OLDER sister). xoxoxo, Linda

    • Dearest Linda:
      Nothing like ‘Live TV’ with a studio audience! If you remember, the producer, Greg Garrison had me do the re-take on TV too, which gave me more air-time than you … Ha! Ha! Ha! … From you’re ‘older but wiser’ sister!
      Love you,

  8. Good morning,
    I wish I could have been the Grammy celebration with all of you, but I was in D.C. with my Gina. She has the passion for politics like I had ‘stars in my eyes’ for Show Biz… You all look sensational, as Greg Garrison would always say. The years have been kind to all of us.
    There is a flood of memories that have recently crossed my mind regarding our touring and performing with Dean.
    Remember when we opened the MGM Grand Hotel in Vegas with Dean? We’d have each other paged. The operator would say, “Paging Patti (or Maria, or Linda) Golddigger, Patti Golddigger please call the operator.” LOL We could not come out of our dressing rooms without wearing gowns and in full make-up.
    Those were the days of tuxedos in Vegas. No one has ever worn a tuxedo like Dean. Roger always made sure Dean’s tux was impeccably pressed and shirts starched and bright white. We loved that he gave us his ‘star’ dressing room preferring to have a make-shift room off of stage right at the MGM. The show could not start without our each giving him a hug. They were harmless hugs, even though his wife after Jeanne thought otherwise, but that’s another story.
    Dean loved for us to hang around during his show after we got off of stage. We’d chat and watch the show offstage with Mort Viner, as ‘The Master’ charmed the audience. Beautiful memories!
    The thing I remember most about Dean Martin was his saying, “It is easy to be nice, and so hard to be mean,” when asked why he was such a nice guy. To me that speaks volumes of Dean’s character.
    Maria thanks for being the glue in holding us together. I hope to see all of my ‘soul sisters’ soon!
    With love,
    Patti Golddigger

    • Dear Patti or should I say, ‘Patti Perfect!’ I always was in awe! … How did you manage to apply your false eyelashes for every morning press interview, after performing the night before as The Golddiggers?
      Your stories about Dean Martin were refreshing to read. We missed you at the Grammy festivities but hope to get together soon.
      Congratulations Patti, on all the charitable work that you do … that’s going for the “real gold!” Tell your beautiful, daughter, Gina that we are proud of the woman that she has become. She is still ‘Growing in Love.’
      I’m sure that those who read this Blog, would love to check out your Site too. The direct link is on my Link page and contains more videos, photos and bios of our days in The Golddiggers.
      Wishing you continued success in your TV Hosting and speaking engagements.
      Love you, my ‘Golddigger’ sister,

  9. WOW!! What a great website… So much work went into it. Quite a magnificent journey you and your sisters have been on.
    The photos are great and the videos are fun to watch as one can hear the close harmonies as well as seeing the dancing ability.
    I’m still proud to have also been a member of The Golddiggers for 12 years, traveling to the amazing Monte Carlo, entertaining and traveling with the likes of Milton Berle, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra and so many others.
    What a performance Master’s Degree we all received learning from the show biz legends!!
    I am so happy that we are all still so close and do feel as if we are family, sharing birthdays, luncheons, weddings, etc.
    Greg Garrison, the producer’s real talent as far as I am concerned was choosing gals with “heart”. There are lots of singers and dancers in LA and country- wide … but the ones he chose had a spiritual center as well as sex appeal… Not an easy combination to find.
    Anyway, beautiful website…. And you are getting this message from Greece… Robyn

    • Robyn, thanks for checking in. Yes, we were very blessed to perform together as The Golddiggers for so many years with the ‘Masters’ of show business! We don’t share the same DNA but we share in a special sisterhood. I love your child-like sense of fun and the way you look at the good in every situation. God speed, as you bring your knowledge of the body and mind connection to everyone that you meet in your travels. Please, keep us posted on your future adventures.
      Love, Maria

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