’Tis the season for Dean Martin — the one month of the year when he’s ubiquitous once again, haunting tinseled malls and cocktail-party playlists, a ghost of Christmas past whose voice can make even the balmiest West Coast day feel like a marshmallow world in the winter. Of the 10 most-played Dino tracks on Spotify right now, seven are holiday novelties — jovial corn for popping. “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” is No. 1, with 351 million streams, presumably racked up largely between Black Friday and New Year’s Day.
It’s a strange state of affairs for an artist who was once a year-round fixture of the entertainment landscape — a genial omnipresence whose breezy, boozy, hardly-workin’ charm came across on every platform he touched, from stage to screen to radio to records, in comedy and drama and celebrity roasts.