He loved the soft baritone of Dean Martin in songs such as "Oh Marie" and "I Don't Know Why (I Just Do)," and in many of his own early recordings you could hear the influence of Dino on young Elvis.
Time went on, as it does, and both found their fame -- Elvis in music, Dean on television. Rarely, though, did they cross paths, until one day in the early '60s when Dean was able to introduce his young daughter Deana to one of her idols: the King.
According to Deana, Elvis extended a hand to her and said, "They may call me the King of Rock and Roll, but your dad is the King of Cool." From that, a nickname was born.
Dean and Elvis stayed loosely in touch as the years went by. Ironically, though he respected Elvis, Dean Martin resented rock and roll. When the Beatles came to the USA and revolutionized the industry, Dino's distaste grew larger. Both Dean and Elvis were having trouble climbing the charts, and in a now-famous exchange Martin famously told his son -- an avid Beatles fan -- "I'm going to knock your pallies off the charts." Martin, more competitive than people realized, did just that. In 1964, "Everybody Loves Somebody" supplanted "Hard Day's Night" as the #1 song on the Billboard charts.
The next day, Elvis Presley received a telegram from Dean Martin that simply said: "That's how you do it."
The King of Cool, indeed.
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