Music Friday: Crooner Dean Martin Buys a Wedding Ring in 1958's 'Buona Sera'

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you classic songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, crooner Dean Martin makes a very special purchase at a Naples, Italy, jewelry shop in the 1958 classic, "Buona Sera."

martin1

In the song, Martin tells the story of two lovers enjoying a moonlit evening in the picturesque Italian city on the Mediterranean Sea. Although it's late and he must say "goodnight," he promises to buy a ring for her early the next day.

He sings, "In the morning signorina we'll go walking / Where the mountains help the moon come in to sight / And by the little jewelry shop we'll stop and linger / While I buy a wedding ring for your finger / In the meantime let me tell you that I love you / Buona sera signorina kiss me goodnight / Buona sera signorina kiss me goodnight."

Written by the team of Peter De Rose and Carl Sigman, "Buona Sera" — which means "good evening" in Italian — was originally made famous by Louis Prima and His Orchestra in 1956. Two years later, it would be covered by "The King of Cool" and legendary member of the "Rat Pack," Dean Martin.

Although he was born in Steubenville, Ohio, Martin always embraced his family's heritage. His dad was born in Italy and his mother was Italian-American. With its Italian lyrics and descriptions of Napoli (Italian for Naples), "Buona Sera" was a natural fit for his 1958 album, This Is Dean Martin.

Martin became one of the most popular entertainers of his time, churning out dozens of hit songs and appearing on the big screen with his comedy partner, Jerry Lewis. He seemed to exude effortless charisma and self assurance, but his journey to stardom was not a smooth one.

Born Dino Paul Crocetti in 1917, Martin's first language was Italian and he didn't start learning English until he entered school at the age of five. His lack of English skills made him a target of neighborhood bullies. He dropped out of school in 10th grade because he believed he was smarter than his teachers. The teenager made ends meet by bootlegging liquor, working in a steel mill and dealing blackjack at a speakeasy. He also became a welterweight boxer.

Martin moved to New York City, where he worked as a croupier in an illegal casino behind a tobacco shop. He called himself "Dino Martini" and started singing for local bands. He got his first big break working for the Ernie McKay Orchestra.

He would go on to record some of his generation's most memorable tunes, including "Memories Are Made of This," "That's Amore," "Everybody Loves Somebody," "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You," "Ain't That a Kick in the Head?" and "Volare."

Martin passed away on Christmas Day 1995 at the age of 78. In 1996, Ohio's Route 7 through Steubenville was rededicated as Dean Martin Boulevard.

Please check out the audio track of Martin's cover of "Buona Sera." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Buona Sera"
Music by Peter De Rose and lyrics by Carl Sigman. Performed by Dean Martin.

Buona sera signorina buona sera
It is time to say goodnight to Napoli
Though it's hard for us to whisper buona sera
With that old moon above the Mediterranean sea
In the morning signorina we'll go walking
Where the mountains help the moon come in to sight
And by the little jewelry shop we'll stop and linger
While I buy a wedding ring for your finger
In the meantime let me tell you that I love you
Buona sera signorina kiss me goodnight
Buona sera signorina kiss me goodnight

(Buona sera signorina buona sera)
(It is time to say goodnight to Napoli)
Though it's hard for us to whisper buona sera
With that old moon above the Mediterranean sea

In the morning signorina we'll go walking
Where the mountains help the moon come in to sight
And by the little jewelry shop we'll stop and linger
While I buy a wedding ring for your finger
In the meantime let me tell you that I love you
Buona sera signorina kiss me goodnight
Buona sera signorina kiss me goodnight



Credit: Photo by MGM [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

'Supergirl' Melissa Benoist Reveals Her Oval-Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring on Instagram

"Supergirl" actress Melissa Benoist announced her engagement to co-star Chris Wood and unveiled her brand new oval-shaped diamond engagement ring on her Instagram page Sunday.

benoist1

The intimate photo shows the romantic couple canoodling in front of a crackling fire, with Benoist beaming and her beau kissing her cheek. Of course, her engagement ring is front and center. The 30-year-old actress, who has 3.3 million Instagram followers, captioned the photo, “Yes yes yes it will always be yes.” The post generated 923,000 Likes.

On his Instagram page, Wood posted the same photo and captioned it, “The happiest.”

The white-metal ring, which is likely platinum, is highlighted by an oval diamond in a halo setting, complemented by a pavé diamond band. An industry insider told pagesix.com that the center stone appeared to be 3 carats and estimated the ring's value in the range of $100,000 and $200,000.

California-based jeweler Jennifer Meyer revealed on Instagram that the 30-year-old Wood played a big role in helping to design the ring. She wrote, "Chris, when you designed this ring with me, you made some girls on the JM team wish you had a brother. Wishing you both a lifetime of love, happiness and lots of babies!”

benoist2

Benoist and Wood met in 2016 on the set of the CW series "Supergirl," with Benoist in the title role and Wood playing her on-screen love interest and fellow superhero Mon-El.

While both characters enjoyed super strength and a slew of other extraordinary powers, each had one major weakness. Green kryptonite would make Supergirl painfully ill and Mon-El would collapse in agony when exposed to lead. We're wondering... If a dastardly villain posed as a fine jeweler, might he recommend an engagement ring with a green kryptonite center stone set in lead?

benoist3

Fortunately, the real-life couple clearly shows no vulnerability to the diamonds and noble metal glistening in their new ring.

Credits: Images via Instagram.com/melissabenoist.

Dutch Tech Company Creates 133-Facet All-Diamond Ring to Mark Its 10th Anniversary

Looking to make a big splash for its 10th anniversary, Dutch Diamond Technologies (DD) took on the challenge of crafting an all-diamond ring from a 155-carat plate of lab-grown material.

alldiamondring1

Dubbed "Project D," the ring was polished using both laser cutting and traditional techniques. The end product boasts 133-facets and a total weight of 3.86 carats.

HRD Antwerp, Europe's leading authority in diamond grading, determined that the ring has a clarity grade of VVS2 and a color grade of E, with excellent symmetry and very good polish.

The Netherlands-based Dutch Diamond Technologies is best known for its high-tech, industrial applications of both lab-grown and natural diamonds, so its foray into the jewelry sector came as a bit of a surprise, especially to the executives at HRD Antwerp.

“DD might be relatively new to cut diamonds for the jewelry market,” noted Michel Janssens, CEO of HRD Antwerp, “but they have created an impressive ring for their 10th anniversary. The outstanding cutting and polish work has resulted in a brilliant light reflection which emphasizes the beauty of the ring.”

“For our 10th anniversary we wanted to create something stunning that would highlight our innovative and high-tech techniques,” said Ton Janssen, CEO of Dutch Diamond Technologies. “I think we’ve more than succeeded with the one-off "Project D" ring. It’s a true 'European' ring: Grown in Germany, cut in the Netherlands and graded by HRD Antwerp in Belgium."

DD noted that until a few years ago, the technology didn't exist to create a lab-grown diamond plate suitable for "Project D." The quality and carat weight of CVD synthetic diamonds has increased drastically over the past 10 years. DD reported that the 155-carat plate from which "Project D" was carved took five weeks to grow in its laboratory.

Dutch Diamond Technologies is not the first company to fabricate an all-diamond ring.

Shawish Geneva was the first company to form a ring from a single natural diamond. Shawish unveiled the innovative ring to the public during the 2012 Baselworld Watch and Jewelry Show. That ring was laser-cut from a 150-carat rough diamond.

alldiamondring2

In November 2018, Sir Jony Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, and renowned industrial designer Marc Newson, introduced the concept of an all-diamond ring custom crafted from a single rough lab-grown gem. The ring fetched $265,250 when Sotheby’s presented it December 5 at the third (RED) Auction in Miami. Proceeds from the sale supported HIV/AIDS programs in Africa.

The ring is in production and is expected to be delivered to the anonymous buyer this June, according to JCKonline.com.

Credits: Image of "Project D" ring courtesy of Dutch Diamond Technologies. Image of (RED) Auction ring courtesy of Sotheby's.

Brilliant Starburst From Miley Cyrus' New Wedding Ring Catches Jimmy Fallon's Eye

It was a starburst seen from coast to coast on Wednesday night's edition of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The burst emanating from Miley Cyrus' new wedding ring was so big and so bright that new spouse Liam Hemsworth joked that the visual effect might have been a product of CGI (computer-generated imagery).

mileyforface

But first, a little background...

Acclaimed Australian actor Hemsworth, 29, and pop star Cyrus, 26, tied the knot in a low-key ceremony at their home in Franklin, Tenn., in December. And when Hemsworth was awarded the G'Day USA Excellence in Film award in Los Angeles on January 26, the actor was sure to thank his new bride.

"Thank you to my beautiful wife," he said during his acceptance speech. "You're a sweet, sweet angel."

miley5

At that point, viewers were treated to a reaction shot of Cyrus in the audience. Beaming with a wide smile and her head tilted in an adorable pose, the singer raised her diamond-adorned fingers up to her chin. She was wearing multiple bracelets, necklaces and rings on every finger. One of those rings was her brand new diamond wedding band.

As she moved her hands ever so slightly, the diamonds on her left hand caught the light and generated a bright starburst, the kind photographers covet when shooting fine jewelry.

On Wednesday night, Cyrus' ring and the giant burst were the subjects of a fun exchange between Hemsworth and Fallon on The Tonight Show.

miley2

"People love you and Miley together," Fallon said, "but I saw a clip of you from the G'Day USA Awards."

"When I was on the stage and I referred to her as my wife?" Hemsworth acknowledged. "Yeah, people liked that. Big, big cheer."

"She was kind of heckling you from the crowd," said Fallon.

Hemsworth explained, "Yeah, I started saying nice things about her and then she wanted more, obviously. I said, 'I'll tell you when I get home.'"

miley3

"There was this one picture as they were cutting to her where [there was] this bling from her ring. And I was like, 'What kind of rock did you get her, man? Holy moly.'"

miley4

At that point, Fallon displayed to the studio audience a still shot of Cyrus at the awards show and the very obvious six-pointed starburst.

"There are a few different rocks on there, not to brag," said Hemsworth, "but there [are] a couple of different ones."

"Well done, buddy," Fallon said. "Oh my."

"I thought it was CGI when I first saw that," Hemsworth joked. "I was convinced it was CGI because if did a full-on b-i-i-i-i-n-g."

"It was a real b-o-o-i-n-g," Fallon said, trying to imitate Hemsworth's take on what a starburst sounds like.

"B-i-i-i-i-n-g," Hemsworth repeated.

"Just perfect," Fallon said. "I was like, 'Well, maybe she has magical powers, too. And she was zapping something from her ring to you.'"

"Yes, she's brainwashed me," Hemsworth concluded.

See the entire exchange below...



Credits: Screen captures via YouTube.com/The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon; YouTube.com/G'Day USA

Music Friday: Swedish Pop Group Ace of Base Will Turn Your Tears Into Pearls

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you popular tunes with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Today, Swedish pop group Ace of Base sings about turning tears into pearls in the 1995 love song, "Experience Pearls."

experiencepearls1

In this song about mending a broken heart, vocalists Linn and Jenny Berggren tell the story of a woman who is willing to do anything in her power to eliminate her lover's pain.

They sing, "Give me all your tears / Let me turn them into pearls / Let me turn all the tears / That you've cried into pearls / Hand them to me, I'm gonna keep / Keep them for you / I want to hold you / I want to kiss you / I want to mend what is broken."

Later in the song, songwriter Jenny Berggren uses the term "experience pearls" to describe the transference of pain from him to her. She vows to wear his tears — in the form of pearls — close to her skin.

The last verse goes like this... "I'll wear your pearls more precious than silver / I'll wear your pearls so close to my skin / I'd tear myself apart just to get you / And so I've made up my mind / And so I've made up my mind."

"Experience Pearls" appeared as the 16th track of Ace of Base's wildly successful second album, The Bridge, which charted in 19 countries. More than eight million copies of the album were sold worldwide.

According to the band's official site, the Ace of Base story started in the early 1990s when the three Berggren siblings (Jonas, Malin and Jenny) formed the techno band Tech Noir. Next to their rehearsal room, Ulf Ekberg played in another band. Soon, Jonas and Ulf hit it off, started to write and produce together, and Ace of Base was formed.

After recording a demo tape of original songs, including the future blockbuster hit ”All That She Wants,” the band went to Stockholm where the members pitched all the major record companies. None showed any interest. The common critique was that their songs were "too obvious" and "too simple."

Undaunted, the band's next stop was Copenhagen, where executives at Mega Records immediately saw the band’s potential and loved their positive, uncomplicated and slightly reggae-tinged pop music.

Ace of Base’s very first single was ”Wheel Of Fortune,” followed by the major worldwide hits ”All That She Wants,” ”The Sign” and ”Don’t Turn Around.”

Trivia: The group's debut album, Happy Nation (released as The Sign in the U.S.), sold 25 million copies and remains in the Guinness record book as the best-selling debut album ever.

Please check out the audio track of "Experience Pearls." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along...

"Experience Pearls"
Written by Jenny Berggren. Performed by Ace of Base.

Give me all your tears
Let me turn them into pearls
Let me turn all the tears
That you've cried into pearls
Hand them to me, I'm gonna keep

Keep them for you
I want to hold you,
I want to kiss you
I want to mend what is broken.

Love me the way that you loved her, please
Cause now I'm giving it all,
And so I've made up my mind, I'm gonna be
Yours this time, I'm gonna give what I've got,
And get your love in return.
And so I've made up my mind, I'm gonna be
Yours this time, I'm gonna teach you to trust
And learn how to burn,
Experience pearls
Pearls of experience
When sand strikes up in your eyes
I will cover your face.

I'll plant your desert with roses,
And I'm gonna keep, keep them for you.
And so I've made up my mind

I'll wear your pearls more precious than silver
I'll wear your pearls so close to my skin.
I'd tear myself apart just to get you,
And so I've made up my mind
And so I've made up my mind



Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com.