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EMI To License Dean Martin's Name, Image

NEW YORK (AP) — Dean Martin fans may soon be seeing a lot more of the famed crooner. EMI Music, which markets Martin's recording catalogs, has struck a deal with the Dean Martin Trust to license his name, image and likeness.

Martin, who died in 1995 at age 78, was a suave singer and actor who usually played straight man to comedian Jerry Lewis in their act, which went from stage to TV and film in the 1940s and `50s.

The arrangement with Martin's trust is another in a "growing portfolio of groundbreaking relationships" EMI is making with artists to oversee nonrecording aspects of their careers such as merchandising, touring and publishing as well as their recording careers and catalogs, as EMI has done with artists such as Robbie Williams and the rock band Korn, the company said in a statement Monday.

EMI Music, a subsidiary of EMI Group PLC, will continue to market Martin's Capitol Records and Reprise Records recording catalogs on a worldwide basis.

"Dean Martin is a world-class entertainer whose relevance and cultural impact are as strong in 2006 as when he was recording at Capitol Studios," Ronn Werre, president of EMI Music Marketing, said in a statement.

Martin's voice continues to draw a audience, with global album sales totaling more than 50 million units, the company said, including 2004's "Dino: The Essential Dean Martin," a 30-track CD that includes "Ain't That a Kick in the Head," "That's Amore" and "Mambo Italiano."

The newly expanded "Christmas With Dino" album on CD, released in September, includes a duet in which Martina McBride recorded vocals to match Martin singing "Baby, It's Cold Outside."