Late crooner Dean Martin was involved with the mafia and often performed for America's most notorious mob bosses, according to a new biography which exposes files collated by the FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION (FBI).

In his book DEAN MARTIN: KING OF THE ROAD, author MICHAEL FREEDLAND claims the THAT'S AMORE singer - who had denied links to the mafia until his death in 1998 - accepted the help of gangsters who owned saloons in Chicago during the early days of his career.

Martin subsequently repaid them by performing on their demand when he became a major star and member of the legendary Rat Pack, which contained singers like Frank Sinatra who were also believed to have had mob connections.

Freeland says, "Unlike other people, he knew to say 'thank you' afterwards.

"If SAM GIANCANA, the real godfather of Chicago, decided he wanted to put on a show - and this is borne out by FBI files that I saw - he would say, 'Get Dean Martin, I need him for 10 days.' And he would go.

"But he could have got himself into very serious trouble."

31/01/2005 09:38