|Birth name Frances Rose Shore|
Years active 1937–1994
Name Dinah Shore
|Occupation(s) Singer, actress|
|Born February 29, 1916
Winchester, Tennessee, U.S. (1916-02-29) |
Associated acts Doris Day, Buddy Clark, Tony Martin, Frank Sinatra, Loretta Lynn
Died February 24, 1994, Beverly Hills, California, United States
Children Melissa Montgomery-Hime, John David Montgomery
Spouse Maurice F. Smith (m. 1963–1964), George Montgomery (m. 1943–1963)
Similar People George Montgomery, Doris Day, Burt Reynolds, Melissa Montgomery‑Hime, Perry Como
Dinah Shore (born Fannye Rose Shore; February 29, 1916 – February 24, 1994) was an American singer, actress, and television personality, and the top-charting female vocalist of the 1940s. She rose to prominence as a recording artist during the Big Band era, but achieved even greater success a decade later, in television, mainly as hostess of a series of variety programs for Chevrolet.
- Dinah shore
- Miss dinah shore a biography by michael b druxman
- Early life
- Recording career after the 1950s
- Early television career
- Later television career
- Romantic life
- Death and legacy
After failing singing auditions for the bands of Benny Goodman, and both Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Shore struck out on her own to become the first singer of her era to achieve huge solo success. She had a string of 80 charted popular hits, spanning 1940–1957, and after appearing in a handful of feature films, she went on to a four-decade career in American television, starring in her own music and variety shows from 1951 through 1963 and hosting two talk shows in the 1970s. TV Guide ranked her at number 16 on their list of the top 50 television stars of all time. Stylistically, Shore was compared to two singers who followed her in the mid-to-late 1940s and early 1950s, Doris Day and Patti Page.
Miss dinah shore a biography by michael b druxman
Fannye Rose Shore was born to Russian-Jewish immigrant shopkeepers, Anna (née Stein) and Solomon Shore, in Winchester, Tennessee. She had an elder sister, eight years her senior, Elizabeth, known as "Bessie". When Fannye was two years old, she was stricken with polio (infantile paralysis), a disease that was not preventable at the time, and for which the only treatment was bed rest. Her parents provided intensive care for her, suggesting rigorous exercising. She recovered, but she sustained a deformed foot and limp. She loved to sing as a small child; her mother, a contralto with operatic aspirations, encouraged her. Her father often took her to his store, where she would perform impromptu songs for the customers.
In 1924, the Shore family moved to McMinnville, Tennessee, where her father had opened a department store. By her fifth-grade year, the family had moved to Nashville, where she completed elementary school. Although shy because of her limp, she became actively involved in sports, was a cheerleader at Nashville's Hume-Fogg High School, and was involved in other activities. At some point, Fannye became known as Frances.
When Shore was 16, her mother died unexpectedly from a heart attack. Pursuing her education, she enrolled at Vanderbilt University, where she participated in many events and activities, including the Chi chapter of the Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority. She graduated from the university in 1938 with a degree in sociology. She visited the Grand Ole Opry and made her radio debut on Nashville's WSM (AM) radio station. Shore decided to return to pursuing her career in singing, moving to New York City to audition for orchestras and radio stations, first on a summer break from Vanderbilt, and after graduation, for good. In many of her auditions, she sang the popular song "Dinah." When disc jockey Martin Block could not remember her name, he called her the "Dinah girl", and soon after the name stuck, becoming her stage name. She eventually was hired as a vocalist at radio station WNEW, where she sang with Frank Sinatra. She recorded and performed with the Xavier Cugat orchestra, and signed a recording contract with RCA Victor Records in 1940.
In March 1939, Shore debuted on national radio on the Sunday-afternoon CBS radio program, Ben Bernie's Orchestra. In February 1940, she became a featured vocalist on the NBC Radio program The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street, a showcase for traditional Dixieland and Blues songs. With Shore, the program became so popular, it was moved from 4:30 Sunday afternoon to a 9:00 Monday night time slot in September. In her primetime debut for "the music of the Three Bs, Barrelhouse, Boogie-woogie, and the Blues", she was introduced as "Mademoiselle Dinah 'Diva' Shore, who starts a fire by rubbing two notes together!" She recorded with the two Basin Street bands for RCA Victor; one of her records was the eponymous "Dinah's Blues".
Shore's singing came to the attention of Eddie Cantor. He signed her as a regular on his radio show, Time to Smile, in 1940. Shore credits him for teaching her self confidence, comedic timing, and the ways of connecting with an audience. Cantor bought the rights to an adapted Ukrainian folk song with new lyrics by Jack Lawrence for Shore to record for RCA Victor's Bluebird label. This song, "Yes, My Darling Daughter", became her first major hit, selling 500,000 copies in weeks, which was unusual for that time.
Shore soon became a successful singing star with her own radio show, Call to Music, which was broadcast on CBS February 13, 1948 – April 16, 1948, and on NBC April 20, 1948 – June 29, 1948. Also in 1943, she appeared in her first movie, Thank Your Lucky Stars, starring Cantor. She soon went to another radio show, Paul Whiteman Presents. During this time, the United States was involved in World War II and Shore became a favorite with the troops. She had hits, including "Blues In the Night", "Jim", "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To", and "I'll Walk Alone", the first of her number-one hits. "Blues In the Night" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.
To support the troops overseas, she participated in USO tours to Europe. She appeared in person, on radio, and on record with a number of British and American stars, including Major Glenn Miller and his large Army Air Force Band. She met George Montgomery, a young actor ready to go into military service. They married on December 3, 1943, shortly before he went into service. When he returned, they settled in San Fernando, California. In 1948, their first child was born, a daughter named Melissa Ann, and they adopted a son in 1954 named John David before moving to Beverly Hills.
Shore continued appearing in radio shows throughout the 1940s, including Bird's Eye-Open House and Ford Radio Show. In early 1946, she moved to a new label, the CBS-owned Columbia Records. At Columbia, Shore enjoyed the greatest commercial success of her recording career, starting with her first Columbia single release, "Shoo Fly Pie And Apple Pan Dowdy", and peaking with the most popular song of 1948, "Buttons and Bows", (with Henri René & Orchestra) which was number one for ten weeks. Other number-one hits at Columbia included "The Gypsy" and "The Anniversary Song".
One of her most popular recordings was the holiday perennial "Baby, It's Cold Outside" with Buddy Clark from 1949. The song was covered by many other artists, such as Ella Fitzgerald. Other hits during her four years at Columbia included "Laughing on the Outside (Crying on the Inside)", "I Wish I Didn't Love You So", "I Love You (For Sentimental Reasons)", "Doin' What Comes Naturally", and "Dear Hearts and Gentle People". She was a regular with Jack Smith on his quarter-hour radio show on CBS. Shore was a musical guest in the films Thank Your Lucky Stars (1943), Follow the Boys (1944), and Till the Clouds Roll By (1946) and had starring roles in Danny Kaye's debut Up in Arms (1944) and Belle of the Yukon (1944). She lent her musical voice to two Disney films: Make Mine Music (1946) and Fun and Fancy Free (1947). Her last starring film role was for Paramount Pictures in Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick (1952).
In 1950, Shore returned to RCA Victor with a deal to record 100 sides for $1,000,000, equal to some $10,000,000 in 2015 money. The hits kept coming, but with less frequency, and were not charting as high as in the '40s. Dinah's biggest hits of this era were "My Heart Cries for You" and "Sweet Violets", both peaking at number three in 1951. Several duets with Tony Martin did well, with "A Penny a Kiss" being the most popular, reaching number eight. "Blue Canary" was a 1953 hit, and her covers of "Changing Partners" and "If I Give My Heart to You" were popular top-20 hits. "Love and Marriage" and "Whatever Lola Wants" were top-20 hits from 1955.
"Chantez, Chantez" was her last top-20 hit, staying on the charts for over 20 weeks in 1957. Shore remained at RCA Victor until 1958, and during that time released albums including Bouquet of Blues, Once in a While, and Vivacious, which were collections of singles with different orchestras and conductors such as Frank DeVol and Hugo Winterhalter. Holding Hands at Midnight a studio album from 1955 and Moments Like These, a studio album from 1958, recorded in stereo, with orchestra under the musical direction of Harry Zimmerman, who performed the same duties on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, were the exceptions.
Recording career after the 1950s
In 1959, Dinah left RCA Victor for Capitol Records. Although she recorded only one minor hit for her new label ("I Ain't Down Yet", which peaked at 102 on Billboard's pop chart in 1960), the collaboration produced four "theme albums" that paired Dinah with arranger Nelson Riddle (Dinah, Yes Indeed!) conductor and accompanist André Previn (Somebody Loves Me and Dinah Sings, Previn Plays), and jazz's Red Norvo (Dinah Sings Some Blues With Red). Her final two Capitol albums were Dinah, Down Home and The Fabulous Hits (Newly Recorded).
Dinah was dropped by Capitol in 1962 and recorded only a handful of albums over the next two decades, including Lower Basin Street Revisited for friend Frank Sinatra's Reprise label in 1965, Songs for Sometime Losers (Project 3, 1967), Country Feelin' (Decca, 1969), Once Upon A Summertime (Stanyan, 1975) and Dinah!, a double LP for Capitol in 1976. She recorded this album at the height of her talk-show fame, and it featured her take on contemporary hits such as "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover", "The Hungry Years", and "Do You Know Where You're Going To (Theme from Mahogany)". Her final studio album was released in 1979, Dinah! Visits Sesame Street, for the Children's Television Workshop.
Shore starred in seven radio series of her own between 1941 and 1954. She made hundreds of guest appearances in shows including an episode of Suspense ("Frankie and Johnny", May 5, 1952).
Early television career
Soon after she arrived in New York in 1937, Shore made her first television appearances on experimental broadcasts for NBC over station W2XBS in New York (now WNBC). Twelve years later, in 1949, she made her commercial television debut on the Ed Wynn Show from Los Angeles over CBS and on Easter Sunday 1950, made a guest appearance on Bob Hope's first network television show on NBC. After guest spots on many television shows, she was given her own program, The Dinah Shore Show on NBC on November 27, 1951. Vic Schoen was her musical director from 1951–54, and also arranged music for her on the Colgate Comedy Hour (1954).
She did two 15-minute shows a week for NBC. She guest-starred on another 15-minute series, The Tony Martin Show starring entertainer Tony Martin, but Martin's short program never acquired the popular success as did Shore's. In 1956, Shore won the first of her many Emmy Awards for the program, which was sponsored by Chevrolet. The sponsor's theme song, "See the USA in Your Chevrolet", became the singer's signature piece.
In 1956, Shore began hosting a monthly series of one-hour, full-color spectaculars as part of NBC's The Chevy Show series. These proved so popular, the show was renamed The Dinah Shore Chevy Show the following season, with Shore becoming the full-time host, helming three of four weeks in the month. Broadcast live and in NBC's famous "Living Color", this variety show was one of the most popular of the 1950s and early 1960s and featured the television debuts of stars of the era, such as Yves Montand and Maureen O'Hara, and featured Dinah in performances alongside Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, and Pearl Bailey. Tennessee Ernie Ford was a featured guest on one show, and she introduced him, tongue-in-cheek, as "Tennessee Ernie CHEVROLET!!" She also appeared as a guest on The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom.
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show ran through the 1960–61 season, after which Chevrolet dropped sponsorship, and Shore hosted a series of monthly broadcasts sponsored by the American Dairy Association and Green Stamps. Simply called "The Dinah Shore Show", Dinah's guests included Nat "King" Cole, Bing Crosby, Jack Lemmon, and a young Barbra Streisand. Over 12 seasons, from 1951 to 1963, Shore made 125 hour-long programs and 444 fifteen-minute shows. She always ended her televised programs by throwing an enthusiastic kiss directly to the cameras (and viewers) and exclaiming "MWAH!" to the audience.
Later television career
From 1970 through 1980, Shore hosted two daytime programs, Dinah's Place (1970–1974) on NBC and Dinah! (later Dinah and Friends) in syndication from 1974 through 1980 and a third cable program from 1989–1992. Dinah's Place, primarily sponsored by Colgate-Palmolive (which later sponsored her women's golf tournament), was a 30-minute Monday-through-Friday program broadcast at 10:00 am (ET) over NBC, her network home since 1939. Shore described this show as a "Do-Show" as opposed to a chat show because she would have her guests demonstrate an unexpected skill, for example, Frank Sinatra sharing his spaghetti sauce recipe, Spiro Agnew playing keyboard accompanying Dinah on "Sophisticated Lady", or Ginger Rogers showing Shore how to throw a clay pot on a potter's wheel.
Although Dinah's Place featured famous guest stars, Shore often grilled lesser-known lifestyle experts on nutrition, exercise, or homemaking. Despite being one of the more popular programs in NBC's morning lineup, this show left the air in 1974 after NBC sent a telegram to Dinah congratulating her on her Emmy win—at the same time informing her the show was being cancelled, because it broke up a "game show programming block". Thus ended the network's 35-year association with Shore. She returned that fall with Dinah!, a syndicated 90-minute daily talk show (also seen in a 60-minute version on some stations) that put the focus on top guest stars and entertainment. This show was seen as competition for Mike Douglas and Merv Griffin, whose shows had been on the air for 10 years when Dinah! debuted. Frequent guests included entertainment figures (Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, and James Stewart), as well as regular contributors including lifestyle guru Dr. Wayne Dyer.
Unexpected rock music performance appearances included Tina Turner, David Bowie, and Iggy Pop. Shore also appeared on the Norman Lear comedy-soap opera Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman in April 1976. On the show, Dinah interviewed country singing character Loretta Haggars (played by Mary Kay Place) and included a controversial comment from Miss Haggars during her appearance on a "Live" airing of Ms. Shore's talk show. Shore had the misfortune of interviewing the comedian Andy Kaufman in his Tony Clifton guise on her show. He took deliberate offense at her questions and eventually tipped a pan of eggs over her head. This program was taped live in front of a studio audience and the "eggs" segment was never aired; it is believed that the offending footage was destroyed. Shore's producers superimposed titles such as "This is a put on" over the footage that was eventually aired, including an uncomfortable duet of "Anything You Can Do", and his solo of "On The Street Where You Live". Shooting was stopped and Kaufman was escorted out of the studio.
Shore, with her Dixie drawl and demure manner, was identified with the South, and guests on her shows often commented on it. She spoofed this image by playing Melody in "Went with the Wind!", the famous Gone with the Wind parody for The Carol Burnett Show. In the summer of 1976, Shore hosted Dinah and her New Best Friends, an eight-week summer replacement series for The Carol Burnett Show which featured a cast of young hopefuls such as Diana Canova and Gary Mule Deer, along with such seasoned guests as Jean Stapleton and Linda Lavin. Shore guest-starred on Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special, calling Pee-wee on his picturephone and singing "The 12 Days of Christmas". Throughout the special, Pee-wee walks past the picturephone, only to hear her going past the original 12 days ("...on the 500th day of Christmas ...")
Shore finished her television career hosting A Conversation with Dinah (1989–1992) on the cable network TNN (The Nashville Network). This half-hour show consisted of one-on-one interviews with celebrities and comedians (such as Bob Hope), former boyfriends (Burt Reynolds in a special one-hour episode) and political figures (President Gerald Ford and his wife, Betty.) In a coup, Shore got former First Lady Nancy Reagan's first post-White House interview. Around this time, she gained a contract as television spokeswoman for Holly Farms chicken. (In the 1980s, Shore sang in Glendale Federal Bank television commercials.) Her last television special, Dinah Comes Home (TNN 1991), brought Shore's career full circle, taking her back to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry, which she first visited some 60 years earlier. Shore won nine Emmys, a Peabody Award, and a Golden Globe.
In her early career, while in New York, Shore was briefly involved with drummer Gene Krupa. After Shore relocated to Hollywood, she became involved with James Stewart and a rumored Las Vegas, Nevada, elopement was aborted en route. Shore's flirtation with General George Patton was commented on when he escorted her for a portion of her tour to entertain the troops in Britain and France during World War II.
Shore was married to actor George Montgomery from 1943 to 1962. She gave birth to daughter Melissa Ann, now known as Melissa Montgomery, in January, 1948. She later adopted her son, John David "Jody" Montgomery. The author of Mr. S, Frank Sinatra's longtime valet George Jacobs, claimed Shore and Sinatra had a long-standing affair in the 1950s. After her divorce from Montgomery, she briefly married Maurice Smith. Romances of the later 1960s involved comedian Dick Martin, singer Eddie Fisher, and actor Rod Taylor.
In the early 1970s, Shore had a long and happy public romance with actor Burt Reynolds, who was 20 years her junior. The relationship gave Shore an updated, sexy image, and took some of the pressure off Reynolds in maintaining his image as a ladies' man. The couple was featured in the tabloids and after the relationship cooled, the tabloids paired Shore with other younger men, including Wayne Rogers, Andy Williams, Iggy Pop, and "Tarzan" actor Ron Ely. In her later years, Shore also dated novelist Sidney Sheldon, Dean Martin, and former New York Governor Hugh Carey.
Shore, who played golf, was a longtime supporter of women's professional golf. In 1972, she helped found the Colgate Dinah Shore Golf Tournament, which in its current identity as the ANA Inspiration remains one of the major golf tournaments on the LPGA Tour. The tournament is held each spring at Mission Hills Country Club, near Shore's former home in Rancho Mirage, California.
Shore was the first female member of the famed Hillcrest Country Club in Los Angeles.
In acknowledgment of her contributions to golf, Shore was elected an honorary member of the LPGA Hall of Fame in 1994. Shore became a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame when it absorbed the LPGA Hall in 1998. She also received the 1993 Old Tom Morris Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, GCSAA's highest honor.
In 1963, she hired mid-century modern architect Donald Wexler to design her home in Palm Springs. The house was sold to actor Leonardo DiCaprio in 2014 for close to $5.5 million.
Death and legacy
In the spring of 1993, Shore was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She died on February 24, 1994, at her home in Beverly Hills, California, five days before her 78th birthday, and was cremated that same day. Some of her ashes were interred in two memorial sites: the Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City, California, and Forest Lawn Cemetery (Cathedral City). Other ashes went to relatives. She was survived by her two children and three grandchildren.
Her daughter, Melissa Montgomery, is the owner of the rights to most of Shore's television series. In March 2003, PBS presented MWAH! The Best of The Dinah Shore Show 1956–1963, an hour-long special of early color videotaped footage of Dinah in duets with guests Ella Fitzgerald, Jack Lemmon, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Pearl Bailey, George Burns, Groucho Marx, Peggy Lee, and Mahalia Jackson. Black-and-white kinescopes, as well as color videotapes of The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, are frequently aired on Jewish Life Television.
In both Cathedral City and Rancho Mirage, California, streets are named after her. Her birthplace of Winchester, Tennessee, has Dinah Shore Boulevard.
In 1991, Shore was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. In 1996, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars was dedicated to her.
The Club Skirts Dinah Shore Weekend is named after her. Popularly known as "The Dinah", it is a five-day weekend getaway and music festival catering to the lesbian community that takes place annually in Palm Springs, California. It is considered the largest lesbian event in the United States and the world.