February 29, 1916 - February 24, 1994
Dinah Shore (born Frances Rose Shore) was an American singer, actress and television personality with Russian-Jewish roots. She became popular as a singer the Big Band era of the 1940s and 1950s, and achieved even greater success a decade later in television.
Dinah Shore – to success, no matter what
Frances Rose was born in Winchester, Tennessee, to the family of Solomon and Anna (née Stein) Shore. Her mother came from the family of Russian Jews who immigrated to the United States in the end of the XIX century, with one of the first wave of Jewish immigration from the former Russian empire.
When Rose was two years old, she was stricken with polio, a disease for which treatment at the time was limited to bed rest. But her parents provided intensive care for her, and she managed to almost completely recover, with the only lasting effect being her deformed foot and limp, which, fortunately, did not physically impede her.
As a small child, she loved to sing and was encouraged to do so by her mother, an operatic contralto. Her father would often take her to his store where she would perform impromptu songs for his customers. After graduating from high school, Shore decided to seriously pursue a career in singing, so she went to New York City to audition for orchestras and radio stations.
In many of her auditions, she sang the popular song "Dinah." When a disc jockey could not remember her name, he called her the "Dinah girl," and the name stuck, becoming her stage name.
After a string of unsuccessful auditions and dismissals, Shore was hired as a vocalist at radio station WNEW, where she sang with the famous Frank Sinatra. Success swiftly followed, and in 1940 she signed a recording contract with RCA Victor Records. The same year she became a featured vocalist on the NBC Radio program The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street. Thanks to Shore, the program became so popular that it was moved from 4:30 Sunday afternoon to a 9:00 Monday night time slot.
In 1943 Shore already had her first radio show, Call to Music, and appeared in her first movie, Thank Your Lucky Stars!
With the breakout of World War II, Shore became a favorite with the troops with her hits "Blues In the Night", "Jim", "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To", and "I'll Walk Alone". She also participated in USO tours to Europe. where 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 and had a daughter named Melissa Ann.
Later, she would have many romances with movie stars, television personalities and other celebrities, but none of them would reach the intensity of the true wartime romance with Montgomery...
In 1950, Shore signed a deal with RCA to record 100 sides for $1,000,000, an amazing sum for the time (around $10 mln nowadays).
In 1956, Shore won the first of her many Emmy Awards for a television program, sponsored by Chevrolet. The sponsor's theme song ("See the U.S.A. in Your Chevrolet") soon became the singer's signature piece. Later, thanks to the automaker's sponsorship, she was also able to create another television show - The Dinah Shore Chevy Show. This was followed by a string of successful TV programs throughout the 60s and 70s.
Shore, who played golf, was a longtime supporter of women's professional golf. In 1972, she helped found the Colgate Dinah Shore golf tournament, now - Kraft Nabisco Championship, one of the major golf tournaments on the LPGA Tour.
Dinah Shore died of cancer on at her home in Beverly Hills, California, just five days before her 78th birthday.
Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary Completing the ..., Volume 5
By Susan Ware
Gilliland, John (1994). Pop Chronicles the 40s: The Lively Story of Pop Music in the 40s
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