Dinah Shore had her birth name originally as Frances Rose Shore. Dinah was given the name because of her song called Dinah. She was a legendary actor who is famous for singing some of the best tracks in the 1940s and the 50s. She is also known for her gigs on radio shows and television shows during her time. Dinah was a great vocalist and a charming television personality and was loved by the army as well. Dinah was born on February 29, 1916, in Winchester, Tennessee to Anna and Solomon Shore. It is said that her parents were Russian immigrants, living in the States.
It is also believed that Dinah battled with Polio disorder, but her rigorous exercise routine helped her fight the battle. She studied in Tennessee and graduated from Vanderbilt University majoring in Sociology and then moved to NYC as she wanted to pursue her career in music. Her first attempt was working for Nashville Radio Station, where she had her first show. She worked for no money but her sheer interest in the field. Coming to NYC, Shore was offered another job at the WNEW, which involved singing. She then filled in for actors whenever she got the opportunity. This was in 1938 when she started working as a professional.
She had the chance to work and sing along with some of the famous artists like Frank Sinatra. During that time, Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, all were Shore’s opponents trying to make it big in the industry and America. They were all part of reputed bands, and Shore was not taken in by any famous bands/orchestra. After several rejections by Woody Herman and Benny Goodman, Shore got to sing with Xavier Cugat’s orchestra in 1939. Shore then started giving street performances under the banner Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin. Her talent was recognized here, and she was signed by Eddie Cantor for his radio shows.
Being on this radio show, Shore experimented, and she adapted Yiddish Folksong (since she was Jewish) called Yes, My Darling Daughter and performed it on her show. This became her maiden billing record of the many to come. In 1941, her song ‘Blues in the Night’ became a huge success as well. Being on the show had a great learning experience with Eddie, she recalls. In 1943, she had her show called ‘Call To Music’. It was the time of Second World War and Shore’s tracks were a raging hit among the forces and she reached her peak of popularity. Blues in the Night song had sold a whopping million copies during that time.
Her other famous songs include I’ll Walk Alone, Jim, You’d be so Nice to Come Home To, among others. RIAA awarded her with a Gold Disc for her achievement. She performed for the troops going along with them and gained a huge fan following that way. Shore is believed to be romantically involved with some of the famous personalities of her time but in 1943, she married actor George Montgomery, who was serving the nation. She cherished her time spent with the troops while performing for them and had high regards for them. The 1940's was the most productive year for Shore, as she was seen appearing on Birds Eye-Open Show and Ford sponsored radio shows.
In 1946, a big turn in her singing career came about when she was signed by Columbia Record Company. She was given Shoe-fly-pie and Apple Pan Dowdy to sing as part of the deal and as funny as it sounded to her, the song became a sensational hit in the country. Around 40,000 copies were sold, with a big three million sellers across the globe. This southern singer and entertainer also recorded big hits following her first success with Columbia namely, The Gypsy, Doin What Comin Natur’lly, and Sentimental Reasons. The zenith of her career was identified, and Billboard gave her the title Top Female Vocalist in 1946.
She also sang duets with Buddy Clark singing Baby Its Cold Outside. She also appeared briefly on radio shows with Jack Smith from time to time. Shore’s film career began with Thank Your Lucky Stars in 1943, and she can be seen playing herself. The next year she was seen in movies like ‘Follow’, The Boys and also in Belle of the Yukon. Director Danny Kaye’s first film Up in Arms also had Shore featuring in it, and she is seen performing songs like Now I Know and Tess’s Torch Song. She was also cast in Jerome Kern’s biopic Till the Clouds Roll By. But her best-appreciated performance was in the movie Punkin Crick which was a movie by Aaron Slick and was released in 1951 however; the music in this movie was not well appreciated or liked by her.
She has given voice over to some Disney cartoon movies Make Mine Music and Fun and Fancy-Free. In 1959, Dinah exited from RCA Victor association and joined hands with Capitol Records. Though the association with Capitol Records did not earn her major success, she completed several albums during her contract with them. She worked with Andre Piven and Nelson Riddle and gave out albums like Dinah, Down Home, and others. Dinah’s presence on the television was repeatedly seen and critics appreciated her screen presence and the charm she brought to it. This was testimonial when Shore won ten Emmy Awards and a dozen other awards.
Her husband George was uncomfortable with the growing success of wife Dinah, which caused major rifts in the marriage. Together they had a child Melissa and later adopted son John David. It is said that she took a break and wanted to dedicate herself to her family and made a comeback after five years on the small screen. While shooting her show Dinah’s Place she met
and it was said that the two were romantically involved. Shore remained active during the 70s. She acted in movies like Oh God in 1977, and the movie Health in 1980/1979.
She was only seen in a cameo, and then she stuck to television show Conversation with Dinah, which she hosted from 1989 to 1991. Shore was very popular among the ladies as well. She worked for Women’s Association and is considered an idol by many. She played golf and strived for women’s freedom and welfare. According to Gallup Poll, she was the most admired women during her time and this poll result was repeated four times due to her popularity. Her anthem See the USA in your Chevrolet in her The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, was quite catchy and widespread.
Shore passed away on February 24th, 1994 due to ovarian cancer. Her shows and records are owned by her daughter now who manages her mother’s artifacts.