Sunday, February 24, 2013

February 24: Dinah Shore died on this date in 1994...

... she was 77-years-old when she passed away.

Frances Rose Shore was born in Winchester, Tennessee on February 29, 1916. When she was two years old, she was stricken with polio, a disease that was not preventable at the time, and for which treatment was limited to bed rest. She recovered but had a deformed foot and limp, which did not physically impede her.

At 14, Shore debuted as a torch singer at a Nashville night club only to find her parents sitting ringside, having been tipped off to their daughter's performance ahead of time. They allowed her to finish, but put her professional career on hold.

She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1938 with a degree in sociology. She also visited the Grand Ole Opry and made her radio debut on Nashville's WSM (AM) radio station in these years. Shore decided to return to pursuing her career in singing, so she went 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.

Shore 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.

She reached the height of her popularity as a recording artist during the Big Band era of the 1940s and 1950s, but achieved even greater success a decade later, in television, mainly as hostess of a series of variety programs for Chevrolet.

After failing singing auditions for the bands of Benny Goodman and both Jimmy Dorsey and his brother 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, lasting from 1940 into the late 1950s.

After appearing in a handful of films went on to a four-decade career in American television, starring in her own music and variety shows in the 1950s/60s and hosting two talk shows in the 1970s. From 1970 through 1980, Shore hosted 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.

TV Guide magazine ranked her at #16 on their list of the top fifty television stars of all time.

In the early 1970s, Shore had a long and happy public romance with actor Burt Reynolds, who was 20 years her junior.

She died from ovarian cancer on February 24, 1994, in her home in Beverly Hills, California, five days before her 78th birthday.

For more about Dinah, visit her fan club Website at -


No comments: