popular radio and television performer for over 40 years, Dinah
Shore was known for the warmth of her personality and for her sincere,
unaffected stage presence. Television favored her natural, relaxed
style, and like Perry Como, to whom she was often compared, Shore
was one of the medium's first popular singing stars. Even though
by her own admission, Dinah Shore did not have a great voice, she
put it to good advantage by enunciating lyrics clearly and singing
the melody without distracting ornamentation. The result was the
very definition of "easy listening."
the time Dinah Shore first appeared on television, she was already
very well-known as a big band singer and radio performer. In 1952,
she was chosen most popular female vocalist by a Gallup poll. She
was also appearing in the best night clubs, making motion pictures,
and selling approximately two million phonograph records per year.
Miss Shore's subsequent two decades of television work merely enhanced
her already remarkable career.
Shore first appeared on television in 1951 when she began a twice
a week program over NBC. This fifteen minute show was broadcast
on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7:30 P.M. Jack Gould, The New
York Times radio and television critic enthused about the program:
"Last week on her initial appearance, she was the picture of naturalness
and conducted her show with a disarming combination of authority
fifteen minute program was produced by Alan Handley, who made a
special effort to make the musical production numbers interesting.
The imaginative backdrops he provided for Shore's songs were inspired
by travel posters, New Yorker cartoons, history, literary
classics, and Hollywood. Handley often checked department store
window displays and went to the theater to get ideas for these numbers.
On one occasion, he used a Georgia O'Keefe painting of a bleached
cattle skull as a backdrop for a song called "Cow Cow Boogie." On
another occasion, he made a living Calder mobile out of his vocal
quintet "The Notables" by suspending them from the ceiling of the
In 1956, Dinah Shore began a one hour program on NBC, The Dinah
Shore Chevy Show. The program was extremely popular, and its
theme song "See the USA in your Chevrolet . . . ," always ending
with Shore's famous farewell kiss to the television audience, remain
television icons. The high production values of her 15-minute program
continued on the 60-minute show. The lineup usually contained two
or three guests drawn from the worlds of music, sports, and movies.
Shore was able to make almost any performer feel comfortable and
could bring together such unlikely pairings as Frank Sinatra and
baseball star Dizzy Dean.
Dinah Shore Chevy Show was produced in Burbank, California by
Bob Banner who also directed each episode. The choreographer was
Tony Charmoli who occasionally danced on camera. Often the production
numbers took advantage of special visual effects. For "76 Trombones,"
Banner used prisms mounted in front of the television cameras to
turn 12 musicians into several dozen. The number was so popular
that it was repeated on two subsequent occasions. For "Flim Flam
Floo," Banner used the chromakey so that objects appeared and disappeared,
and actors floated through the air without the aid of wires. In
his review of the opening show of 1959, Jack Gould called the program
"a spirited and tuneful affair." Miss Shore, he wrote "sang with
the warmth and infectious style that are so distinctly her own,"
and he judged that she "continues to be the best dressed woman in
Shore's musical variety program went off the air in May 1963. After
that time, she appeared in a number of specials and later did a
series of interview shows in the 1970's including Dinah!, Dinah
and Friends, Dinah and Her New Best Friends, and Dinah's Place.
Throughout her career, Dinah Shore remained one of the great ladies
of the entertainment world.
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show
DINAH SHORE SHOW
The Skylarks, quintet (1955-1957)
Ticker Freeman, Piano
TheVic Schoen Orchestra (1951-1954)
The Harry Zimmerman Orchestra (1954-1957)
November 1951-July 1957
& Thursday 7:30-7:45
DINAH SHORE CHEVY SHOW
The Skylarks, quintet (1956-1957)
The Even Dozen (1961-1962)
The Tony Charmoli Dancers (1957-1962)
The Nick Castle Dancers (1962-1963)
Harry Zimmerman Orchestra (1957-1961, 1962-1963)
Frank DeVol and His Orchestral (1961-1962)
October 1956-June 1957
Friday 10:00-11:00 October 1957-June 1961
Sunday 9:00-10:00 October 1961-June 1962
Friday 9:30-10:30 December 1962-May 1963
"Dinah Shore's TV Art." Look (New York), 15 December 1953.
G. "Dinah Shore." Look (New York), 6 December 1960.