Happy Birthday, Michelle!
(above) Michelle’s solo pose during The Golddiggers’ Railroad Car photo shoot, 1970
Over the years, The Dean Martin Show has given rise to several different groups of lovely female singers and dancers. But one of those wonderful, talented ladies has the distinction of having served in more of those groups than any other.
In addition to her stints as one of the most outstanding, recognizable, and best-remembered members of both The Golddiggers and The Dingaling Sisters, Michelle DellaFave was also frequently tapped to harmonize with the Jack Halloran-led choir that provided background vocals for Dean’s series; she was recruited by Dean’s longtime Producer/Director, Greg Garrison, to join Lonette McKee in the Soul Sisters duo that performed weekly during the first season of the syndicated Wacky World of Jonathan Winters; and she even teamed with another colleague and friend from The Dingaling Sisters, Lindsay Bloom, to entertain American veterans, active-duty service members, and civilians in the first new group to be spun off from The Golds or Dings in over three decades, Blue Eyed Soul.
(above) portrait shot for the initial Dingaling Sisters group, 1970
(above) Michelle (center) stands shoulder-to-shoulder with 1971-72 Dingaling Sisters colleagues, and still close friends, Taffy Jones (left) and Tara Leigh (right)
(above) Michelle in s still from The Dingaling’s performance of “On The Good Ship Lollipop” on the 3/16/72 episode of The Dean Martin Show.
(above) Michelle (second from left) in 1972 with her sister Dingalings, and still very good friends, Helen Funai (left), Lindsay Bloom (third from left), and Jayne Kennedy (right)
(above) longtime friend and colleague Lonette McKee (left), with whom Michelle (right) performed as duo The Soul Sisters on The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters, 1972.
(above) Michelle (right) backstage with fellow performer and close pal Lindsay Bloom (left), before one of their Blue Eyed Soul concerts for Vets in 2008.
Beyond singing and dancing, Michelle has appeared in numerous theatrical productions, and thanks to her 5’9″ frame and sleek, high-fashion beauty, she’s also enjoyed an active second career in modeling.
With the latter aspect of her work not as familiar to her friends and fans as her musical endeavors, we thought we’d use the occasion of Michelle’s birthday today to honor her by presenting a tableau of rarely- or never-before-seen images that showcase some of the multiple facets of her craft.
(above) That fresh-faced, clean, Cover Girl look (circa mid-1970s)
(above) The Parisian look (circa late 1970s)
(above) The Meredith MacRae look (circa early ’70s)
(above) The Vogue look (circa mid-’70s)
(above) The Olivia Newton-John “Let’s Get Physical” look! (circa late ’70s-early ’80s)
(above) The classic beauty look (timeless)
As is evident from the shots on display, Michelle has a quality that photographers covet in a model — the ability to affect a variety of looks. Yet no matter her style or expression, what consistently comes through is a warmth and an accessibility that her friends and fans alike know are matched by an inner core of goodness, decency, kindheartedness and love. And, you can be sure, that’s no pose.
(above) The contemporary look (2009)
Michelle, on behalf of everyone at Dean, Golds and Dings and The Golddiggers Super Site, we wish you a Happy, Healthy Birthday, and Many, Many More.
To see more of Michelle, check out her Facebook fan page:
And to keep up on a regular basis with Michelle and other alumnae of The Golddiggers and Dingaling Sisters, join them and their fans on our Dean, Golds and Dings Facebook page: