Posts tagged ‘The Dean Martin Show’

Thanks, and Happy Birthday, to Tara

On this Thanksgiving Day, we have much for which to be thankful — including all of the joy brought to us by our latest birthday honoree: a beautiful and familiar face from The Golddiggers, The Dingaling Sisters, and the regular cast of The Dean Martin Show.

So, from all of us at Dean, Golds and Dings and The Golddiggers Super Site, and  with a big birthday hug and kiss from Dean up above, we want to wish our own Tara Leigh a very Happy, Healthy Birthday, and Many, Many More.

November 22, 2012 at 9:53 am 5 comments

Dorothy McGuire & Her Sisters

R.I.P. Dotty McGuire, middle sibling of The McGuire Sisters (that’s her on the far right above), who has passed away, quietly in her sleep, according to reports. She was 84. Survivors include sisters Christine, 86 (far left) and Phyllis, 81 (right of Dean). The above still is from The McGuire Sisters’ first appearance on The Dean Martin Show, originally broadcast on January 20, 1966.

September 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm Leave a comment

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:

June 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm 9 comments

Golds, Dings…and Vets — Then and Now

As a sidebar to The Golddiggers Super Site‘s feature story this Veterans Day Weekend, covering the most recent efforts on behalf of Vets by Dean Martin Show grads Michelle DellaFave and Lindsay Bloom, we at Dean, Golds and Dings herewith present a gallery of additional, related images — including:

• Historic photos from the 1971 USMA Yearbook documenting performances at West Point just before Christmas 1970 by The Golddiggers and The Dingaling Sisters, as part of Bob Hope’s USO Tour

• Shots of Golddiggers and Dingaling Sisters alumnae appearing at a number of much more recent Veterans-related events…

The Golddiggers at West Point, Christmas 1970

(above, l. to r.) Janice Whitby, Paula Cinko, Francie Mendenhall; Rosetta Cox, Jackie Chidsey, Liz Kelley
(below, l. to r.) Janice Whitby, Paula Cinko, Francie Mendenhall

(above, l. to r.) Janice Whitby (background); Rosetta Cox, Jackie Chidsey, Liz Kelley (foreground)
(below) The Golds gather around host Bob Hope


The Dingaling Sisters at West Point, Christmas 1970

(above, l. to r.) Tara Leigh, Susan Lund, Wanda Bailey, Michelle DellaFave

Bob Hope Leads His Troupe in The Traditional “Silent Night” Close of His Christmas Show, at West Point, Christmas 1970

(above, l. to r.) Rosetta Cox, Janice Whitby, Patricia Mickey, Johnny Bench, Jackie Chidsey, Francie Mendenhall, Major General William A. Knowlton (Superintendent of West Point), Bobbi Martin, Bob Hope, Gloria Loring, Lola Falana, Susie Lund, Tara Leigh, Michelle DellaFave, Wanda Bailey

Springfield, Illinois — July 2007

(above, l. to r.) Susan Lund, Michelle DellaFave, and Wanda Bailey display the medals they received from the Vietnam Veterans of America after their concert for the organization’s 2007 national convention — the first performance by any set of Dingaling Sisters in over three decades.

Washington, DC — Veterans Day Weekend, 2007

In conjunction with ceremonies commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, Michelle DellaFave scores a hat trick, first performing with her alma mater ensemble, The Golddiggers, including Jackie Chidsey (above left) and Nancy Reichert (above right), in the largest on-stage gathering of the group since the early ’70s…
…then joining Dingaling Sisters Susie Lund (above left) and Wanda Bailey (above right) for an encore of “Do The Funky Chicken”…
…and finally, teaming with another onetime Dingaling Sister and good friend, Lindsay Bloom (above right), to unveil the premiere of the first new group to be spun off from either The Golddiggers or Dingaling Sisters in 37 years, Blue Eyed Soul.

Michelle DellaFave at The 40th Reunion of The West Point Class of ’71

At the invitation of the class’ Frank Durrum (above right), Michelle performed for an enthusiastic audience of over 400 USMA graduates and their families. And both before and after the concert, she was graciously escorted by another member of the ’71 class, Chris Clarke (below left).


Washington, DC — Veterans Day 2011

(above) Lindsay joins Marine Vets for a round of Veterans Day events.

Somewhere There’s A Someone…

In some ways it was improbable, but perhaps in others, it was inevitable, that at some point during the course of their cross-country travels entertaining and doing other good works for both Veterans and active-duty U.S. military personnel, Michelle and Lindsay would run into a soldier named…You guessed it — DEAN MARTIN!! And indeed, there he is above, happily sandwiched between the two Dings. Add another pair and we’re ready for a medley.

For those who’d like to, but haven’t yet had a chance, to see the original Golddiggers Super Site article on Michelle and Lindsay’s latest efforts on behalf of America’s Veterans, here’s a link to the piece:

Michelle and Lindsay’s Labor of Love for The Vets

And to stay up-to-date on all that’s happening with Michelle, Lindsay, The Golds, The Dings, and of course, Dean Martin, why not click the LIKE button atop our Facebook page and then either take part in the conversation or just sit back and enjoy it:

November 13, 2011 at 7:15 pm 3 comments

A Birthday Treat for The World’s Number One Dean Martin Fan

She’s been a devotee of Dean Martin since before she started grade school. Over a decade ago, long before the current Dean Martin renaissance, she launched the very first online chat group dedicated to Dean (and we’re happy to note that the spirit, soul and much of the membership of Dinopallies live on today right here at Dean, Golds and Dings). And of course, she’s beloved by her family and many friends as one of the sweetest, nicest, wittiest, and most caring people that any of us has ever known.

So how does one think up something special for a birthday salute to our wonderful Kimmy, who, when it comes to Dean, has just about heard and seen it all?

Well, in this instance, at least, we tried to find an obscure but entertaining DM artifact that Kimmy — as well as the rest of us — might never have come across, and what we dug up is a rare gem that will hopefully both surprise and delight one and all (if not, you can always ask the owner of this site for a refund).

Now, we all know that on his series, Dean was famous for not doing retakes. And yet, we’ve discovered TWO different versions of a medley that he performed with one of his favorite singing partners, Petula Clark, on the 9/28/67 episode of his show: One is the rendition from the program that was broadcast; the other appears as a previously-unreleased cut on Petula’s now-out-of-print 2007 CD, Petula Clark Duets.

And they are definitely not the same, with one of the most obvious differences audible in Dean’s singing both the first and second verses of “Until The Real Thing Comes Along” on the CD version, whereas on the version that went out on the air, Petula sang the first verse and Dean did only the second.

CUDDLE UP A LITTLE CLOSER: (above) Dean and Petula Clark bond over their “Love” medley on the 9/28/67 edition of The Dean Martin Show

So what’s the story behind this alternate take? Plainly, it wasn’t from a rehearsal, since, as is apparent at the end of the track, it was performed in front of a live audience. Anyway, since when did Dean ever rehearse?!!!

Well, if anyone out there can shed some light on this mystery, it would be most welcomed. In the meantime, Kimmy, with the hope that you haven’t already heard it, we present you with this alternate recording of the 1967 Dean & Petula “Love” medley, accompanied by a lower-quality, but still readily recognizable, copy from the original telecast, so that you and everyone else can compare the two (but hurry, because they’ll only remain posted for about a week). The individual songs that made up the medley are: “I’m In Love Again,” “Until The Real Thing Comes Along,” “If This Isn’t Love,” “True Love” and “Love, Love, Love.”

And with the theme of that medley being love, it’s one that’s most appropriate for the occasion, because, Kimmy, you’re truly loved by all of your pallies here at Dean, Golds and Dings.

Have a Happy, Healthy Birthday, and Many, Many More.


October 24, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Dean and Dutch

During his two terms as Governor of California, former actor Ronald “Dutch” Reagan (it was his dad who first gave him the nickname “Dutch”) continued to ply the on-camera skills that made him a star in Hollywood, frequently guesting on popular programs of the day, as when he emerged from The Dean Martin Show’s famous “Closet”, accompanied by a construction crew (above), to announce plans to pave a highway that would run straight down the middle of the set of Dean’s program, because, as he joked, “Everyone knows I’m a middle-of-the-road Republican!”

Shortly after the end of his second term as Governor, Reagan appeared again on Dean’s show (by now, during the 1973-74 season, renamed The Dean Martin Comedy Hour), this time joined by wife Nancy (above) for an informal chat that hinted at his intention to seek higher office in the near future.

A major article in the October 30, 1970 issue of Life Magazine, coming out just days before he’d win a landslide in his bid for re-election as Governor over his Democratic opponent, then-California State Assembly Speaker Jesse Unruh, dubbed Ronald Reagan, in the article’s title, “The hottest candidate in either party.” As shown in the photo above that accompanied that piece, he certainly knew how to pack the heat when it came to celebrity endorsements, flanked by the likes of Bob Hope and John Wayne on his right and Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra on the left.
That article in Life also attests to the fact that both Dean and Frank crossed party lines to support their friend Ronnie — as noted in the page from Life reproduced below, both were actually registered Democrats.

The election of 1970 wasn’t the last time that Dean and Frank would stand up for Ronald Reagan — they both endorsed him when he ran for President in 1980 and ’84 and spoke highly of him while he was in office — but it was the first. Four years earlier, when The Gipper initially sought the governorship, the two main pillars of the Rat Pack backed the Democrat in the race, incumbent Pat Brown, as the following audio excerpt from a 1966 fundraiser for Brown avers, with Dean starting off with a little stand-up, before launching into a smooth rendition of his trademark theme song. Enjoy:

Dean Martin Goes To Bat As A Democrat

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February 22, 2011 at 8:49 am

It’s Beginning To Look Like…

…the first Tuesday in November…and the 25th of December, too.

So, to help ease you into the perfect late fall/early winter mood, why not participate in our pair of palpably pleasurable new polls:



By the way, if you’d like to kick back in front of the tree, sip an eggnog and chat about your choices, you’re welcome to do so in our Pallies Lounge. Just click here.

October 13, 2010 at 7:35 am

Happy Birthday, Deana Martin!

(above) Little Deana with her proud Papa.

Father and daughter at a recording session, August 1966.

Deana at the 51st annual Grammy Awards in February 2009, where she accepted a Grammy Lifetime Achievement statuette on behalf of her Dad for his lasting contributions to the music industry.

At the same Grammy ceremony with husband John Griffeth.

For more of Deana, visit her website at

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August 20, 2010 at 7:54 am

Who’s Who

To help kick off our new site, we wanted to put names to the faces of as many of the ladies as we could identify in the images displayed on our Home page. While that objective posed no problem with respect to the members of The Golddiggers and The Dingaling Sisters depicted, the challenge loomed larger when it came to the women known as Dean’s Girls. But if any of our readers can assist in filling in some of the blanks, we would more than welcome their contributions.

Dean’s Girls

Even before The Golddiggers and The Dingaling Sisters became household names, The Dean Martin Show, from its very beginnings, had a sizable and salient on-screen distaff contingent — known among the show’s personnel as Dean’s Girls — to keep their debonair host company each week.

The only gal we can place in this scene from the episode of The Dean Martin Show that originally aired on April 21, 1966 is Larri Thomas, a staple of the series’ first three seasons, who’s just barely visible in the upper right-hand corner of the screen capture above. Because we hate to see such a pretty face obscured, we’ve posted another still from the same sequence below, portraying Larri from a more advantageous angle.


There are at least a few more readily recognizable faces in this group shot circa 1968, with Kate Kahn seen third from the left of the gals seated on the bench, and two longtime members of Jack Halloran’s choir, Melissa Stafford and Diana Lee, standing in the back row, second and third from the left, respectively.

As Dean savors a two-sided buss on the cheeks during this closing segment of his show from the 1969-70 season, we’re not certain who’s doing the smooching on the left, but on the right, that’s definitely Diane Davis.

Though mistakenly identified elsewhere on the Internet as members of The Golddiggers, the phalanx of mini-skirted females behind Dean in the picture above actually comprised a set of freelance performers hired to play faux orchestra members in two numbers with Dean — “Sittin’ On Top Of The World” and “There’s A Rainbow ‘Round My Shoulder” — shown on different episodes of the ninth and final season of the series (1973-74), when it was retitled The Dean Martin Comedy Hour.

The Golddiggers

Moving now into much more familiar territory, we can provide definitive I.D.s for the remainder of our Home page homegirls, starting with the gals whose collective moniker became synonymous with youthful beauty and glamour from 1968 onward.

From the 1969-1970 Golddiggers, left to right: (front row) Nancy Bonetti, Patricia Mickey, Susan Lund, Debi McFarland; (second row) Suzy Cadham, Rosetta Cox, Peggy Hansen, Sheila Mann; (top row) Barbara Sanders, Sheryl Ullman, Paula Cinko, Michelle DellaFave, Jackie Chidsey.

The 1970 Golddiggers, who headlined the summer smash hit Dean Martin Presents The Golddiggers In London, and later returned to the States to become the regular singer-dancers on the 6th season (1970-71) of Dean’s series: left to right: (bottom row) Pat Mickey, Susie Lund, Wanda Bailey; (second row) Tara Leigh, Rosie Cox, Micki McGlone, Pauline Antony; (top row) Jackie Chidsey, Paula Cinko, Michelle DellaFave.

The 1971-72 Golddiggers, who had their own weekly half-hour showcase on the syndicated series Chevrolet Presents The Golddiggers: left to right: (front row) Liz Kelley, Susie Lund, Janice Whitby, Nancy Reichert; (back row) Jimmi Cannon, Jackie Chidsey, Lee Crawford, Francie Mendenhall, Tanya DellaFave.

The Dingaling Sisters

The first iteration of this quartet was spun off from the larger group of Golddiggers and debuted during the 1970-71 season of Dean’s series, appearing only on an occasional basis and performing more rock- and soul-driven songs than the bigger ensemble from which they were drawn. When The Golddiggers embarked on their own syndicated series in the fall of 1971, a revamped lineup of Dingalings succeeded them as Dean’s weekly song-and-dance partners for the next two years of his program.

The first set of Dinagling Sisters, from 1970-71: left to right: (bottom row) Susan Lund, Wanda Bailey; (top row) Michelle DellaFave, Tara Leigh.

The Dings who fronted the famous “Don’t Touch Your Dial” opening of The Dean Martin Show’s 7th year on the air, and appeared with the star week in and week out during that 1971-72 season: (clockwise from bottom) Tara Leigh, Taffy Jones, Michelle DellaFave, Lynne Latham.

The final four Dingaling Sisters, who made up the second set featured during the 1972-73 season of Dean’s series: (left to right) Lindsay Bloom, Jayne Kennedy, Michelle DellaFave, Helen Funai.

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April 23, 2010 at 9:08 pm

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