Wednesday, August 18, 2010


By Steve Crum

This NBC-Radio gag publicity photo features EDDIE CANTOR with his protege and singer DINAH SHORE. Evidently, as they would have us believe, the piano keyboard cover has been slammed on Eddie's hands as Dinah feigns shock mixed with amusement. Probably photographed between 1940 and 1943, when Dinah was the female singer on Cantor's weekly "Time to Smile" radio show, it is a unique posing to say the least. Cantor had "discovered" Shore on NBC-radio's "The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street," and then signed her to his program. Stage techniques Cantor then taught her on his show were carried on by Shore for the rest of her long career. [from Steve Crum's show biz memorabilia collection]
"The Apostle of Pep" and "Banjo Eyes" were two nicknames given to EDDIE CANTOR, and which he embraced, during a career that enveloped vaudeville, Broadway, radio, records, motion pictures and TV. Cantor, born Edward Israel Iskowitz [Jan. 31, 1892-Oct. 10, 1964], was a dean of show business, talented as a comedian, singer, dancer, actor, composer, and author. He is considered a close runner-up to Al Jolson as one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Cantor was a sensation in radio (#1 in ratings), Broadway (#1 attraction of the Ziegfeld Follies), and movies (#1 box office in Samuel Goldwyn musicals like Whoopee!). He was also an outspoken political progressive, which at one time cost him a radio program.
DINAH SHORE, born Frances Rose Shore in Tennessee [Feb. 29, 1916-Feb. 24, 1994], was a singing star (80 charted pop hits, 1940's-1950's), television star (Chevy Shows, 1951-63; daytime talk shows, 1970-80), and successful promoter of women's professional golf, via her Colgate Dinah Shore Golf Tournament (now called the Kraft Nabisco Championships). Despite an early childhood polio affliction, she became one of golf's best players.

Some of Dinah's biggest hits were Blues in the Night, I'll Walk Alone, The Last time I Saw Paris, and You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To. Her weekly singing of her sponsor's signature song, See the USA in Your Chevrolet (followed by her pronounced, thrown kiss to the audience) is probably better remembered than her commercial recordings. She also appeared in several movies, including Up in Arms (1944) with Danny Kaye.

Before and after her celebrated marriage to B-western cowboy star George Montgomery (1943-62), Dinah Shore was linked with Gene Krupa, James Stewart, Gen. George Patton (!), Frank Sinatra, Dick Martin, Eddie Fisher, Rod Taylor, Andy Williams, Ron Ely, Wayne Rogers, and Dean Martin. The most famous, and most public, of her relationships was with Burt Reynolds.

Dinah Shore won nine Emmy Awards, a Peabody, and a Golden Globe for her television work.
"See the USA in your Chevrolet..." Here, let DINAH SHORE sing it:

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