Dinah Shore began her career in 1937 when she performed on WSM in her home state of Nashville, Tennessee. She didn’t stay in her native south for long. In 1938 she made the move to New York City where she could be heard singing on Martin Block’s show on WNEW.
This small town girl became nationally known when she sang with Ben Bernie on CBS in 1939 and was given her own 15-minute show on the Blue Network. In 1940, Dinah was the first to perform on the show Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street. She also sang for Eddie Cantor on his show.
Her songs My Darling Daughter and Blues in the Night launched her into stardom. She was a major recording artist selling hundreds of thousands of records. In 1941 she was given another 15-minute show, Songs by Dinah Shore. In 1942, she had another show titled In Person, Dinah Shore.
At this time, she made the transition into acting. She moved to Hollywood, but kept doing her radio show and continued to appear with Eddie Cantor whose show had also moved to California.
Bristol Myers sponsored her show in Hollywood but the plugs she was asked to give for a laxative and a deodorant annoyed Dinah. She didn’t feel that the products were feminine. Still she stayed with the show for a year and a half.
When that series ended, it wasn’t long before she featured in a further series sponsored by Birdseye Foods, and later by Ford Motors and Phillip Morris. They all followed the same format of a little bit of talk and a spotlight on Dinah Shore’s amazing vocals.
Her final radio show was a short series on NBC that was sponsored by Pabst Beer. It only aired for about 5 months before Dinah went back to performing with Eddie Cantor on his show. By the end of the 1940s, her radio career was over as she transitioned to TV and films.
Dinah Shore continued to be a major star on film and television. She was also known for her support of women’s professional golf and was made an honorary member of the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1994.
That same year, at the age of 77, Dinah Shore passed away from ovarian cancer. But she can still be seen occasionally on PBS when her shows are rerun. In 1998 an album was also released featuring some of her most famous recordings.