Little Bits of History

At the Shore

Posted in History by patriciahysell on February 28, 2014
Dinah Shore

Dinah Shore

February 29, 1916: Frances Rose Shore is born. People born on Leap Day are sometimes referred to as a leapling or a leap year baby. Each non-leap year, they may celebrate their birthday on either February 28 or March 1. Some people only celebrate their birthday every fourth year when the actual date reappears. Most of the time, this doesn’t really matter. However, government entities have taken the time to officially sanction when someone born on February 29 can legally claim a certain age (this is usually associated with some landmark issue such as one is legally an adult or legally able to participate in certain behaviors). Some countries have stipulated February 28 while other have mandated March 1 as the date to celebrate. Two women, one in the US and one in Norway, gave birth on Leap Day three different times.

Frances was born to Russian immigrants in Winchester, Tennessee. When she was two, she was struck with polio which was not preventable at the time and had no real cure other than rest. Her parents worked diligently and Frances recovered. The disease however left her with deformed feet and a limp. She loved to sing and even as a child had a beautiful voice. When she was 14, she sang at a Nashville nightclub and to her horror saw her parents sitting ringside. They did not stop her, but did put her singing career on hold. Two years later, Frances’s mother suddenly died of heart attack. Frances finished her education at Vanderbilt University where she graduated in 1938 with a degree in sociology.

Frances sang at the Grand Ole Opry and then decided to pursue her singing career in New York City. She auditioned many times and one of her songs was a popular song called “Dinah”. When disk jockey Martin Block couldn’t remember the singer’s name, he simply called her the “Dinah girl” and the name stuck. Dinah Shore got hired as a vocalist at radio station WNEW where she sang with Frank Sinatra and others. She signed a recording contract with RCA Victor Records in 1940. For twenty years, she had a number of hit songs on the charts. Her last hit in 1960 was “I Ain’t Down Yet”.

But Dinah didn’t just sing, she also made appearances on television, the first taking place in 1937. She even had her own eponymous show on NBC in 1951. From 1970 through 1980, Dinah had two different daytime shows, as well. She was a supporter of women’s professional golf and played the game herself. She helped found the Colgate Dinah Shore golf tournament in 1972. She was married twice and had one daughter and adopted a son with husband George Montgomery. She had several high profile affairs, more assumed affairs, and more rumors about her affairs. She died on February 24, 1994 from ovarian cancer. She was 77 years old.

The best money advice ever given me was from my father. When I was a little girl, he told me, ‘Don’t spend anything unless you have to.’

Trouble is part of your life – if you don’t share it, you don’t give the person who loves you a chance to love you enough.

Bing Crosby sings like all people think they sing in the shower.

I never wanted to set the world on fire. So I never had to burn any bridges behind me. – all from Dinah Shore

Also on this day: Hammerin’ Hank – In 1972, Hank Aaron signed with the Atlanta Braves for a record salary.
Leap Day – In 1584, the first Leap Day took place.
Child Labor Law – In 1916, a new minimum age for workers was passed in South Carolina.
Run For Office – In 1932, Bill Murray was on the cover of TIME magazine.

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