What’s botherin’ ya, friend?
You say the recession is spoilin’ your holiday spirit?
You say Christmas just isn’t the same anymore without those good old-fashioned variety show specials?
You say almost nothin’ on prime-time TV is worth watchin’ these days?
You say you like readin’ about The Golddiggers and The Dingaling Sisters, and like lookin’ at their pictures, but you wanna see some action?
You say your mother-in-law’s comin’ over to visit and she’s bringin’ with her full-season DVD sets of Joanie Loves Chachi — and that’s NOT the kind of action you had in mind?
You say if you see one more mind-numbing reality show, you’re just gonna pull the covers over your head and stay there till they cancel every last one of ‘em?
You say if they don’t reissue every episode of The Dean Martin Show and The Golddiggers series pretty soon, you’re gonna throw your TV out the window and just sit and stare at yule logs burnin’ in the fireplace?
Is THAT what’s troublin’ ya, bunky?
Because what we’ve done for ya here, cousin, is put together a little Christmas gift package of video clips that individually showcase both vintage and contemporary performances by those two merry members of The Dingalings who’ve been playing Santa Claus to military veterans and other audiences for over a year now as Blue Eyed Soul — Michelle DellaFave and Lindsay Bloom. And then we’ve put a little bow on top of the present, which you’ll find at the bottom of this post.
So to get the ball rollin’, point your mouse over the screens below and click, bunky, click!!!
(By the way, all of the clips below can be resized to full-screen by clicking on the square icon found on the lower right side of the viewers. To return to normal size, simply press the Escape (ESC) key on your keyboard.)
A Rosy Red Evergreen
Faithful visitors to the Super Site may remember that it was around this time last year that we first called attention to a television commercial that Michelle starred in back in 1976 for Red Rose Tea. At the time, we were able to offer only the soundtrack and a still photo from that shoot.
But in response to popular demand, Michelle searched for, and found, a 16mm print of the spot that she had saved over the years, and after we had it transferred to high-definition video and professionally restored, we’re now delighted to be able to present the full 30-second commercial for the first time anywhere in more than three decades. Even with the passage of time, however, we think you’ll agree that this little vignette — and indeed Michelle herself — remain as potent as that potent cup of tea about which she sings.
Viva Las Vegas
After her stint with The Dingaling Sisters, Lindsay shifted her professional focus a bit and embarked upon an acting career, landing roles in television series, feature films, and commercials throughout the mid-to-late ’70s and 1980s. One such spot that she did was for the legendary Desert Inn resort and casino in Las Vegas. The main building of the hotel was demolished in 2001, but fortunately for us, Lindsay retained a copy of her Desert Inn commercial for all of these years, and that enables us to bring it to you now.
One Singular Sensation
In addition to appearing in commercials, name talent is often hired by corporate sponsors to enliven presentations that are aimed at a specific, targeted audience. These productions are known in the business as industrials, and normally, they’re never seen by the general public.
But there’s a portion of one in which Lindsay took part — a collection of sketches designed to help showcase the new line of 1981 Pontiac cars to dealers across the country — that most definitely deserves a wider audience. Introduced here by comedian Norm Crosby, our erstwhile Ding proves that although, by this time, she might have segued into acting, she’d hardly lost a step with her terpsichorean skills, demonstrating spunk and spirit as a one-woman kickline in a well-known dance routine from the Broadway musical A Chorus Line.
One Groovy Chick
It was in January 1970 that soul singer Rufus Thomas debuted the hit single “Do The Funky Chicken“, which rose to number 28 and number 5 on the Billboard Pop and R&B Charts, respectively. But when Michelle led The Dingaling Sisters in a sizzling Lee Hale arrangement of the song during Bob Hope’s 1970 Christmas tour, she made it her own.
Some 36 years later, Vietnam Veterans of America Executive Wes Guidry, who, as a young Army Sergeant stationed in South Korea, had watched from the audience as The Dings did their thing, brought Michelle back together with two of her original ensemble-mates for the first time in three-and-a-half-decades to reprise the “Funky Chicken” before an ardent crowd at the 2007 VVA Convention.
Since that time, Michelle has continued to perform the song as a solo number during her Blue Eyed Soul shows with Lindsay. And in the process, she has brilliantly reimagined it, decelerating the tempo ever so slightly, and updating the staging of it with the inclusion of yoga-like moves and some amusing interstitial patter — all with the result that it continues to pack a wallop with audiences of every age and stripe.
The clip below shows Michelle presenting the number this past summer to an audience at the VVA National Leadership Conference in Greenville, South Carolina.
Two Red-Hot Mamas
As one might expect, most people have a particular fondness for music of the era in which they came of age, and Baby Boomers are no exception to that rule. So when Michelle and Lindsay entertain Vietnam Vets and other audiences of the same generation of which they themselves are a part, it’s natural that they would perform songs from ’60s and early ’70s.
One of the tunes from that period that’s become a regular element of their repertoire is “Joy To The World“, a number one hit for six weeks in a row on the Billboard Pop Charts when first released by rock group Three Dog Night in 1971.
Of course, the words and music to THIS “Joy To The World” are completely different than the traditional Christmas carol of the same name. But since both pieces share not only the identical title, but also, very similar messages, this selection from the Blue Eyed Soul road show — again taken from their engagement last summer in Greenville, SC — would seem to be as appropriate as any of Michelle and Lindsay’s duets to show at this time of the year.
What’s New Pussycat?
We’re not sure whether this next-to-last part of our holiday feature will have nine lives, but after this writing, it certainly will have had at least two.
When we first encountered this item several weeks ago on the Internet, we have to admit that it gave us a bit of (ahem) paws. After scratching below the surface, we confirmed that what we saw was indeed purrfectly on the level, and, knowing that it would be catnip to fans of The Dingalings, we reported it on the message board of our sister site, the GoldsAndDings Group.
Since then, the fortunes of a couple of the little protagonists in this true-life yarn have changed — all for the better, we’re happy to note. So rather than being catty about it and bringing just the members of GoldsAndDings up to speed on these latest developments, we thought we’d let the cat out of the bag, and spread the good news to all of those who like to frolic here at the Super Site. We think it’s a tale (or should that be tail?) that will please even the most finicky amongst you. Click the kitty pic below to find out:
Home For The Holidays
Finally, on behalf of The Golddiggers Super Site and all of the members of the GoldsAndDings and Dinopallies Groups, we want to wish all of our friends and supporters, and those of good will everywhere:
A Very Merry Christmas
A Happy, Healthy New Year
Gathered around Dean, clockwise above, are the final four Dingaling Sisters: Michelle DellaFave, Lindsay Bloom, Helen Funai, and Jayne Kennedy.