Winter Wonderland

THE 1969 GOLDDIGGERS WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS: (left to right) Bottom row: Barbara Sanders, Nancy Bonetti, Patricia Mickey, Susan McIver Lund; Second row: Rosetta Cox, Suzy Cadham, Peggy Hansen, Sheila Mann, Jackie Chidsey; Top row: Lezlie Dalton, Debi McFarland, Paula Cinko, Michelle DellaFave.

With the holidays upon us, we want to take this opportunity to welcome everyone to the first Golddiggers Super Site Christmas Special.

Like those warm and fuzzy Christmas variety specials of yore, we’ve tried to include a little something for everyone: The latest developments in the legal fight over The Dean Martin Show…A special gift from one of the most gifted, and popular, Golddiggers and Dingaling Sisters of all time…And a star-studded finale that contains a heartfelt wish for all men and women of good will.

See You In Court (EXCLUSIVE)

On the legal front, a trial date has now been set in the first of the three pending lawsuits filed over use of the material contained in The Best of The Dean Martin Variety Show collection, sales of which were halted this past summer.

The case brought on April 25, 2007 by the American Federation of Musicians against Greg Garrison Productions Inc. is scheduled to go to trial on July 8, 2008 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (Los Angeles). The judge in the case, Valerie Baker Fairbank, estimates that the proceedings will last 5 days (good thing Judge Ito isn’t presiding). Of course, that’s just the trial itself, not taking into account the appeals that will likely follow, nor the progress and outcomes of the other two cases involving issues relating to the Dean Martin Variety volumes.

WE NEED A LITTLE CHRISTMAS: But judging by the court calendar for the coming year, it appears that there won’t be any Dean Martin or Golddiggers shows under the tree anytime soon. Instead, we find a lump of coal in our Christmas stockings: As averred by the official judicial document shown above, the first of three pending suits over the Dean Martin Variety series will go to trial next July.

Two of the defendants in those other cases are actively seeking dismissal of one or more of the claims made against them.

In the suit brought by NBC Universal against Garrison Productions, Guthy-Renker, et al, one of the codefendants, Ronald L. Blanc, Trustee on behalf of the Greg Garrison Revocable Trust and Black Horse Television Enterprises (one of Garrison’s companies), has asked the court to throw out three of NBC U’s claims on the grounds that the plaintiff has brought suit for those claims under California STATE statutes, when in fact, the scope of the claims falls under U.S. Copyright Law, which is governed solely by FEDERAL statutes.

Attorneys for defendant Blanc also argue that there is a defect in the claims that NBC U has made under the Lanham Act, because that act pertains to protection of trademarks, and NBC U has not, in fact, alleged that it actually owns any trademarks in the case being contested.

Meanwhile, in the most recent of the three lawsuits to be filed — Van Alexander, Lee Hale, Geoff Clarkson and James Hill vs. Garrison Productions, Guthy-Renker, et al — Guthy-Renker is seeking dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claim of breach of contract, maintaining that because it (Guthy-Renker) had an agreement with Garrison but never entered into one with any of the plaintiffs, it could not have breached an agreement that it never made in the first place.

Given this kind of tortuous legal wrangling, it seems safe to speculate that it will be some time before trials for the latter two cases get under way.


But enough of all of the legal mumbo-jumbo for the time being. While we’re sorry that we can’t announce any Miracle on the Super Site this Christmas with respect to a breakthrough in the ongoing battle royale over Dean’s series, we’re certainly not about to let these litigious Grinches and their failure to come up with a sanity clause prevent us from bringing a little Santa Claus to our visitors (thank you, Groucho, Chico, and Dr. Seuss).

So without further adieu, let’s move on to the star attraction of our show:

Red Rose From A True Lady (EXCLUSIVE)

Many of you may recall first encountering during your school days the famous verse by the Scots poet Robert Burns that begins with “O my luve’s like a red, red rose, That’s newly sprung in June.”

Well, it was right here in the middle of December that one of the most beloved members of The Golddiggers and Dingaling Sisters (and more recently, of Blue Eyed Soul), the ever-radiant (not to mention, industrious) Michelle DellaFave, was able to spring from her archives a precious flower from which the bloom will never fade — her vintage recording of the jingle for Red Rose Tea.

In fact, she even has the full commercial — video, as well as audio — that she did for Red Rose a few years after The Dean Martin Show concluded its run, and it’s our hope to be able to show it sometime in the near future. Because it’s on film, though, it first has to be transferred. But the musical portion needn’t wait, and so, as her Christmas gift to all of us, Michelle has kindly provided us with both the soundtrack to the spot and a photo of her taken on the set where the commercial was shot.

One fascinating aspect of this find for everyone used to seeing Michelle with blonde tresses is to behold her as a brunette. The other great draw, of course, is that voice — even in the context of an advertisement, it’s extraordinary, as always. The enunciation: flawless; the tone: rich and melodious. It all adds up to exactly what a good commercial jingle should be — entertaining, and evoking a mood conducive to the product, all the while subtly impressing the product name in the listener’s consciousness.

THE LADY IN RED: Blonde or brunette, the fellas are crazy for this lady in red (and as it happens, the gals all love her, too). So don’t be surprised if, after folks see and hear Michelle’s plea for Red Rose Tea, there’s a sudden run on the product in stores across the country.

Click the Play button below to hear Michelle sing the Red Rose Tea jingle:

REGALLY BLONDE: (above) Michelle, sporting her more
familiar lighter locks.

The Red Rose Tea company was founded in Canada all the way back in 1894, and its ownership has changed hands a couple of times since then. Over the years, the product has no doubt been represented by a variety of spokespersons, and Michelle DellaFave may have been one of many to do so. But make no mistake about it: The Red Rose song performed by any other name could never look or sound as sweet.

Have Yourselves A Merry Little Christmas (NON-EXCLUSIVE!)

Yes, here’s a thought that should include just about everyone.

DRESSED IN HOLIDAY STYLE: The 1972-73 Golddiggers return to Dean’s program to lock arms with their genial host: (l. to r.) Francie Mendenhall, Jackie Chidsey, Susie McIver, Loyita Chapel, Karen Cavenaugh, Liz Kelley, Rebecca Jones, Jimmi Cannon.

On behalf of The Golddiggers Super Site and all of the members of the GoldsAndDings Group:

Merry Christmas

1967’s CHRISTMAS WITH THE MARTINS AND THE SINATRAS: Dean and daughter Gail Martin; Frank and daughter Nancy Sinatra.


A Happy, Healthy New Year


AULD LANG SYNE: Guy Lombardo’s Royal Canadians never looked like this, but who better to fill the bandstand on the 1970 New Year’s Eve edition of The Dean Martin Show than The Golddiggers: (l. to r.) Front Row: Susie McIver, Wanda Bailey, Michelle DellaFave, Pauline Antony; Back Row: Pat Mickey, Rosie Cox, Janice Whitby, Jackie Chidsey, Francie Mendenhall, Tara Leigh.
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