Catch Of The Day

Golddiggers as Mermaids (for GoldsAndDings)ColorizedWADE IN THE WATER: Crossing the English Channel in the summer of 1970, The Golddiggers In London bridged the continental divide, offering Americans and Brits alike droll comedy, vibrant music, arresting beauty, and imaginative production numbers such as the one above casting several of the series’ stars as mermaids.  Getting into the swim of things above are: Front row: Pat Mickey; behind her: Jackie Chidsey; to the right of Jackie: Tara Leigh; top row: Susan Lund; and just below and to the left of Susie: Michelle DellaFave.

Ahoy, mateys!  You’ve pulled into just the right harbor for a little fun and adventure, as we dock our web-based vessel and invite you aboard to enjoy both a mini-pleasure cruise down memory lane and a quick swing around a few more recent ports of call with some of those jaunty lasses who first sailed off with our hearts as members of Dean Martin’s Golddiggers and Dingaling Sisters.

It was actually a few weeks back, whilst manning our sister schooner, the ol’ GoldsAndDinghy (better known as the GoldsAndDings Group), that a discussion of all things aquatic led to the dredging up of some buried treasure from the past, with much of it recovered by one of our most cherished maritime maidens, the magnificent Michelle DellaFave.

A couple of the relics that surfaced, shown here above and below, depicted some of the cast members of The Golddiggers in London as undulating undines who could surely sidetrack any ship of sailors on which they set their sights.  Other gems that washed ashore may be a bit more at home on dry land, but for all of you fans of these gals, they’re nevertheless guaranteed to float your boat.

Michelle&SusieFinalSEA CRUISE: Diving into their roles as mermaids are (above) Michelle DellaFave (left) and Susie Lund (right).  How did Jacques Cousteau ever overlook such jewels?
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Bob Hope, Michelle, Taffy, Tara (Adj.)SOMEWHERE BEYOND THE SEA: Back on terra firma, circa 1971-72, Michelle and two of her Dingaling Sisters, Taffy Jones (to the right of Michelle), and Tara Leigh (far right) confer with legendary showman Bob Hope, with whom The Dings performed on a number of occasions.  By the way, not only did Hope live to be 100, but his beloved wife of more than seven decades, Delores Hope, just a couple of weeks ago celebrated her own centennial birthday.
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SEA OF LOVE: (above)  The early Seventies were a special time in the lives of these ladies (l. to r.: Taffy, Michelle, And Tara), as The Dingalings enjoyed not only a special rapport with their audiences, but — working together as often as they did — a close-knit bond with each other, as well.
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SEA OF TRANQUILITY (AGAINST THE BACKDROP OF WAR): Tara flashes the international symbol of peace, as she and Michelle get ready to join the other Dingaling Sisters on stage to entertain the troops, as part of Bob Hope’s 1970 USO Christmas tour of American military bases around the world.

Even as much of the rest of the world has undergone a sea change over the last three-and-a-half decades, the enduring appeal of The Golddiggers and The Dingaling Sisters has remained steady as she goes.  Nowhere is that fact more evident than among two offspring of those all-girl groups who’ve not only managed to stay as shipshape as ever, but who also continue to crisscross the country, entertaining Veterans and other audiences, as members of the first act spawned by The Golddiggers and Dingalings in the 21st century — Blue Eyed Soul.

Since the beginning of 2009, the tide has been running high and the current flowing smoothly for onetime Dean Martin Show regulars Michelle DellaFave and Lindsay Bloom, as they’ve played concert dates in three separate locations within just the last two months.

Their trip to Phoenix in early April was an especially gratifying one for Lindsay, as it presented the opportunity for her mom and her brother to see her perform live on stage for the first time in well over thirty years.

But no less rewarding for both Lindsay and Michelle was the chance to once again bring their patented blend of joy, humor, nostalgia, and inspiration to an audience of vets and others at the VA Medical Center in Phoenix — and again a few weeks later, in visits during the month of May to entertain appreciative fans in Newport, Oregon and Fargo, North Dakota.

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BY THE TIME THEY GOT TO PHOENIX:
Michelle and Lindsay were given a warm welcome by the crowd gathered to see them perform at the VA Medical Center in Arizona’s capital city.
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P2130049SHE’S GOT THE FUNK: And this time brought it to some younger volunteers from the audience, thus introducing a fresh flock to “The Funky Chicken”.
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ROOM SERVICE:
As always, in addition to appearing on stage before large crowds, the gals lend a personal touch by visiting with individual vets, and for those not well enough or physically able to make it to their shows, treating them to a special performance put on just for them.
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AWARDS SHOW:
Already the recipients of numerous honors from Veterans organizations for their dedicated efforts on behalf of Vets, Michelle and Lindsay were recognized once again while in Phoenix, this time at the direction of Bill Messer, Arizona State Council President for the Vietnam Veterans of America (pictured with the girls above).  Below, the ladies are decorated at the conclusion of their concert.
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P2130070FAMILY REUNION: One of the sweetest parts of the Phoenix trip for Lindsay was the chance to perform live for her mother and brother for the first time in over three decades.  That’s Lindsay’s mom, Jeri, pictured above between her daughter and Michelle, with Lindsay’s brother, Wes, on the far right.

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DINGALING SISTERS??!!:
Here’s a measure of how long these folks’ lives have been intertwined: When Lindsay’s mom met up with her daughter and Lindsay’s sister Dings to join the girls’ boss at the 1973 Dean Martin Tucson Open, they all looked so good together that one couldn’t be blamed for thinking The Dingalings had taken on a fifth partner. (below, l. to r.): Lindsay, Jayne Kennedy, Helen Funai, Lindsay’s mom, and Michelle.Five Dings
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P2130054BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND: The winds of change were in the air — literally — as the gals performed their closing numbers in Phoenix for the first time in black gowns. But not even the sometimes stiff gusts in the Valley of The Sun could overwhelm the spirit of the occasion.
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WELL INVESTED: Arriving in Newport, Oregon, Michelle and Lindsay had their already richly adorned weskits notched with still another set of awards — Honorable Service Medals presented by the Veterans of Oregon.
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THE MEET AND GREET: From John Reed (above), executive with the Lincoln County Veterans Service Office……and Bill Bain (below), the Mayor of Newport.
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P3120091STANDING TALL WITH OUR ARMED FORCES: The girls were joined by the 224 Engineer Company of the Army National Guard of Oregon, which has already completed one tour of duty in Iraq and is preparing to return for another.
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THEN THERE WAS ALL THE USUAL STUFF: Like getting ready in the dressing room…
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P3120104…signing autographs for fans…
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P3120102…doing The Funky Chicken…You know, just your average, ordinary day of activities (average and ordinary that is, if you happen to be two extraordinary glam girls, ever on the go and in demand).
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FLYING HIGH:
While in Fargo, North Dakota to perform at the city’s famous Air Museum (above), Michelle slid into the cockpit of a UH-1 Iroquois helicopter (below), known during its heyday of service in Vietnam by its nickname, Huey — short for its original designation as HU-1 (helicopter utility).
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P3190128THE FELLA WHO BROUGHT THEM TO THE DANCE: That would be the lucky chap above, in-between Michelle and Lindsay — Dan Stenvold, State Pres. of the North Dakota Vietnam Veterans of America, a member of the national VVA’s Board of Directors, the Mayor of Park River, ND, and the man who scheduled Blue Eyed Soul’s appearance in Fargo.  No wonder he’s smiling.
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P3180120EAGLE-EYED SENTRY: The girls mingle with Vets, as an eagle in the foreground looks on (yes, that’s a LIVE eagle!…Hey, we told you this all took place at an air museum, didn’t we?!).
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Now, if you’ve dipped a toe in the water by perusing all of the above and decided that you’d like to go a little deeper, there’s a way that you can get more than just your feet wet without getting in over your head.  To really immerse yourself in hundreds of additional photos, as well as memorabilia and trivia covering The Golddiggers, The Dingaling Sisters, and Dean Martin from stem to stern — all without drowning in obligation or being swallowed up by even one drop of soggy spam — may we suggest enrolling in the GoldsAndDings Group.  It’s easy, it’s free, you can either actively participate or just passively sit on the sidelines — and best of all, it’s oh-so-refreshing…just like a cool dip in the ocean.  Simply go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GoldsandDings to get in on the fun.

And as long as you’re surfing the ’Net, why not ride the waves to Michelle and Lindsay’s own beachfront property, their Blue Eyed Soul website, where you can catch up on what they’re up to and what they have on deck for the future.  You’ll find it all at http://www.MichelleAnd
Lindsay.com
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Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum.

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