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February 24, 2009

Favorite Automobile Spokesperson: See the USA in Your Chevrolet with Dinah Shore

By Jim Brennan


Welcome to the next installment of Your Favorite Automobile Spokesperson. The previous installments featured an irreverent liar, and a rather smooth operator, but they were both men. So, I thought I would reach way back into the glamorous 1950s, for a spokesperson with true elegance, grace, and style. Her career spanned decades, singing her way into Americas Living Rooms, and was once linked romantically to none other than Burt Reynolds. So, let’s go see the USA in your Chevrolet, with Dinah Shore.

Continue reading after the jump!

Dinah Shore pioneered the prime-time variety show with the Chevrolet Sponsored The Dinah Shore Chevy Show starting in October 1956 on NBC and running on Sunday nights until the end of the 1963 season. Dinah Shore helped make the low-priced Chevrolet automobile the most widely selling car up to that point in history.

The program began as a series of monthly specials substituting in the regular time slot of the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports. The first episode aired on October 5, 1956. By this time, Shore was already a veteran television performer, having hosted for five seasons the 15-minute long Dinah Shore Show, which was in its final season (the final season for all 15-minute long prime time network entertainment series) when The Dinah Shore Chevy Show was launched. The series featured celebrity guests from the worlds of music, theater, sports, and movies.

The series was sponsored by the Chevrolet Motor Division of General Motors and its theme song, sung by Shore, was “See the U.S.A. in Your Chevrolet”, which continued to be used in Chevrolet advertising for several more years after the cancellation of this show. The program was extremely popular, and its theme song always ended with Shore’s famous farewell kiss to the television audience. The high production values of her 15-minute program continued on the 60-minute show.

The program was well-received enough to remain until the premiere of Bonanza at the start of the 1961-62 season. At this point, it was returned to being part of an alternating Friday night lineup, and retitled simply The Dinah Shore Show. It its final run, from October 14, 1962 to May 1963, it appeared on Sunday nights following Bonanza. The last broadcast occurred on May 12, 1963, but Shore was to remain a staple of American television in various roles for years after the demise of this series.

The Lyrics To her famous song.
See the USA in your Chevrolet
America is asking you to call
Drive your Chevrolet through the USA
America’s the greatest land of all

On a highway, or a road along the levy
Performance is sweeter, nothing can beat her
Life is completer in a Chevy

So make a date today to see the USA
And see it in your Chevrolet

Traveling East, Traveling West
Wherever you go Chevy service is best
Southward or North, near place or far
There’s a Chevrolet dealer for your Chevrolet car

See the USA in your Chevrolet
The Rocky’s way out west are calling you
Drive your Chevrolet through the USA
Where fields of golden wheat pass in review

Whether traveling light or with a load that’s heavy
Performance is sweeter, nothing can beat her
Life is completer in a Chevy

So make a date today to see the USA
And see it in your Chevrolet.

At the time, Dinah Shore was arguably the strongest spokesperson for any car manufacturer. With a very memorable jingle, high production values, and without the taint of being sponsored by the tobacco companies, she was able to help Chevrolet attain their status as the best selling car line throughout most of the 50′s and 60′s. If you like this series, please leave comments below, along with any suggestions as who you would like to see in future spots.

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