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Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Dorothy Shay, known as "The Park Avenue Hillbillie" inherited a tendency to sing from her mother, but her initial attempt to entertain was in the legitimate theatre. From high school she went to the Dorothy Shayfamous Pasadena Playhouse. To earn tuition between sessions she sang at the Jacksonville Hotel, the Roosevelt, and later, the George Washington.

After an unsuccessful attempt to enter radio in New York, she was introduced to Betty Shay, head of auditions for NBC. At her suggestion, Dorothy toured with the USO for one year and then appeared with Morton Gould in a New York supper club. Mr. Gould suggested she change her name (Dorothy Sims), so she picked the name of her benefactor, and thus became Dorothy Shay.

t was quite by accident that Miss Shay acquired the persona of a hillbilly. One night after going through her entire repertoire and the customers still clamoring for more, she stood in front of the microphone, bathed in light and wearing a Dior creation, struck an awkward pose of a mountain girl and sang the lyrics of an obscure number called "Uncle Fud". The sophisticated audience loved it and night after night thereafter kept calling for 'that hillbilly song".

Tips on Tables - Robert W. Dana - May 2, 1961

Dorothy Shay Returns To St. Regis Maisonette

It's a fair piece of country road from Florida to Tennesee, but a fair lady from the Sunshine PhotoagainState named Dorothy Shay has been using lusty characters from the Volunteer State's mountain region for nigh on to 17 years with vast success as props for a cafe singing act. In her newest engagement in the Maisonette of the St. Regis, where she first opened in 1944, the Park Ave. Hillbillie, as she is known, Shay is flanked for the later sequences of her act by "Cuzzin Agnes Clung," portrayed by singer-actress Jo Ann Miller, and "Uncle Fud," interpreted by Broadway actor Curtis Wheeler, two kinfolks she introduced last season as evidence of her professional antecedents.

Dorothy is a cool cucumber when it comes to cafe performing, relaxed to the extreme. and always gorgeously attired. At last Friday's opening dinner show, she wore a shimmering sheath of pale blue covered with iridescent paillettes and rhinestones, a number whipped up for her by Edward Sebest of California.

Miss Shay doesn't believe in opening songs, so in order to be properly launched she states she will sing a medley of songs most required that she doesn't sing. The title of the next sequence, long enough to choke on, is "Whatever Happened to the Man That I Married Who Used to Be So Nice Around the House, Cha Cha."'Actually, this is one of her oldies, tailored especially for St. Regis audiences and a change of pace from the hillbillie stuff.

Soon, though, she arrives at "Uncle Fud," An ode to inbreeding that captures the full flavor of the mountain characters and is a natural curtain raiser for the entrance of the mixed-up kinfolks.

They dance a bit, strut a bit and gawk a bit in such numbers as "Come Home" and "It's Confusin." Then Dorothy does a neat duet with Miss Miller on "Carolina" 'and they conclude with the amusing "There's No Market for a Country Girl Today." Some people seem to think Agnes and Fud are extra baggage that might be dispensed with, but I like them. The new number called "Experience," which Miss Shaw introduces near the end of her program is another departure from the hillbillie theme. With Hollywood firmly within its sights, it lets go with both barrells. The lines, so innocently dropped, are razor sharp.

Buddy Freed is the musical conductor of Milt Shaw's orchestra, for the performance. Miss Shay, fortunately, still isn't sick of the Tennessee mountains. How could she be? She never has visited them.

Andrews Sisters - Latin Quarter 1957
Desi Arnaz - w/Diosa Costello 1948
Count Basie - Lincoln 1943
Tony Bennett - Copacabana 1958
Milton Berle - Latin Quarter 1948
Joey Bishop - w/Andy Williams 1959
Ray Bolger - Wizard of Oz Scarecrow, Empire Room 1956
Cab Calloway - Greenwich Inn 1949
Diahann Carroll - Persian Room 1961
Betty Clooney - Waldorf Astoria 1954
Nat King Cole - Copacabana 1958
Perry Como - Versailles 1944
Copacabana - famous night club restaurant is reviewed 1953
Crosby Brothers - Latin Quarter 1961
Xavier Cugat - Waldorf Astoria 1951
Vic Damone - Riviera 1953
Billy Daniels - Copacabana 1952
Sammy Davis Jr. - Copacabana 1959
Phyllis Diller - w/Bobby Short 1958
Nancy Donovan - Copacabana 1952
Jimmy Durante - Copacabana 1951
Billy Eckstine - Copacabana 1951
Duke Ellington - Basin St. East 1961
Eddie Fisher - Empire Room 1959
Judy Garland -Town & Country 1958
Jackie Gleason - La Vie en Rose 1953
Benny Goodman - Empire Room 1956
Dolores Gray - Waldorf Astoria 1954
Buddy Hackett - Copacabana 1956
Connie Haines - Terrace Room 1951
Dick Haymes - Versailles 1956
Horace Heidt - 30th Anniversary 1954
Florence Henderson w/Bill Hayes 1958
Hildegarde - Pierre 1953
Celeste Holm - Plaza 1958
Eddy Howard - Roosevelt 1955
Burl Ives w/Wally Cox - Persian Room
Lisa Kirk - Persion Room 1958
Frankie Laine - Latin Quarter 1955
Julius La Rosa - Romanian 1958
Peggy Lee - Copacabana 1958
Jerry Lewis - Town & Country 1957
Joe E. Lewis - Copacabana 1945
Ted Lewis - Latin Quarter 1953
Liberace - Persian Room 1947
Guy Lombardo - Roosevelt 1957
Vincent Lopez - Grill Room 1954
Tony Martin - Riviera 1953
Martin and Lewis - Copacabana 1950
Ray McKinley - Glenn Miller Band 1957
Mills Brothers - Latin Quarter 1956
Vaughn Monroe - Astor 1955
Constance Moore - St. Regis 1958
Johnnie Ray - Copacabana 1953
Rowan & Martin - Latin Quarter 1961
Della Reese - Copacabana 1961
Sugar Ray Robinson - French Casino
Dorothy Shay - St. Regis 1961
Frank Sinatra - Wedgewood 1943
Danny Thomas - Copacabana 1949
Sophie Tucker - Latin Quarter 1950
Mae West - Latin Quarter 1956
Julie Wilson - Persian Room 1954
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Rise & Fall of the big bands
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