(9) The Golddiggers – Reunited!

The Golddiggers In LondonThis 1970 issue of TV Guide featured ten of the Golddiggers embarking on a special project around the world in merry old England. They were there to perform in nine episodes of ‘Dean Martin Presents The Golddiggers In London’ with such guest stars as British singer Petula Clark, dancer Tommy Tune, comedian Charles Nelson Reilly and British comic Marty Feldman. Now meet the lucky ladies: Paula Cinko at the top of the picture; Michelle DellaFave next to Paula with Tara Leigh next to Michelle; Jackie Chidsey partially hides the TV Guide banner; Pauline Antony stands in front of Michelle while Rosetta Cox stands in front of Tara. In front of Pauline you see Wanda Bailey; Patricia Mickey is at lower left with Susan Lund at lower right; and posed before Wanda, with a 1950s hairdo and a big smile – also getting her chin cut off at the photo margin – is Micki McGlone. These fine ladies first opened for Bob Hope at a special show in Knoxville, Tennessee…then went off to London to perform for the Brits, and returned triumphantly to Hollywood to work their wonders in the sixth season of The Dean Martin Show.

The Golddiggers had their original start in the Spring of 1968 during the last month of Dean’s third season; the official group name ‘The Golddiggers’ was finalized at the start of the fourth season. By the time the summer of 1970 rolled around the group was in its second-going-on-third formation. You needed a sharp eye and a sharper memory to keep track of the girls from one month to the next. Some members came and went faster than you could wink!

Just before Christmas 2006 I had befriended Michelle DellaFave, and we were eMailing back & forth while I studied The Dean Martin Show on the Internet. It wasn’t long before I discovered an article at ‘Super-Hair’ where Michelle had been interviewed. In all of the years since she was on Dean’s show, Michelle hadn’t seen some of her associates…and she was longing for a reunion. At Yahoo! Groups I met one Nancy Bonetti from the 1969 Golds, drew Michelle to the group and got the reunions started. Nancy identified some of the girls, and I became an unofficial scout with a most pleasant task: Find the lost Golddiggers! It wasn’t easy; so many sites to cover but hardly a nibble in response. Finally I got a break as Micki McGlone answered to an eMail I sent to a site where she was selling an item. Hooray! Just to be sure, I called the phone number given at the site…and for just two short minutes I had a very nice first-time chat with a Dean Martin Golddigger. So I linked Michelle and Micki, then went looking for more. I found Joy Hawkins and Liz Kelley among so many, but my greatest surprise was in finding the High School where Paula Cinko graduated. One problem: I couldn’t find Paula. But I did find her school’s class reunion page where many of her classmates were listed with eMail addresses. So I wrote to several members with hopes that they would pass my message along. They must have done so because six weeks later Google showed a listing where I found Paula’s street address. I wrote to her at that address…and a month later – when she had a first chance to – she wrote back! Paula didn’t have a computer of her own, so I gave her address to Nancy and Michelle and to Micki…now all four girls are communicating several times each year. Beyond my few successful efforts there is a natural momentum that has reunited the majority of The Golddiggers; at last report (March 2010) there are at least forty members all in mail/eMail contact, so I am able to say – Truthfully! – that I did something wonderful for all of the great girls who sang and danced on The Dean Martin Show.

In the Black & White photo you also see Pauline Antony. She is among the many that I couldn’t find, probably due to there being so many females by that specific name. None of the 50+ possible targets answered to my eMails, but I’ll keep trying.

There are six of the Golddiggers who have reunited some years ago, and they are entertaining several times each year. Their website is listed on the ‘Links’ page.

Update April 9, 2010: the Webmaster of the SuperHair website recently linked this WordPress blog to Twitter! OK, readers…it looks like we are spreading out to the masses, and I duly reciprocate by adding the SuperHair link to the lefthand sidebar.

Bulletin, June 11, 2010: Are we missing someone? At the start of May the state of Tennessee became waterlogged due to extremely heavy rain during May’s first weekend. Tennessee’s midsection flooded so fast that many residents were caught without a chance to escape. There were deaths by drowning and over a billion dollars in property damage.

At present we are hoping to hear from Raynee Steele a.k.a. Micki McGlone. Her most recent communications came well before the floods, but recent contact efforts aren’t getting anywhere. She may have left her last location – Spring Hill, south of Nashville – to find higher ground. Only time will tell, but we sincerely hope that she and husband Chad Webb survived the floods and are settling in a location that isn’t so floodprone. At the end of June I’ll ask at various local newspaper website: ANY good news will be cause for celebration!

Update: June/July 2010. HOORAY! – Micki’s OK! She sent a message to Michelle on the ‘DeanGoldsAndDings’ message board, and we assume that the floods were convincing enough for Micki to pull up stakes and come northward; her website has a new contact number in New York. Now the Big Apple won’t be a lonely town anymore. Michelle’s there, too!

Update, September 19, 2010: On Friday the 17th a powerful storm swept across New Jersey and let loose over Manhattan and the Borough of Queens. One or two tornados were reported, and the high winds uprooted trees while crushing cars and damaging some of the buildings. Once again let’s hope that all’s well with Micki and Michelle. May God bless them!

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