Dig it! Betty Grable in ‘Diga Diga Do’

Dance · Film

A fabulous YouTube find, a compendium of song-and-dance numbers performed by Betty Grable, in 1954, during a live television broadcast: the premier edition of Chrysler “Shower of Stars” on CBS. The credited choreographer for the show was Robert (Bob) Sidney and the associate director was Miriam Nelson. Both were important Hollywood choreographers.

Other Grable numbers on the video are “One For My Baby,” “Baby Won’t You Please Come Home” and “I’m Just Wild About Harry.” Which by the way she wasn’t. Grable and her husband, Harry James, were having terrible marital squabbles fueled by booze. Betty was the headliner on Shower Of Stars, and James is featured on two of her songs.

The jungle beat of “Diga Diga Do,” its third-world theme, and many jazzy choreographic motifs in “Diga …” evoke Jack Cole. Cole was very close to Grable at the time, could surely have fashioned this rambunctious number for his friend.

It’s very difficult to pin down. But it’s very easy to enjoy “Diga Diga Do.

So do!

Betty Grable, Jack Cole at work on “How Come You Do Me?” number from THREE FOR THE SHOW (Col. 1955)

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