Dinah Shore, Chevrolet and 'See the U.S.A.'

(November 19, 2014) The 1953 Chevrolet lineup got a heavy makeover — although it didn't go on sale until just after the new year — with three trim levels and 16 models, according to a Chevrolet publicity chart. The three trims included the base One-Fifty, the new-for-53 mid-level Two-Ten and the top-of-the-line Bel-Air.

The new design included a one-piece curved windshiled replacing the divided windshield, and a wrap-around rear window. A new grille with a horizontal chrome bar with three "vertical bullets" and circular parking and turn signal housings gave the front end a more modern look. Also new was a key-activated starter switch in place of the old foot pedal.

Dealers weren't introduced to the new car until Jan. 9, 1953, but despite the late on-sale date it was very successful with 1,477,287 units sold.

Perhaps as interesting as the restyled Chevy was a 12-minute advertisement that kicked off the 1953 model year with chart-topping vocalist Dinah Shore singing a song that soon became the trademark of the brand, "See the U.S.A. in Your Chevrolet."

Chevrolet sponsored the popular "Dinah Shore Show," a 15-minute variety show, from November 1951 to January 1956. From October 1956 through January 1963, Ms.Shore and Chevrolet teamed up for the hour-long weekly "Dinah Shore Chevy Show" featuring a wide variety of guest stars, songs, skits and production numbers. The one constant was Dinah singing "See the U.S.A. in Your Chevrolet."

Chevrolet continued to use the theme song for several more years after the show ended.