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About Dolores


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May 27, 1909 - September 19, 2011

Dolores spent most of her life giving to others: her husband, Bob Hope, her children Linda, Tony, Kelly and Nora; her four grandchildren; and numerous charitable causes. In 1993 at the age of 84, she took some time to do something for herself and for her fans - she recorded her first album "Now and Then." A new recording artist was born!

Other albums followed, "Somewhere In Time," songs of World War II, "Hopes for the Holidays" with Bob, "That's Love" and "Young at Heart" dedicated to Bob.

As a five-year-old growing up in the Bronx, Dolores DeFina knew she wanted to be a singer.

In the 1930s, Dolores on the advice of an agent, changed her name to Dolores Reade (after Broadway actress Florence Reed) and began her professional singing career on the New York night-club cicuit.

It was after just such a performance at the Vogue Club in 1933 that Dolores met a young actor/comedian who came with his friend George Murphy to "hear a pretty girl sing." That young man was Bob Hope.

As Bob told it, "She had a low, husky voice - soft and sweet. She sang IT'S ONLY A PAPER MOON and DID YOU EVER SEE A DREAM WALKING? That did it! From then on I was at the Vogue Club every night, waiting to take Dolores home. A few months later we tied the knot." There must have been something special in that voice for the Hopes celebrated their 69th anniversary before his death in July 2003.

Dolores soon left the supper club circuit to join her husband in his vaudeville act. The couple toured the major stages together until Dolores exchanged her professional singing career for a role as mother, singing lullabies to her children. She also kept in good voice entertaining friends at parties.

In the late 1940s Dolores returned to the stage when she began helping her husband entertain U.S. troops around the world. She became one of the most loved performers in the show. She sang and the soldiers loved her. In Vietnam, Christmas 1966, there wasn't a dry eye in the house when Dolores sang SILENT NIGHT. She sang to a hushed audience and when she finished she was treated to thunderous applause and a standing ovation.

Dolores continued to tour with Bob. One of their trips was to Saudi Arabia in 1990 to entertain the troops in Operation Desert Storm. She was the only female entertainer allowed to perform in Saudi Arabia. Dolores has also made 18 guest appearances on Bob's NBC television specials over the years.

Dolores attributes her recording career to the persistent encouragement of friends like Rosemary Clooney and family, especially husband Bob, who quiped, "I wish she'd get steady work."

With all her albums, Dolores provides her listeners with a musical treat that spans the generations from the 1930s to today. She combined a 30s style with today's technology to produce a pop sound that is truly timeless. She drew from her extensive musical background when selecting the songs. She particularly loved the interplay and exchanges with the talented musicians at the recording sessions. Nick Perito (Perry Como's gifted arranger/conductor) who produced most of her albums, working with arrangers Bob Alberti, John Oddo and long-time accompanist Geoff Clarkson, to ensure that every note is perfect.

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