The Park Avenue Hillbilly
is an album by Dorothy Shay
, released in 1963
Dorothy Shay (April 11, 1921 – October 22, 1978) was an American popular comedic recording artist in the late 1940s and early 1950s, who later became a character actress. Born in Florida, when she began her singing career, she took vocal lessons to lose her Southern accent. She sang for the USO during World War II. She signed with Columbia Records and recorded a series of hit records. In her singing engagements, she performed dressed as a sophisticated urbanite while talking like a rural Southerner. Her biggest hit was "Feudin' and Fightin'", which reached the top 5 on both the country and pop charts. She was a regular on Spike Jones' radio show.
In 1947, her album, "Dorothy Shay (The Park Avenue Hillbilly) Sings", was rated number 1 in Billboard magazine's Best-Selling Popular Albums. She was the first female artist to have a number 1 album on the Billboard chart.
She played a nightclub singer, also named Dorothy, in the 1951 Abbott and Costello movie Comin' Round The Mountain.
Shay was the musical guest on the second season premiere of The Jack Benny Program in 1951.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was a fan. She performed at Eisenhower's Inaugural Ball in 1953.
Shay returned to show business in the 1970s with a recurring role as Thelma, owner of the Dew Drop Inn, in the TV series The Waltons. She died of a heart attack in 1978. Upon her death, the writers of The Waltons wrote her character off, with the mention that she sold the Dew Drop Inn and moved to California.