A few months ago, I received a note on the wall of the Coca-Cola Archives facebook page from Lorna Dallas. 50 years ago, Lorna won one of the more interesting contests that we ever held. I was excited to hear from her and to find out what she was doing.
With a singing contest that would prove to be a forerunner to today's American idol, The Coca-Cola Company created and sponsored the Talentsville, U.S.A contest. Nationwide, each local chapter of the Coca-Cola Hi-Fi Club held talent contest to identify notable teenage amateur musicians during the first six months of 1960. The ten regional finalists were invited to New York to perform on June 18th, 1960. Ray Charles and Pat Boone were among the judges in the final competition. The contest was won by Lorna Dallas of Carrier Mills, Illinois. Lorna, who was 18 when the contest was held, performed "Love Is Where You Find It." You can hear Lorna's winning performance clicking on the link below.
The Coca-Cola Refresher magazine wrote an article in 1964 giving the update that Lorna had used her scholarship money to attend Indiana University completing her Bachelor of Music degree. Since she contacted us, Lorna and I have traded several notes and I thought you might want to know what she is doing today.
First, you can visit her website (the bio on her website is a must read) to get up to the minute information, but Lorna described living condition as "BiPondal" with houses in both London and New York. She has continued to perform as a singer primarily in England. In addition to her extensive stage career, Lorna appeared in numerous television projects and more recently the movie United 93. Lorna's recent credits include a Buckingham Palace performance with Dame Judi Dench, a current Microsoft commercial in France and upcoming performance with Dame Cleo Laine in December. She closed one of her notes to me by saying she felt she had proved a worthy winner. I'll second that.
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