Dinah Lee Profile

aka Diane Jacobs
Rosa Shiels
Published: 11 Jun 2013
Updated: 22 Oct 2020

Dinah Lee is the most successful New Zealand female pop artist of the 1960s and one of the shiniest stars to emerge from the pool of talent in this small nation. A child of the south, Christchurch raised and launched her, and the ties remain strong, but work was the imperative and it took her away.

Dinah Lee emerged out of the creative maelstrom of the Swinging Sixties. Post-war conservatism had exploded into full-scale cultural revolution, and since the mid-1950s popular music punctuated the airwaves in an excitable litany of rhythmic vocables. Little Richard percussed with “wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-wop-bam-boom!”, the Crystals chorused on “da-doo-ron-ron”, Manfred Mann gave us “do-wah-diddy-diddy”, and The Beatles scored large with “yeah, yeah, yeah”.

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Dinah Lee, Toowomba, 1960s.
Photo credit: Diane Marie Jacobs Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, PA1-f-167-17-2
Dinah Lee with Eden Kane, late 60s / early 70s.
Photo credit: Diane Marie Jacobs Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, PA1-f-168-5-1
Dinah Lee at the 2009 Music Awards, about to induct Ray Columbus, Dave Russell and Billy Kristian (Ray Columbus and The Invaders) into the NZ Music Of Fame
Dinah returns from Vietnam 1967
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News
Hallelujah I Just Love Him So
Dinah Lee arriving at Mascot Airport, Sydney, 1960s.
Photo credit: Diane Marie Jacobs Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, PA1-f-167-40-1
Not In This Whole World
Dinah Lee on stage with an Australian soldier, Nui Dat, Vietnam, 1967. Alexander Turnbull Library, PAColl-4801-1-20
Viking Records advertisment, 1964
Dinah Lee & Brian Henderson
The Playboys - l to r: Graeme Miller, Mark Graham, Brian Ringrose, Dave Martin, Phil Garland, with Diane Jacobs (Dinah Lee) 
Dinah Lee on Hollywood A Go Go, 1965
Entertainers Margaret Ward (left), Noni Hazelhurst (centre), Digby Riehards (kneeling) and Dinah Lee (Diane Marie Jacobs (1945- ) (right), meeting Australian troops in 1967 Vietnam, during the Vietnam war (1961-1975).
Photo credit: Diane Marie Jacobs Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, PA1-f-167-64
Dinah Lee 1965
The Right Time
Dinah Lee in Hong Kong, May 1969.
Photo credit: Diane Marie Jacobs Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, PA1-f-167-56-2
Live at Carlaw Park, 1990
Photo credit: Photo by Murray Cammick
These Boots Are Made For Walkin'
Reet Petite (live 2011)
Shimmy Like My Sister Kate
Summertime (with Brian Henderson)
South African cover

Dinah Lee on the cover of Australian magazine Everybody's, c. 1965. When this image was posted online in 2020, she responded, "But unfortunately I am not in Presley's Love Diary ..."

Dinah Lee & Brian Henderson – Baby It's Cold Outside
Dinah Lee, 1960s.
Photo credit: Diane Marie Jacobs Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, PA1-f-167-40-1
Dinah Lee, January 1986.
Photo credit: Chris Bourke
Don't You Know Yockomo (live in Whangarei)
The Right Time
Dinah Lee special, 1965 (NZ On Screen)
Dinah Lee performing at Nui Dat, Vietnam, 1967. Alexander Turnbull Library, PAColl-4801-1-11
Dinah Lee onstage at "Legs Quest", 1960s.
Photo credit: Diane Marie Jacobs Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, PA1-f-167-29-2
That's It I Quit (produced by Chris Blackwell)
I'm Walkin
Dinah Lee with a tour ensemble including Jimmy Page, January 1967.
Photo credit: Diane Marie Jacobs Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, PA1-f-168-3-1
Dinah Lee with her mother, 1960s.
Photo credit: Diane Marie Jacobs Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, PA1-f-167-16-4
Dinah Lee, 1960s.
Photo credit: Diane Marie Jacobs Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, PA1-f-167-23-1
Dinah in Gisborne, January 1965
Photo credit: Gisborne Photo News
Dinah Lee with Phil Garland at right, 1960s.
Photo credit: Diane Marie Jacobs Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, N.Z. PA1-f-167-15-1
What Did He Say
Do The Blue Beat (Australian performance)
I'll Forgive You Then Forget You
Dinah with Tommy Adderley
Dinah Lee, 1964
Photo credit: Ken Cooper collection
Dinah Lee, January 1986.
Photo credit: Chris Bourke
Dinah Lee, January 1986.
Photo credit: Chris Bourke
Max Cryer, Dinah Lee and Millie Small advertise Aywon stretch slacks in Playdate magazine, 1966.
Dinah Lee rehearsing with the Blue Diamonds in New Plymouth, 1964. From left: Bruce Lynch, Murray Coplestone, and Midge Marsden.
Trivia:

In NZ, Dinah was signed by local label Viking Records and recorded three singles backed by Max Merritt and His Meteors.

In 1965 Dinah Lee won New Zealand's first Entertainer of the Year award.

In Australia, Dinah became the "Face of Yardley" for the Yardley cosmetic company, used in all advertising, television and promotional tours.

In 1984 Dinah was the over 35s Australian Female Bodybuilder of the Year.

Dinah toured down under with Millie Small (My Boy Lollipop) and while in London, recorded with Millie's manager and co-founder of Island Records Chris Blackwell.

Labels:

Viking


HMV

Dinah Lee was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame | Te Whare Taonga Puoro o Aotearoa in 2020. The Hall of Fame is an initiative of Recorded Music NZ and the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), whose support of AudioCulture enables the site to stream music content.