Jimmy Dale

James Edwin Dale, arranger, conductor, composer, pianist, organist (born 23 October 1935 in London, England; died 20 May 2017 in Naples, Florida).

Taken to Canada in 1947, he studied piano for two years with Alma Allen at the RCMT and theory and composition with Gordon Delamont privately in Toronto. After working in Toronto dance bands and pit orchestras, and 1957-8 with Peter Appleyard, he began his CBC career in the early 1960s as a rehearsal pianist and was subsequently music director for 'À la carte' and 'In Person'. Dale moved to Hollywood in 1969 and, before returning to Toronto in 1972, was music director for 'The Smothers Brothers Show' (CBS TV 1969), 'The Andy Williams Show' (NBC TV, 1969-71), and 'The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour' (CBS TV, 1971-3, commuting for the last season). For the last he received an Emmy nomination in 1972 for 'outstanding achievement in the musical direction of a variety, musical or dramatic program'. In 1975 he returned to Hollywood briefly as music director of 'The Cher Show'.

In Toronto, Dale was music director for the CBC TV shows 'Juliette and Friends (1973-5) and 'The Bob McLean Show' (1975-81), for CTV's 'The Bobby Vinton Show' (1976-8), and for the privately syndicated series 'Bizarre' (1978-84) and 'Super Dave' (beginning in 1987). He wrote scores for feature and TV films (eg, B.S. I Love You, Crunch, The Execution of Raymond Graham, and Breakfast with Les and Bess), many jingles and TV signature songs, and orchestrations for the musicals Aimee! (Charlottetown Festival 1981) and Durante (1989), produced by Nicky Fylan and Mary Murphy. He also wrote arrangements for recordings by the pop singers Tommy Ambrose, Denyse Angé (accompanied by a studio orchestra under his direction for CTL), Keath Barrie, Mary Lou Collins, Cecile Frenette, and Bobby Vinton, and by the instrumentalists Eugene Amaro and Guido Basso. His own recordings include the LPs Soft and Groovy (1968, CBC LM-40/Cap SN-6290), Juliette's Christmas World (1968, CBC LM-51/RCA CAS-2279, with the Jimmy Dale Swingers), and Profiles (1980, Intercan IC-1013). Dale performed as a pianist on albums by Appleyard, Basso, and the Boss Brass (of which he was a member 1974-87) and for Toronto nightclub engagements by George Coleman, Coleman Hawkins, Peggy Lee and others.

Further Reading

  • Quill, Greg. 'What it's like to work in the world of media musicians,' CanComp, 107, Jan 1976

    Sutherland, Greg. 'Coast to coast: a profile of Jimmy Dale,' The Jazz Report, vol 3, Feb-Mar 1990

    Canadian Jazz Discography