Percussionist who served in the United States Air Force in the 702nd Air Force Band in Omaha, Nebraska, as well as the Drum and Bugle Corps and Bandsman Training School, where he taught—what else—percussion. After his tour of duty, he returned home to Chicago, Illinois, where he was a member of one of the television studio orchestras, then packed his bags for Tinseltown and proceeded to carve out a forty-year career for himself as a session man. He also was the principal percussionist for the Pasadena Symphony and worked with the L.A. Opera, and went on to teach at the University of Southern California.
In the late ‘50s, he was a member of David Carroll’s orchestra, which put out the experimental albums, Percussion in Hi-Fi and Re-Percussion. Equally adventurous were his collaborations with Esquivel, Other Worlds Other Sounds and See it in Sound. He also played on several Rosemary Clooney albums which are now available on CD: The Best of the Concord Years, Concord Jazz Heritage Series, Songs from the Girl Singer: A Musical Autobiography, and White Christmas.
In the mid-‘60s, he recorded quite a bit with Dean Martin, appearing on Dino’s Everybody Loves Somebody: The Reprise Years and Lay Some Happiness on Me: The Reprise Years. Dale was a double-threat on Lou Rawls’ For You My Love, on which he played marimba and vibraphone.
In the 1970s, he became active in the film industry, performing on the soundtracks of Electra Glide in Blue and Blazing Saddles. He also continued to record with some big names in the music industry, including Henry Mancini on his 1975 release, Symphonic Soul and Frank Sinatra on his 1979 boxed set, Trilogy. Another artist with whom he worked with was Harry Nilsson, who seemed to appreciate his multi-instrumental acumen: Dale is credited with adaptation, mallets, percussion and timpani on the equally verbose Pandemonium Shadow Show/Aerial Ballet/Aerial Pandemonium Ballet. Naturally, Dale made the cut on Nilsson’s 16 Top Tracks, released in 1988.
In 1994, he drummed on Eartha Kitt’s Eartha Quake and returned to the movie studio with his trusty marimba for the soundtracks of I’ll Do Anything and Quiz Show. It is probably unsurprising that he would pop up on a Ray Conniff album titled I Love Movies. Two years later, in 1999, the two of them collaborated again on ‘s Country. (An odd title, but if you put Ray Conniff’s name in front of it, it makes a bit more sense.)
Dale really got into the Christmas spirit near the end of the millennium: He worked on the soundtrack of the made-for-TV movie, Merry Christmas, George Bailey, celebrated A Christmas to Remember with Amy Grant and a Merry Little Christmas with Linda Ronstadt.
Dale passed away in the first decade of the new millennium, but he left behind a musical legacy immortalized in vinyl and in compact-disc form. He also wrote a popular educational book entitled Well Tempered Mallet Studies, and apparently that’s him drumming on the theme for the NBC Nightly News.
Dale performed on Henry Mancini’s soundtrack of Hatari!…