He is a multi-instrumentalist, conductor, arranger, producer and composer, born Jack D. Hale Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee, known mainly as a trumpeter and trombonist, who came from a family of respected musicians.
He began performing on the trumpet when he was 13 years old under the tutelage of his father and uncle and was fortunate enough to be able to watch recording sessions that family members were involved in while he was still young and got acquainted with many of the biggest artists recording in Memphis at the time.
His high school had him appearing in the band with his uncle being the Music Instructor and Band Director and while at University of Memphis he majored in music composition and also managed to get work as a session musician.
He also had the advantage of being able to spent time in a studio to learn about the engineering, recording and production side of things and gain an all round knowledge of music.
Although he had been performing since the late 1970s, including on the 1975 hit song “Full of Fire” by Al Green which was his first real success, he became an official member of The Memphis Horns in 1977, who had been heard on nearly every recording put out by the Stax label as well as appearing later on others.
In 1980 he landed the position of music director to Johnny Cash and spent the next ten years recording and touring with him.
Deciding to concentrate on production work he established Hale House Productions where he is able to wear the hat of producer, musician, engineer and every other position that needs to be filled. Throughout his career he has worked with literally hundreds of artists and a number of symphony orchestras.
An acclaimed musician and producer he has been involved with acts such as Bonnie Bramlett, Canned Heat, Roy Clark, Robert Cray, Steve Cropper, Dr. John, Dave Edmunds, Yvonne Elliman, Firefall, Aretha Franklin, Isaac Hayes, Etta James, Waylon Jennings, Memphis Slim, Ronnie Milsap, John Prine, Keith Richards, Sam & Dave, Seals & Crofts, Rufus Thomas, U2 and the composer John Williams.
His countless recordings can’t possibly all be listed here but a small selection of what he can be heard on includes Cowboy’s Sweetheart by Lynn Anderson, Floridays by Jimmy Buffett, Gone Girl by Johnny Cash, Genius & Soul: The 50th Anniversary Collection by Ray Charles, Takin‘ It to the Streets by The Doobie Brothers, Memphis Menu by Jose Feliciano, Let’s Stay Together by Al Green, Bring ‘Em In by Buddy Guy, All Killer, No Filler: The Anthology by Jerry Lee Lewis, Continuum by John Mayer, Get Up and Dance by The Memphis Horns, Shotgun Willie by Willie Nelson, Smile by Marti Pellow, Live a Little, Love a Little/Charro!/The Trouble With Girls by Elvis Presley, Come On Home by Boz Scaggs, Stephen Stills 2 by Stephen Stills and Wild Streak by Hank Williams Jr.
He also appeared on the documentary film U2: Rattle and Hum in 1988.
Respected in the more official side of music, he held the position of the Nashville Chapter Composition/Arranging Committee Chairman of NARAS for a period 6 years.
Here is The Memphis Horns “Just For Your Love” from 1977….