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Canadian Heritage

Jimmy Dale


JAMES (JIMMY) DALE (pianist, organist, arranger, composer, conductor) was born on October 23, 1935 in London, England.

He was 12 when his family moved to Toronto, Canada where he began studying piano at the Royal Conservatory of Music and privately with Gordon Delamont. His first professional playing jobs were in Toronto pit-bands and dance orchestras, highlighted by a two-year stint with vibraphonist Peter Appleyard in the late ‘50s, but his career really took off after he began rising in the musical ranks at the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) in the early 1960s, serving as Music Director for several shows and specials there until 1969 when he moved to Hollywood.

During the next four years there, Dale was Music Director for some of the biggest variety shows of the time -- 'The Andy Williams Show' for NBC, and 'The Smothers Brothers Show' and 'The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour' on CBS. He returned to Toronto in 1972, and resumed prominence as Music Director for many of the biggest Canadian television shows including ‘Juliette and Friends’ and the ‘Bob McLean Show’ on CBC-TV, ‘The Bobby Vinton Show’ on CTV, and long-running hit syndicated shows ‘Super Dave’ and ‘Bizarre’. He has written a number of scores for feature films and television movies, composed jingles and show themes, and orchestrations for live musical theatre hits.

Dale was the pianist in performances and recordings with Rob McConnell and ‘The Boss Brass’ for 13 years throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, the same period when he was playing frequent Toronto club appearances and/or recording with Guido Basso, Peter Appleyard, George Coleman, Peggy Lee, Coleman Hawkins, and others. He has written arrangements and conducted studio orchestras for Canadian Talent Library recordings, arranged for a host of other successful recordings including those by singers Tommy Ambrose and Bobby Vinton, and leading instrumentalists such as Eugene Amaro and Guido Basso. Dale also arranged and was a featured performer on three of his own recordings -- ‘Juliette's Christmas World’ (CBC 1968), ‘Soft and Groovy’ (CBC 1968), and ‘Profiles’ (Intercan 1980).

Jimmy Dale was the pianist for Rob McConnell and ‘The Boss Brass’ when they performed in their first “Sound of Toronto Jazz” Concert at the Ontario Science Centre on November 5. 1979.


1972 – Emmy Award nomination as Music Director for 'The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour' (CBS Television) for 'outstanding achievement in the musical direction of a variety, musical or dramatic program'