Cable received an Associate diploma (ATCM) from The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto in conducting and bandmastership 1939. He is also a recipient of an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts (DFA) degree from the University of Lethbridge in 2002. Cable studied piano, clarinet, and oboe, and played in the Parkdale Collegiate Institute orchestra under Leslie Bell. While leading a dance band, the Cavaliers, 1935-41 in Toronto and at southern Ontario summer resorts, he studied at the Toronto Conservatory of Music with Sir Ernest MacMillan, Ettore Mazzoleni, and Healey Willan. He also studied with John Weinzweig in 1945.
Cable composed and arranged the original theme for the Hockey Night in Canada television broadcast, The Saturday Game which opened the broadcast from 1952 until 1968. His arrangement of Dolores Claman's "The Hockey Theme", which replaced his own composition in 1968, is the standard version, has been called "Canada's Second National Anthem". His Royal Conservatory arrangement of "The Hockey Theme" for piano is one of the best selling pieces of sheet music in Canada.
Cable was conductor for the early CBC TV variety programs General Electric Showtime and Mr. Show Business. In addition he conducted and arranged music for various CBC radio and TV programs in the 1960s. From 1971 to 1985 he was host of the program Howard Cable Presents heard on St. Catharines radio station "CHRE-fm", and for most of the years it was the station's highest rated program.
As of 2013, Cable remains active as a guest conductor of symphony orchestras across Canada; his concerts usually featuring a refreshing mix of light classical, pop, big band swing and show tunes.
Wind Ensemble/Concert Band
- Newfoundland Rhapsody (1956)
- Quebec Folk Fantasy (1953)
- Snake Fence Country (1954)
- McIntyre Ranch Country (2002)
- Good Medicine (2005)
- 10 Provinces March (an arrangement of folk tunes)
- Cable, Howard entry in The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada (part of The Canadian Encyclopedia)
- Howard Cable Northdale Music Press Ltd. biography
- Howard Cable Canadian Music Centre biography
- Howard Cable profile for University of Lethbridge Music Department