Richards in March 2009
|Birth name||Dallas Murray Richards|
|Born||5 January 1918|
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
|Died||31 December 2015 (aged 97)|
|Occupation(s)||Conductor, bandleader, musician|
Dallas Murray "Dal" Richards, CM, OBC (5 January 1918 – 31 December 2015) was a Canadian big band leader. He graduated from Magee Secondary School in 1937 and the British Columbia Institute of Technology in 1968.
His saxophone and clarinet were first heard in bands of Sandy DeSantis and Stan Paton. On 1 May 1940, Richards, his 11-piece band, and 13-year-old Juliette were scheduled to replace Mart Kenney and His Western Gentlemen, Canada's leading dance band at the time. This six-week contract was extended to 25 years of regular performances and broadcasts at The Roof. When musical tastes changed in the mid-1960s and work in jazz was harder to get, Richards went into hotel management. Gradually interest in swing music returned. In 1982–1983, Richards and his band recorded a pair of well-received albums. Mayor Mike Harcourt of Vancouver declared 3 February 1984 Dal Richards' Day.
Richards and his band continued to perform in the Lower Mainland, at PNE bandstand and the annual New Year celebration at the Bayshore Hotel. The band played 79 consecutive New Year's Eve concerts until his death on 31 December 2015.
Richards led his band for many years in a weekly CBC Radio show broadcast nationally from the Panorama Roof Ballroom of the Hotel Vancouver. He hosted a weekly one-hour show on radio station CISL.
Richards was commonly thought to be the lyricist of "Roar You Lions Roar", the fight song of the BC Lions football club set to the music of "I Love the Sunshine of Your Smile". However, Peggy Miller of CJCA, an Edmonton radio station, wrote the lyrics in 1953, and Richards arranged and popularized the song with his band's performance at games. His 1968 album CFL Songs popularized "Roar You Lions Roar", "Go Argos Go", "On Roughriders" and many other songs still heard to this day in CFL stadiums.
Awards and honours
- "Dal Richards". Vancouver Foundation. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- Mackie, John (1 January 2016). "Dal Richards, Vancouver's King of Swing, dies at 97". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- Mackie, ,John. "Dal Richards, Vancouver’s King of Swing, dies at 97". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
- Davis, Chuck, ed. (1997). Greater Vancouver Book. Linkman Press. ISBN 978-1-896846-00-2.
- "Dal Richards". CISL. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
- Beamish, Mike (14 September 2012). "B.C. Football Hall of Fame welcomes a new leader of the band". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 1 January 2016.
- "Dal Murray Richards, C.M., O.B.C." Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 31 October 2010.
- Baker, Paula (4 January 2016). "WATCH: Looking back at legendary big band leader Dal Richards". Global News. Retrieved 15 September 2018.