Dal Richards

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Dal Richards
Dal Richards in March 2009
Richards in March 2009
Background information
Birth name Dallas Murray Richards
Born (1918-01-05)5 January 1918
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Origin Vancouver
Died 31 December 2015(2015-12-31) (aged 97)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Genres Swing
Occupation(s) conductor, big band leader, clarinetist, saxophonist
Years active 1940–2015
Website www.dalrichards.com

Dallas Murray "Dal" Richards,[1] CM, OBC (5 January 1918 – 31 December 2015) was a Canadian big band leader. [2]

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 the Sandy DeSantis and Stan Paton bands. On 1 May 1940, Richards, his 11-piece band and a then-unknown 13-year-old Juliette were booked to replace Mart Kenney and His Western Gentlemen, Canada's leading dance band at the time. This initial 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 dried up, Richards went into hotel management. Gradually the interest in swing and big band music picked up. In 1982–1983, Richards and his band recorded a pair of well-received revival albums. Mayor Mike Harcourt of Vancouver declared 3 February 1984 "Dal Richards' Day".

Richards and his band continued to perform in the Lower Mainland, from the PNE band stand to the annual New Year celebration at the Bayshore Hotel. Richards' band played 79 consecutive New Year's Eve concerts, until his death at 11:41 p.m.[3] on 31 December 2015.[2]

Richards led his band for many years in a weekly CBC Radio show broadcast nationally from the Panorama Roof Ballroom of the Hotel Vancouver.[4] As of February 2012, Richards also hosted a weekly one-hour show on radio station CISL.[5]

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".[6] Peggy Miller of CJCA, an Edmonton radio station, wrote the lyrics in 1953, and Dal 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.[7]

Awards and recognition[edit]


  1. ^ "Dal Richards". Vancouver Foundation. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Mackie, John (1 January 2016). "Dal Richards, Vancouver's King of Swing, dies at 97". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  3. ^ http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/richards+vancouver+king+swing+dies/11625321/story.html
  4. ^ Davis, Chuck, ed. (1997). Greater Vancouver Book. Linkman Press. ISBN 978-1-896846-00-2. 
  5. ^ "Dal Richards". CISL. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2010. 
  6. ^ Corbett, Neil (3 June 2010). "Dal Richards: 92 and still swinging". Mission City Record. Retrieved 31 October 2010. [permanent dead link]
  7. ^ Beamish, Mike (14 September 2012). "B.C. Football Hall of Fame welcomes a new leader of the band (with video)". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "Dal Murray Richards, C.M., O.B.C.". Governor General of Canada. Retrieved 31 October 2010. 

External links[edit]