76 (passed away Apr. 20th, 2002)
Jul. 9th, 1925
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Alan Dale's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
The man many consider to have possessed the greatest voice EVER in popular music, Alan Dale's career spanned three decades and 16 record labels. At age 17 he was a big-band vocalist; first with Carmen Cavallaro, then George Paxton. In 1948 he achieved stardom via CBS's musical quiz show "Sing it Again" (this is the program referred to in the James Stewart film "Pot O' Gold"). His own Alan Dale Show (Dumont and CBS) was the FIRST television program kinescoped for showing in other parts of the country. By 1951, Dale was one of the hottest singers around. Then fate dealt him a terrible blow. Overwork, combined with unhappy events in his private life, aggravated an ulcer condition, and Alan collapsed during one of his live TV shows. By the time he had recovered his health he had lost all of his shows. His climb back began with old friend Bob Thiele, then A&R chief of Coral Records. Previously, Thiele had produced many of Alan's hits, and proceeded to do so again with: OH, MARIE; I'M SORRY; CHERRY PINK; SWEET AND GENTLE; ROCKIN' THE CHA CHA. The success of the latter led to Dale's starring in the 1957 film "DON'T KNOCK THE ROCK." Unfortunately, the dark and seamy side of show business eventually caused Alan to become disillusioned (for the candid details read his autobiography "THE SPIDER AND THE MARIONETTES") and, quite deliberately, he gradually faded from the spotlight. Which is our loss, because ALAN DALE was one of the very best (Mel Torme mentioned him in his book "My Singing Teachers"), and he deserves to be rediscovered, just as Tony Bennett has been.
- Only child of Agatha and father Aristide, who was a comedian in Italian theaters in New York.
- Started his career at age 9 when he ran up on stage to sing when open invitation to audience was offered.
- Graduate of Brooklyn's Lafayette High School and long-time resident of Sheepshead Bay, Bklyn.
- In 1953, gossip columns reported that Universal Pictures was floating the idea of teaming Alan Dale with his pal Buddy Hackett, as their studio's answer to Paramount's box office sensations, Martin and Lewis. Nothing came of the idea because Alan preferred to remain a solo act.
- One of Alan Dale's great allies was the record producer (and husband of singer Teresa Brewer) Bob Thiele. In his book, "What a Wonderful World: A Lifetime of Recordings", Thiele writes admiringly about Dale, and offers his thoery of why Alan's career crashed. He said that Alan was adamant in refusing to accept "help" from mobsters --- who not only owned a large number of nightclubs, but also influenced record sales (through their control of the juke box industry, etc). Thiele lists several other Italian singers who had hit records partly due to mob influence. Dale was not only stubbornly independent, he was daringly outspoken in his disrespect toward these would-be mentors. Thiele claims that the 1960 incident at the Latin Quarter nightclub was no accident [After performing at a benefit, Dale was attacked by an unknown assailant, and sent hurtling through Latin Quarter's plate-glass window. Fortunately, Dale's reflexes were quick; he raised his hands over his face, and thus was spared more serious injury]. But this headlined incident sent a message to all the other nightclubs: To avoid trouble, stay away from Alan Dale.
- Alan Dale also wrote "Anatomy of Rebellion", a sociological tract on problems in the country.
- Alan Dale also appeared in an off-Broadway version of the film 'Susan Slept Here'. He played the hero.
- In 1955 Alan Dale was approached by producers who were planning a film on the life of legendary crooner Russ Columbo, who was a major romantic idol in the early 1930s. Columbo was in the midst of a well publicized romance with Carole Lombard (which her studio was said to be strongly against) when he was killed in a bizarre shooting "accident" at the age of 26. Alan Dale's voice had a quality reminiscent of the ill-fated singer's, and in view of the dramatic facts of Columbo's life, a picture about him seemed a good bet. For some unknown reason the project never materialized.
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