Dick Dale

2015 - Matousek Family Lifetime Achievement Award

Richard Lee (Dick) Dale was born Sept. 14, 1926 in Algona. He learned to play the saxophone in seventh grade. After graduating from high school at age 16, he did a stint in the United States Navy. He returned to Algona, playing with various area bands.

While playing with the “Six Fat Dutchmen” he was introduced to Lawrence Welk. A few short months later Dick became a permanent member of the Lawrence Welk Orchestra, so, with his wife Marguerite moved to California.

Dick was one of only three musicians to appear on all the Lawrence Welk television shows, from the first broadcast in 1951 to the latest special still airing on PBS from 1982. With the orchestra Dick had the privilege of playing at four Presidential Inaugural Balls and at many of the major venues in America including Carnegie Hall.

After the Welk show ended, the sax player and singer continued his music career with the Billy Vaughn Orchestra in Japan, at the Rainbow Theater in Tennessee and at Reno, Nevada. In 2006 Marguerite and Dick moved back to Algona where he continued to share his musical talents.

Dick possessed a beautiful singing voice and expert saxophone skills. He has entertained millions of people in a lifetime of bringing musical pleasure to us all. Dick was a kind and generous man who was proud of his Iowa roots and represented his home state with dignity and grace, along with his musical talents.

Mr. Dale passed away suddenly on Friday, Dec. 26, 2014. He knew of his upcoming Lifetime Achievement honor and was looking forward to spending Hall of Fame weekend with his peers in the music industry. We believe Dick is with us in spirit while entertaining every soul in Heaven.  We pray that the Lord bless the soul of this man who has made us laugh, smile, tap our feet in time to the music, dance and sing along for three generations.  Dick Dale personifies a lifetime of musical achievement.

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