Larry Dale

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A New York session guitarist who backed some of the city's top artists, Larry Dale also made a handful of fine singles as a singer during the 1950s and early '60s. Taking initial inspiration on his guitar…
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A New York session guitarist who backed some of the city's top artists, Larry Dale also made a handful of fine singles as a singer during the 1950s and early '60s.

Taking initial inspiration on his guitar from B.B. King during the early '50s, Dale made some solid sides as a leader for Groove in 1954 (including "You Better Heed My Warning"/"Please Tell Me") with a band that included another local guitar great, Mickey Baker, and pianist Champion Jack Dupree. Dale was a frequent studio cohort of the rollicking pianist, playing his axe on all four of Dupree's 1956-58 sessions for RCA's Groove and Vik subsidiaries and, under his legal handle of Ennis Lowery, on the definitive Dupree LP, 1958's Blues from the Gutter, for Atlantic. Dale also recorded with saxist Paul Williams during the mid-'50s for Jax, providing the vocal on "Shame Shame Shame."

Dale worked the New York club circuit during the '50s with pianist Bob Gaddy, who had a fairly successful single for Old Town in 1955, "Operator." From 1956 to 1958, Dale played with bandleader Cootie Williams before rejoining Gaddy. At last report, the two still played together.

Dale made most of his best sides as a leader when the decade turned. For "Glover Records," he waxed the storming party blues "Let the Doorbell Ring" and an equally potent "Big Muddy" in 1960, then revived Sticks McGhee's "Drinkin' Wine-Spo-Dee-O-Dee" in 1962 on Atlantic. Alas, none of those worthy sides made much of a splash.