Ricky Dale was born in England and raised in West Africa and referred to the family as being “Colonial” nationality.
Ricky’s singing career began in 1959 with one nighters, college dates and the occasional radio show. As fame increased, he travelled across North America and moved between the UK and Canada charming capacity audiences in clubs and theatres. An individual style and heartfelt rendering of ballads, and the contrast of his wild Rock n Roll were, he says “inspired from the hop and energy of West Africa.
As the 60s developed, Ricky began to shun the glare of celebrity. Studios, clubs and sages pulsed with drugs and a tragic mass entertainment of messed up, so called music was becoming mainstream. After a long absence from the stage, he completed contractual obligations in Niagara, Canada and Southampton, England.
In 2000, Ricky, with his daughter Kim visited Canada. “It was a kind of odyssey to the past” he says. Their poignant journey encompassed in the Brant Inn location in Burlington, Ontario. Decades before, as an enterprising teenage from England, he stepped into the limelight of this fabulous nightclub and truly perfected his craft. In that golden era, a host of glamorous stars entertained the Brant’s sophisticated audiences. Ricky had fronted the Guy Lombardo Band, duetted with the sheer genius, Danny Kaye, and been “mothered” by beautiful Jayne Mansfield. “When the old timers were mean to me, she provided sympathetic company where I could escape at will and complain. The Brant Inn was tragically torn down in around 1970, but as Kim and I stood on the shore of Lake Ontario (near Maple Avenue), we could easily imagine the melodies that had floated out across the lake; sometimes reality is not permitted to be an intruder!
Sometimes Ricky would come to the UK for a few weeks if his agent had any work lined up for him. On such an occasion was in 1962, when he was booked to appear at the Princess Theatre in Torquay. Helen Shapiro was the main attraction but Ricky also got some time on the stage. Most of his work was in and around Ontario – Toronto, Hamilton, Burlington and Niagara Falls, and he also participated in a show similar to the “X factor talent show” on Channel 11 TV. The Brant Inn used to broadcast nightly across the Province. Ricky expressed that his mother was incredibly thrilled when she heard him singing on her radio one evening.
Before Peter ,Paul and Mary were big stars Ricky and the group used to gig at the Downstairs Club in Hamilton !
Venues also included weddings and bar mitzvahsm.
In July 2001, Ricky and his daughter Kim visited Smithville; Ontario which was where the Limberlost Restaurant was situated back in the 1960’s. This is the restaurant features in Ricky’s “Limberlost” Series
The building in the background is Smithville railway station. Ricky had a professional photographer/editor change the name on the sign to “Anville ” which is the fictional name in his novel
Around this time, Ricky owned a 1957 previously, police car. Most people of his age at the time were driving around in similar style cars, now considered vintage. For Ricky, it was important to have a car because unlike the UK, public transport was poor at that time and oftentimes Ricky wouldn’t finish his act until after midnight when the club closed.
Ricky went on to write a number of brilliant novels including his five star critic – rated “Limberlost” series, “The House on Dundas and Vine”, “Cloud Burst” and “I Knew the Bride when she used to Rock n Roll!”. Each with its own different genre. Ricky Dale describes these books as “stories within stories” or “non-fiction fiction”, which provide a sense of authenticity and realism. These books incorporate elements of Ricky’s inspiring and wonderful experiences throughout his life, almost reflected what life really is – It’s what you make it !
If you’re searching for a new read, Ricky’s novels are available under these titles: (with a brief overview)
Cloudburst by Ricky Dale – A uniquely personal insight into the fact-based account of Dahlia Carriera and Sandra Comanescu
Limberlost – A young girls journey to finding herself and her path in Ontario, Canada https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005XR5R9E/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_2Z0Y8P5MCXG5J46DK7NE
The House on Dundas and Vine – A heartwarming story based on true events in Ricky’s life, involving a strong sense of friendship and romance
I Knew the Bride When She Used to Rock n Roll – A ghost story, based on true events https
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