Born Ennis Lowery, 7 January 1923, Wharton, Texas

Larry Dale is a session guitarist who also recorded as a blues / R&B vocalist during the 1950s and early 1960s. B.B. King was an early influence on his guitar playing. Born in Texas, Larry had moved to New York City by the time he joined Paul "Hucklebuck" Williams and his band in the early fifties. The first record on which he can be heard as a singer is "Shame, Shame, Shame" (Jax 313), from 1952, credited to Paul Williams and his Orchestra. Dale is also the vocalist on the rousing "I'm Tired"/"Where Is My Honey" by Big Red McHouston (alias Mickey Baker) on Groove 0020. In 1954 he had the first release under his own (chosen) name, Larry Dale. A session for RCA's Groove subsidiary on June 21, 1954, produced four tracks, the best of which was "You Better Heed My Warning", which came out on Groove 0029, c/w "Please Tell Me". The backing was supplied by an all-star cast that included Mickey Baker, Sam Taylor, Jack Dupree, Lloyd Trotman and Panama Francis. The two other songs from this fruitful session, "Down To the Bottom" and "Midnight Hours", were originally unissued, but fortunately all four are now available on the excellent Mickey Baker CD on Rev-Ola ("In the '50s : Hit, Git & Split"), compiled and annotated by Dave Penny. This compilation also includes the above mentioned "I'm Tired" and "Stranger Blues" from the same session.

Larry's next vocal session was for Herald in 1955, yielding one single release. The next year rock 'n' roll exploded on the music scene and inevitably, Dale tried his hand at the genre, with "Rock 'n' Roll Baby"/ "Hoppin' and Skippin'" (Ember 1009), the latter from the 1955 session. For the next four years, Larry worked the New York club circuit with his lifelong friend, pianist Bob Gaddy (who had a fairly successful 45 for Old Town in 1955, "Operator"), and was much in demand as a session player. Particularly impressive is his playing on Champion Jack Dupree's recordings from this period, especially the Atlantic LP "Blues From the Gutter" (recorded 1958, released April 1959), where he was credited under his own name, Ennis Lowery. His playing on that album inspired Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones. In 1957, Larry also did several sessions with Cootie Williams and his Savoy Ballroom Orchestra (for RCA), where he was given an occasional chance to sing. Williams was basically a jazz trumpet player, but Dale was a very versatile guitarist, equally at ease playing blues, rock 'n' roll and jazz.

In 1960, Larry did another vocal session, for the Old Town subsidiary Glover in New York City, resulting in two good singles, "Big Muddy" (Glover 203) and "Let the Door Bell Ring" (Glover 208). Both have been included on the double CD "Hy Weiss Presents Old Town Records" (Ace 979). The next year he was signed by Atlantic, but of the five tracks recorded in November 1961, only "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee"/ "Keep Getting Up" was issued (Atlantic 2133). Singles on Ram (1968) and Fire (1969) rounded out Dale's recording career as a vocalist. None of his recordings charted nationally, but Dale continued to perform for several decades and may still be playing the occasional gig nowadays.

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