Dick StabileShow Count: 18
Series Count: 1
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Born: May 29, 1909
Old Time Radio, Newark, New Jersey, USA
Died: September 25, 1980, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
An American jazz saxophonist and bandleader. Dick Stabile got his start playing in theater ensembles on Broadway in the 1950s. He joined Ben Bernie's orchestra in 1928, where he remained for several years. In 1935 he started his own ensemble, recording with vocalists such as Bunny Berigan, Paula Kelly, Burt Shaw, and Gracie Barrie, the last of which he would go on to marry.
During this time Stabile recorded for the labels Decca, Bluebird,ARC, and Vocalion/Okeh. His band worked often in hotels in New York City and was chosen to play at the New York World's Fair in 1959–60.
During World War II Stabile led a band while serving in the Coast Guard; Gracie Barrie led his ensemble in his absence. After the war he moved to Los Angeles, where he began working with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis from 1949 up to his death. He was the leader of the orchestra on many of Martin's popular recordings. Additionally, he worked with Jimmy Dorsey and Vincent Lopez. Contrary to the assertions of some, Stabile did not play the alto solos in "So Rare," which was recorded by Jimmy Dorsey on November 11, 1956. Rather, Stabile was utilized for his alto in a session that occurred several days after Dorsey's death, and under the leadership of trumpeter Lee Castle.
After spending the latter 1960s leading dance bands at Los Angeles ballrooms, Stabile took a job at the Hotel Roosevelt in New Orleans, where he worked from the middle of the 1970s until his death as a result of a heart attack in 1980.