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Richards, Dallas Murray

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Richards, Dallas Murray

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Jan. 5, 1918-Dec. 31, 2015


Dallas Murray Richards was born in Vancouver, BC, on January 5, 1918. After losing an eye in an accident, he took up the clarinet with Arthur Delamont and was touring with the Kitsilano Boys Band by 1933. He began playing his own gigs in 1937 while still in high school. In 1940 he was given a permanent spot at Hotel Vancouver's Panorama Roof restaurant where he enjoyed a 25 year run with his band. Lorraine McAllister joined the band as a singer and married Richards in 1951. They had one daughter, Dallas Richards.
Fired from the Panorama Roof in 1965 because of a popular turn away from big band style music, Richards went to B.C.I.T. and completed a two year program in Hotel Management, thus embarking on a second career. He held positions in Canada and the United States at such places as U.B.C., the Century Plaza, the Georgia Hotel, and the Devonshire Hotel. During this time Richards continued to play the occasional gig and in 1982, as big band regained popularity, he released his first album in twelve years, Swing Is In, which was followed by a sequel within a year.
Among his other achievements, Richards was instrumental in forming and leading the B.C. Lions halftime entertainment band from the team s 1954 inception. He also participated in many benefit and fundraising events, including heavy involvement with the B.C. Variety Club, Tent 47, of which he was named Executive Director in 1984. He continued to play with his band well into his 90s.
Dal Richards passed away December 31, 2015, at the age of 97.


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