ALGONA | Dick Dale, a singer and saxophone player best known for his appearances on the old Lawrence Welk television program, died Friday in Algona. He was 88.
Dale sang and played the sax in many Midwest clubs over the years including the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake.
But he was best known for his work with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra and television program. He auditioned for Welk in 1951, was hired, and played "champagne music" and sang with the Welk orchestra until the television show ended in 1982.
Dale was a 1943 graduate of Algona High School who lived in Los Angeles for many years where the Welk program was taped.
In 2006, he and his wife Marguerite moved back to Algona.
In a 2007 interview with the Globe Gazette, Dale reflected on his years with Welk. "It was such a great show," he said. "Everybody knew everybody. It was just like a big family. It was my pleasure to work with them — a little farm boy from Iowa."
At the time of the interview, he was still performing for local gigs in the Algona area.
"I've had a wonderful career, really," said Dale. "I'm still working on it. I thought I was coming back here to retire, but I guess not."
Service arrangements are under direction of Oakcrest Funeral Services in Algona.