Roger Dale, Songwriter
Biography - June 2012
June 25, 2012 Musical Biography of Roger Dale
I guess the "Bio" section is supposed to be written in third person and include a thesaurus of superlatives, such as "breath-taking", "flawless", and "heart-felt". That is not how I operate. It is now 5:26 a.m. on June 25, 2012 and I am sitting at my kitchen table in Albuquerque, NM. Yesterday was hot and today will be, too. I'm Roger Dale and I write songs.
Being raised on a ranch in the West River area of South Dakota during the 60'sand early 70's, I saw a lot of dichotomies. We would leave the barn on horseback before dawn, then spend days sitting on the metal seat of a tractor, plowing under wheat stubble. I knew leathery, whippet-thin old men who had cowboyed on the short grass prairie before there were fences, and other ones who checked their cattle from airplanes. On the highway driving into town, I saw cattle trucks covered in manure and converted school buses painted psychedelic colors full of Jesus-looking guys and Momma Cass-looking girls flocking to the west coast. I saw cowboys with white foreheads in pearl-snap shirts getting liquored up at the sale barn on Friday, and praying at church on Sunday. I wrestled, read books, joined 4-H, FFA, DeMolay, and acted in school plays. Walter Cronkite brought me the Vietnam War, Charlie Manson, and ghetto riots. I watched and listened.
In those days, you had to choose whether you were country or rock and roll. Short hair verses long hair. Cowboy verses city boy. Christian versed hell-raiser. My problem was that I was both, rather, all the above.
We listened to Buck Owens, Tammy Wynette, and Johnny Cash on pickup radios during lunch. I watched Lawrence Welk on KELO T.V . We sang shape-note songs at the Church of Christ. We ate Sunday dinner at someone's home every week after church. I won a GE clock radio in a raffle and began listening to the Beach Boys, The Eagles, Three Dog Night, Steppenwolf, Led Zeppelin, and the Beatles on KOMA at night. Mr. Bojangles, Rainy Night In Georgia, Brown-eyed Girl, Happy Together, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Lodi, Radar Love, Reuben James, Folsom Prison Blues, all of those fired my imagination and fed my spirit. Creedence Clearwater Revival was my favorite band, Roger Miller was the first record I owned. Kris Kristofferson was my favorite songwriter.
Ray Stevens recorded "Sunday Morning Coming Down" before Johnny Cash did. I heard it on my radio. It changed my life. I felt the power of a great song, written in plain language. I could be a teenager in junior high and a lonely man in the big, dirty city at the same time. Later, I watched Don McClean sing "Vincent" (Starry Starry Night...) in concert. Wow. THAT is what I wanted to do.
I got a guitar, learned some chords, and wrote a song. I played it for the Inter-hall talent show at college. I won first place. I dropped out of school, lived in my car and played where-ever I could get paid, had a few guitars stolen. I missed a lot of meals. I wrote more. I got in a duo, then a band, went back to work and back to school. I've played music either full-time or part-time ever since then. I moved to Oklahoma, Colorado, and now, New Mexico. I played C&W, disco, red-neck rock, big-band, and stare-at-your-navel singer-songwriter stuff.
I'm married to my best friend, raised great kids, work when I should. And play wherever I can, and want to. My guitar playing is decent. I'm not particular. I play the same music in beer joints and music festivals as I do in churches. I love to sing my songs at tiny, isolated churches in rural communities. I've learned how to balance all those dichotomies. It keeps it interesting.
I've had my share of joys and sorrows. I believe in Jesus. My heartaches hurt and I laugh a lot.
I'm proud of the songs I've written. I've been nominated for some awards. Other artists have recorded my stuff. I've had mothers tell me their kids sing my songs while they play. One of my lines was chosen to be as an epitaph on a headstone. I've gotten royalty checks. People clap for me. I've got new song titles running through my mind all the time. Life is good.
I still watch, listen and notice. The next song I write will be my best, I promise.
The beginning up to 1999.
Roger Dale is a performing songwriter. He
has over 25 years experience
writing songs and performing. He
began his music career in the 70ís in the Black Hills with the acoustic duo
ďBrookĒ playing bars and a live
weekly radio show. His move to
Lubbock, Texas found him playing bass in a redneck rock band.
He spent the late 70ís playing lead guitar and fronting ďThe WinedotsĒ,
a seven piece, big-band style show group in Oklahoma and Texas.
He also was a member of the Lazy B Wranglers, a chuckwagon western group
in Estes Park, CO.
He was raised on a ranch in South Dakota where he led
a lifestyle that is rapidly disappearing, in that he would often spend
all day in the saddle. His playing conflicted with college, so his formal education
was interrupted several times. However,
he eventually wound up with an agricultural degree from Oklahoma State, as well
as an MBA from the University of New Mexico.
Rogerís day jobs were equally checkered. Outside music and cattle, he has been a successful
entrepreneur, journeyman plumber,
radio DJ and sports announcer, and a professional salesman. He is married with two children.
has been featured every Saturday night since November, 1998 at Solid Grounds
Coffee House, located in St. Stephenís Methodist Church in Albuquerque, NM.
He writes all of his own material, which is a mixture of
Americana and Christian music. In
the last twelve months, he has performed in:
Albuquerque, NM- The State Fair of New Mexico,
Borders Books and Tapes, Bound To Be Read Bookstore, Barnes & Noble
Bookstore, Harwood Art Center, The Outpost Performance Space, Club Rhythm and
Blues, Sandia Joeís, Solomonís
Porch, La Vida Llena, Kirtland AFB, Mollyís
Bar, Juice & Java, and dozens of churches.
Socorro and Catron County, NM- The Pie Town Festival, The Capital Bar, Val Verde Steak House.
Jemez Springs, NM- Arts in The Parks Festival.
Los Alamos, NM- The Canyon Bar
Ruidoso, NM- Enchantment Inn
Santa Fe, NM- Ruby Redís
Greer, AZ- Molly Butler Lodge
Durango, CO- Sheraton Hotel
Oklahoma City, OK- Lighthouse Coffee House, Embassy Suites Hotel.
Austin, TX- Steak & Ale, Ruta Mayall, Tropical Heat
He teaches the song writing seminar for the Albuquerque Folk Festival,
performed at the Durango Songwriters Expo, and was a finalist for the New Mexico
Roger has just released his first solo CD, Thereís a Song Somewhere, on Lazy JD Records (LJD1224). It contains 14 original compositions. Musicians lending their talents include Texas fiddle legend, Dale Morris and Kerrville New Folk winner, Susan Clark. Roger self- publishes his songs and licenses through ASCAP and CCLI.
"I will play anywhere there is at least one of these three: 1. Good Sound; 2. Good Vibes; or 3. Good Money. (Score: 1 of 3= Good Gig; 2 of 3= Great Gig; 3 of 3= Heaven)
Ainít Too Proud To Brag:
Rogerís songwriting and performing landed him a showcase at the "Durango Songwriterís Expo" in October. The Expo is an industry-only workshop which included the Vice Presidents of A&R for Warner Brothers, Sony-Nashville, Arista-Nashville, Taxi, ASCAP and 35 other recording labels and publishing companies. Only 100 unsigned songwriters from across the nation were invited to attend and, of these, only 10 were asked to showcase. This national exposure got three of his songs published so far.
Rogerís song, "Goodnight and May God Bless", is scheduled to be included in a future A&E Biography on Red Skelton.
He was also one of 4 Albuquerque songwriters honored with a "All-Stars of Albuquerque" concert at the Outpost Performance Space.
-end- Page updated July 9, 2012