Prince of Crooners
"I bought a second-hand pair of tuxedo pants without pleats in front for six dollars, and a faded powder-blue dinner jacket that was much too long and had too much padding in the shoulders. Next I selected a maroon, clip-on bow tie and, God forgive me, a maroon boutonniere to go with it. I was sixteen, but already I sported a fuzzy mustache, and I wore my hair in sideburns and long in the back. Add these to
the costume and I think you get the picture."
From Alan Dale's autobiography, "The Spider and the Marionettes",
describing his debut at Coney Island's Atlantis Club
By the time Alan joined Carmen Cavallaro's Orchestra,
he had lost the fuzzy mustache and sideburns, but he
was still experimenting with his hair. Ah, youth!
MOVIE PIX MAGAZINE (1951)
Every year, on or around July 9th, my birthday, the fans would join me on a boat ride up the Hudson River to Bear Mountain. The kids came from the New York area and even from places as far off as Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and Boston.
The boat left the pier at 9 A.M., and returned at 8 P.M. When Lou Perry and I initiated the
idea in 1948, I made the trip reluctantly, expecting a hectic day with frenzied teen-agers. The first hour of the first trip taught me better. The kids were wonderful. They were all ladies and gentlemen, and I was sorry to leave them when the day ended.
On the boat, en route to Bear Mountain, we sat together on the upper deck, singing songs and playing games. Arriving at our destination, we ate our lunch and talked while I was kept busy posing for their pictures. Most of the kids took posed pictures of me. They asked, "Turn around, Alan," then snapped me, full face and smiling. I asked them why they didn't prefer candid shots. Most of them didn't know. Some answered, "We just like to call you and have you turn around. We only have one day a year to do it." I liked that answer very much!
The inevitable softball game followed, my manager in charge of one team and I the other. Five innings of this usually sufficed. Then came the potato-sack races and other games that left us limp with exhaustion but happy.
The trip back to New York was quieter then the trip out. Instead of singing and playing, the kids became philosophical; they told me what they liked about my career, my associates, my clothes, and my friends. Funny, though I seldom allowed others to talk to me about these things, I listened patiently to my fans. I even found they were sometimes right. They were wonderful and I loved them very much --- these dear people who did so much for me,
with only their personal satisfaction and my thanks as their gain."
Pages 179-180 "The Spider and the Marionettes":
TV PIX MAGAZINE (February 1952)
ALAN AND HIS FANS
The loyalty of Alan's fans --- even through the worst of times --- was due not only to his great talent, but was also in reciprocation to the genuine affection he had for them. Actually, in many ways he was still "one of them" --- he never developed a "star" mentality, and continued to live modestly in the same Brooklyn neighbor- hood until he eventually bought a home for his parents (with whom he continued to live) and that too was in Brooklyn! This special relationship with his fans was described by Alan in his autobiography:
DISCLAIMER: The material on this site has been acquired from a variety of publicly aired and published sources. Attribution is provided wherever it is known. It is not my intention to violate anyone's copyright on any material. All the text (with the exception of a few attributed quotes) is my own creation. Anyone wishing to use any of my original work need only contact me for permission. This site was created without the knowledge or cooperation of Alan Dale, and is intended purely for the enjoyment of his many loyal fans.
Photo by Jerry Tiffany