Hale was a six-time Emmy nominee who became the musical director for The Dean Martin Show and later helmed the popular celebrity roast specials hosted by Martin. He joined the program in 1965 and remained on board until it ended in 1974. He was recruited by show director Greg Garrison to step up the show’s music, and Hale contributed with original songs, jingles and other works drawn from his knowledge of 20th century popular music. Irving Berlin gave him the rare honor of allowing his songs to be used in the show, something he rarely granted to others.
Hale was born March 25, 1923 in Tacoma, Washington. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, he worked as a choral director on the CBS variety show The Entertainers, a one-season vehicle for Carol Burnett, Bob Newhart, Dom DeLuise and Ruth Buzzi.
Hale also became music director for The Golddiggers, a spin-off starring the female singing and dancing troupe from The Dean Martin Show.
His resume includes the syndicated The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters, three Bob Hope Christmas specials, a special on NBC’s first 50 years, and several Emmy Awards telecasts. He memorialized it all in his book, Backstage at The Dean Martin Show, released in 2000.
Spouse Richard Neely survives him. His funeral will be held on Monday, May 20 at 3PM at Forest Lawn.