Dale Houston (April 23, 1940 – September 27, 2007) was an American singer who, along with his performing partner, Grace Broussard, hit the Billboard chart as Dale & Grace with two rock and roll singles. The first was the #1 gold record "I'm Leaving It Up to You" in 1963. "Stop and Think It Over" reached #8 in 1964. In his later years, Houston was reunited onstage with Broussard on several occasions.
Robert Dale Houston was delivered by a midwife on a kitchen table in Seminary, Mississippi on April 23, 1940. The family later moved to Collins Mississippi, where Dale's father became a minister. By sixth grade, Dale began his musical training by taking piano lessons, but had to quit after three months, as his parents could no longer afford them. From that point on, Dale was self taught and polished his musical skills by playing and singing in church. Determined to make music his life, an 18 year old Dale recorded a song called "Lonely Man", which climbed to #75 on the national record charts.
Dale was playing in Baton Rouge in 1960 when Montel Record executive, Sam Montel caught his act in a local bar. After listening to some of Dale's material, Sam decided that Dale was, in his words, "a pretty good writer" and signed him to compose exclusively for his label. Dale wrote and recorded "Lonely Room", "Bird with a Broken Wing" and "That's What I Like About Us", but none met with great success.
In 1963, Houston was working in a bar in Ferriday, Louisiana, a town near Natchez, Mississippi. Montel approached Houston about teaming up with a female singer, Grace Broussard (born 1939) of Prairieville, Louisiana near Baton Rouge. Both had been singing in area bistros for several years - Grace with her brother, Van Broussard (who later released an album on the Bayou Boogie label). The two met and practiced on Montel's home piano for four hours. When Houston began to play a song written and recorded in 1957 by African-American performers Don and Dewey--"I'm Leaving it Up to You"--Montel, asleep in the next room, woke up screaming: “Play it again! That’s a hit!”
The next day Sam took Dale & Grace to the recording studio where they cut 4 songs. Montel Records then released "I'm Leaving It Up To You" as a single and by October, 1963 it was the number one record in the nation, eventually knocked out of the top spot by The Beatles.
The pair spent much of the rest of the year touring with Dick Clark's Caravan Of Stars and had Thanksgiving at Clark's house. While on tour in Dallas Texas, on Nov. 22, 1963, they were standing on a street corner waving at John Kennedy. His limo had just passed and was about two blocks away when he was assassinated.
Dale and Grace followed their first hit with a song called "Stop and Think It Over" which went to #8 in 1964, but 'The British Invasion' and personal problems were starting to take their toll. Finally, in 1965, Grace had her fill and split from Dale.
Dale carried on, teaming with Connie Sattenfield, to form a new 'Dale and Grace', although by this time, their style of Cajun-country rock was out of style and no major hits followed. Grace Broussard and her brother also toured as Dale and Grace.
Twenty years later, Dale's wife, Patricia, played a part in reuniting Dale with Grace Broussard, who had also married. The two put their differences aside to sing together again for a while, but the reunion lasted just long enough to split Dale and Patricia.
The other "Grace", Connie Sattenfield later teamed up with a man named Jimmy Jordan, who started using the stage name of "Dale". The pair recorded an album called "Dale and Grace - Together Again" and toured as "The All New Dale & Grace Show". The duo recorded a Gospel album called "Dale & Grace - In God's Hands" in 1998 and own Dale & Grace Ministries, as well as having a syndicated, Gospel radio show. Although the name of their act is the same, they make it clear that they are not the duo that sold over 7 and half million Rock 'n' Roll records, although many fans are often confused.
Dale Houston continued on the road with his band and Grace Broussard sang as a solo act across the United States. They were inducted into the Louisiana Hall of Fame in 1997 and into the Gulf Coast's Hall of Fame in 1998.
Dale Houston died on September 27, 2007 of heart failure at the Wesley Medical Centre in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, age 67. Interment was in Smyrna Cemetery in Collins, Mississippi. (Info edited mainly from Wikipedia & Classic bands.com)
American Bandstand. August 01, 1964