rafe arnott/metro vancouver


Dal Richards acknowledges the 2,500 fans who packed his 90th birthday gig.


Nearly 70 years since Dal Richards played his first show at the Orpheum Theatre, the veteran big bandleader is still selling out concerts.

Yesterday he was back at the Orpheum in front of a sold-out crowd of around 2,500 people in celebration of his 90th birthday, which was on Saturday.

The gig was Day 2 of a weekend birthday bash that started at the Hotel Vancouver, where for several decades he and his orchestra hosted a cross-country CBC broadcast from the Panorama Roof.

Richards, who has been playing in Vancouver since the 1930s, is still a regular at River Rock Casino, where last week he played his 73rd straight New Year’s Eve show. He also played for 68 years at the PNE, running a talent show that helped discover Michael Bublé.

Richard’s long career is far from over. He’s scheduled to play at the 2010 Olympics. He’ll be 92.