Dave looks back with pride over his musical career as he began playing the piano at the very early age of 4. Even at the tender age of seven, he entered a competition organized by the stocky silver-haired star-maker Carroll Levis. David, a Pikes Lane schoolboy was the youngest and couldn’t reach the pedals on the grand piano of the old Grand Theatre, but picked out a more than passable rendition of “Oh Mein Papa.” “Too young,” was the verdict of cherubic Mr Levis, but David, vowed: “I’ll be back.”
He was encouraged by his father to take classical music lessons with a Piano teacher in Bolton (Mrs Toseland) where his father paid for his tuition right through the entire eight grades of Associated Board Piano Examinations, passing all with Distinction.
Interest progressed to the point when he became engrossed in not just playing but also in writing and orchestrating which resulted in the formation his own trio at the age of twelve performing in local venues. It was also at this time, for the closing week of the magnificent Grand theatre in Bolton, a special show was prepared with youngsters from the local area performing, David being one of the line-up. On the opening day of the show, the pianist of the resident orchestra was taken ill. David was asked could he stand in, and without a rehearsal he played very ably with the orchestra in the pit and then quickly moved upstairs onto the stage for his own performance, playing on the instrument that just 8 years ago he was too young to reach the pedals on it.
During his latter years at school he was fascinated with the electronic organ and at the age of sixteen, left school and joined Swan’s, the biggest of all the Manchester Organ and Piano Dealer as organ technician. They allowed him to take a break for two summers to be the personal pianist and musical director for showman Peter Webster at the Central Pier in Blackpool and in the Theatre on the pier.
This enormous experience led him to become musical director in many cabaret clubs in and around Manchester. During this time, he was seen by Eric Delaney and was invited to join him as keyboardist and Musical Director, which he did successfully for four years. During that time he was MD for stars like Morecambe & Wise, Ken Dodd and the late Tony Hancock, later appearing in a Royal Command Performance in the presence of Her Royal Highness, Princess Margaret.
After this episode, wanting to be more in control he formed his own band namely the Dave Smith Sound playing at Theatres and Cabaret Clubs around the North West, including the North Pier Blackpool.
In 1974, Dave was appointed manager of a local music shop E.D.Brown Organs in Bolton at the same time performing at many organ societies and making several recordings, most of which were played on the Radio stations including Radio Lancashire (called Radio Blackburn in those days). While managing this store he was asked to enter the Yamaha Electone Festival. He won the UK heat, going on to win the European finals in Hambourg, where he received as first prize, a trip to Japan and a chance to enter the International Concours. It was here, in 1975, that he was presented with the Most Outstanding Performance Award.
Returning to the UK, he left the retail scene to appear with Trevor Chance playing at major cabaret venues throughout the UK with many appearances on the BBC "Pebble Mill at One" TV show.
Again the electronic organ scene beckoned and Dave joined the Lowrey Organ Company and was Artist for the European Operations of Lowrey playing at venues and trade fairs all over Europe and the USA. In 1979 he was promoted to Marketing Specialist/Artist, and further promotion came in 1983 when he was made Keyboard Marketing Manager for Lowrey in Europe. 1984 was decision making time, because the Company invited him not only to work in Chicago, but reside there as well, where he became Director of Product Planning and Development in 1985.
His success was heard throughout the world and especially by the President of Roland Corporation in Japan, Mr. Ikutaro Kakehashi and he asked Dave to form a Research and Development Department for Roland’s keyboard products concentrating on a new line of instruments for Roland....the Atelier range of organs. After many years with the Organ and Keyboard design team for Roland Corporation Japan, he decided to return to the showbiz scene. He is currently the Musical Director for many stars including the very successful three tenors - Tenorissimo. Another avenue of performing is that Dave has a jazz group called "Jeriactric Jazz" playing in many jazz venues around the Lancashire area.
As if that isn't enough to keep him busy, he's also the Musical Director, Organist and Choir Master at the church of St. Anne in his local village. The Organ Society and club circuit are also benefiting with Dave now being back on the performing circuit and in his 'spare time', is teaching piano, organ and keyboard.
This year, Dave is celebrating 60 years in the music business !
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