After more than four decades as one of the Bay Area’s most popular entertainers, Dave Hosley decided it was time to release his first album.
Hosley, or “Diamond Dave” as his fans know him, has been packing Bay Area venues with his live shows since the mid-1980s, delighting fans with set lists that segue from Frank Sinatra to Flo Rida and anything that can get a dance floor up and thumping.
“One of the things that my audience likes about my shows is the sense of spontaneity on any given night,” says Hosley. “I might jump from ‘Strangers in the Night’ to ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ to ‘Baby Got Back’ in one medley.”
For his first LP, however, Hosley set his sights on a top ten list of impeccably crafted tunes. Love For Sale, named for the 1930 Cole Porter number that is the album’s second track, highlights tunes from such legendary songsmiths as Burt Bacharach, Carole King, Billy Strahorn, and Irving Berlin.
“Songwriting is such a unique skill, separate from being a virtuoso performer or an entertainer,” says Hosley. “I’m in awe of these great songwriters, and of these songs that have kept me inspired and employed throughout my career. These songs have been such a big part of my life, and I am so thankful to be able to do them justice.”
“Hopefully do them justice,” Hosley adds with a laugh. “The audience will be the judge of that when the record comes out.”
In addition to numbers from the Great American Songbook and the singer-songwriter era of the 1960s and ‘70s, Hosley has included two more recent songs in the mix—but insists these are not novelty selections.
“Cee Lo Green’s ‘Crazy’ is a newer song, but it is a great song, and so is Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me,’” says Hosley. “I have no doubt that we will be thinking of these songs in 50 years, the way we think about Irving Berlin’s ‘Blue Skies’ or Billy Strayhorn’s ‘Lush Life’ today.”
Working with an eight-piece band of impeccable studio musicians, Hosley laid down the tracks for Love for Sale at Berkeley’s famed Fantasy Studios, the recording venue for countless classic jazz albums, as well as Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 1960s smashes.
“To walk through those halls and see the albums that were recorded there was quite astonishing,” says Hosley. “For example, Tony Bennett and Bill Evans did two albums together at Fantasy Studios. I think the piano we used was the same one Bill Evans played on those records. He’s one of my favorite piano players of all time. So, it was exciting—if not a little intimidating—to record there.”
Hosley says the Fantasy Studios vibe was a crucial component on the elegant recordings of Love For Sale.
“For this record we had to have a pure sound. We recorded acoustic instruments—acoustic piano, organ, trumpets, and other parts,” says Hosley. “Fans of this kind of music have a sense for the music’s authenticity, and that studio and its engineers were able to really help us paint a musical picture in rich detail.”
Hosley says recording Love For Sale has been an incredibly fulfilling experience as a musical artist.
“I’ve enjoyed a long career as a performing artist, and I love doing live shows,” says Hosley. “Recording these songs was a new process for me, and many of the songs are not numbers I typically play in my shows. I always love being able to do something new with music; I’m very excited by the idea of releasing an album for my fans, and entering another phase in my musical career as a recording artist.”
- Peter Crooks
Dave has performed at many of the top venues in the Bay Area, including The Independent, Bill Graham Auditorium, Davies Symphony Hall, The Treasure Island Music Festival and The Lesher Center for the Arts. His corporate clients include Facebook, YouTube, Chevron, Charles Schwab and Sephora.