Gale Stoddard started playing the piano at two years old with her piano playing doctor dad teaching her the rudiments of music, including playing by ear and piano arranging. At 5, she started classical training with nuns from Germany. At 13, she shined in Manila (the Philippines showbiz capital) when she was heard on radio playing US hit songs at aged 15. It was no surprise that at 16, she became the first television pianist with a show similar to "Name that Tune" with actress Rosa Rosal. At the same time, she was also enrolled at the exclusive Philippine Women's University Conservatory of Music as the youngest piano student accepted. At 19 years old, she was headlining at the Monterey's Hotel San Carlos where Bob Hope was in residency for the September Pebble Beach Golf Tournament. She became a nightclub sensation in Monterey County, thanks to the help of musicians' union President Herb Miller (brother to America's musical sensation Glenn Miller) and union business agent from Great Britain, Fred Storer who helped shine the light on the newest Female nightclub piano bar artist by keeping her booked solid at the Colony Club (Louie Armstrong had shows there) and Italian Villa in Salinas. Three years later, the inevitable move to the Southern California happened. She headlined at various supper clubs: Teahouse in Torrance Horikawa at South Coast, OC's Nino's, legendary Ozzie's in the City of Commerce, the Registry and Holiday Inn hotels, and Disneyland Hotel Lounge. For ten years she toured 24 states. She opened Reno's El Dorado Hotel at the urging of one of the owners on a big stage finding herself alone. After
this successful appearance, she got over her fears of performing in big stages in front of 600 people staring at her exotic Filipino face. She opened the Landmark Hotel new piano bar in Las Vegas owned by the Summa Corp (Howard Hughes) where she was held over for two years. For years, she was the friendly face you saw and heard playing the ivory keys and singing at the beautiful San Barbara favorite star hangout El Encanto above the city, played the Sunday brunch at Santa Barbara Inn and resident entertainer at Miramar Hotel where retired actors went in for cocktails and gale's mesmerizing musical offerings. she would be the city's favorite for five years! The only Filipino/Asian female who lasted 30 years as a piano bar artist in a man's world garnering "Entertainer of the year" award ten years after she arrived from her native Philippines. She was 28!
After a 30 year stint, Gale opened her music school in West Covina where hundreds of Filipino and Asian students were taught singing and playing the piano with emphasis on performance in various shows for the nursing homes and big venues like LA Convention center, Pomona Fairplex and Anaheim Convention Center. When her original piano music became in demand gale turned her sights to Hollywood where she was the event coordinator for seven years with Songwriters Guild of America. There she met legendary songwriter Ray Evans,( who won three Academy Awards and wrote 200 songs with his musical partner Jay Livingston.) Ray fell in love with Gales' original compositions and asked her if he could write the lyrics to them. Raay wrote with the best of Hollywood, Henry Mancini, Art Hamilton, Harriet Schock, gale is the only person to write six songs with him outside of his musical collaborator. Ray wrote "Silver Bells"( also Mona Lisa, Que Sera Sera, Tammy etc).Miraculously, 55 years later, he decided to write his second Christmas song with Gale, titled "Christmas in Brazil" aka Santa's Samba" featured on ABC World News Tonight with Brian Rooney Christmas eve 2005. Gale and Ray's swan song "Hopelessly Romantic" was written a month before he passed Feb.2007. The day before he died, gale and Ray were listening to the track when he said, "Roland has the most exquisite vocal phrasing I have ever heard".The next day, gale gets the call about his demise. A few days before that Gale's showbiz inspiration and mentor singer Frankie Laine passed. Frankie Laine wanted to record Gale's original song "Child of the Sun returning" but died before the recording date.
Gale is busy putting the finishing touches to her bio, "10,000 Mile Trek to Paradise with God's Angels" a true story of courage and childlike faith to reach a lifelong dream against impossible odds. Along with Philippines' finest singer Roland Valentino, they would go on to be the most sought after musical duo in the history of retirement communities doing hundreds of shows annually for ten years! Roland who started singing songs he heard at aged four and Gale who became a piano whiz at aged three playing most of Glenn Miller's hits like "In the Mood" etc. were destined to become "The Ultimate Duo"all according to God's design. Roland's humble persona and shyness with Gale's strong musical focus and tenacity took them to musical dream jobs via gale's persistence booking shows and taking no for an answer. Their mesmerizing musical collaboration "Christmas Without you" written after the death of gale's husband Bill, eldest daughter Marianne, and Roland's mom is played on worldwide radio during the holiday season. Both credits God testifying they were just the instruments for this heavenly song. It is now enshrined in the musical collection at the New National Museum of the 911 at the World Trade Center. An honor bestowed to a precious few. The Ultimate Duo has put the Philippines on the map like no other and credits God for their musical legacy. They implicitly believe their musical pathway was already designed by God before they were born in obscure towns in far off Philippines.