Dick Dale was born Richard Anthony Monsour in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 4, 1937. He was of Lebanese descent from his father, James, and of Polish-Belarusian descent from his mother, Sophia "Fern" (Danksewicz). His family subsequently moved to Quincy, Massachusetts. He learned the piano when he was nine after listening to his aunt playing it. He was given a trumpet in seventh grade, and later acquired a ukulele (for $6 part exchange), after having become influenced by Hank Williams. The first song he played on the ukulele was "Tennessee Waltz". He was also influenced musically by his uncle, who taught him how to play the tarabaki and could play the oud.