Gabby grew up in Saltcoats and began his musical career at an early age. He joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1955 as a bandsman (trumpet) and was posted to HMCS Ontario Band and then the Naden Band. Other postings included bandmaster positions at 3 PPCLI Work Point Barracks, CFB Chilliwack and Royal Roads Military College. He played trumpet with the Victoria Symphony, gigged with his band, "The Classics:", performed solo as a one-man band playing trumpet, keyboards and vocals. He taught many young people to play the trumpet and share his passion for music. In latter years, he was a proud member of the Hampton Civic Orchestra.