Al Caiola

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Al Caiola
Birth name Alexander Emil Caiola
Born (1920-09-07)September 7, 1920
Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
Died November 9, 2016(2016-11-09) (aged 96)
Allendale, New Jersey
Genres Jazz, country, rock, pop
Occupation(s) Musician, conductor, arranger, songwriter
Instruments Guitar
Years active
  • 1955–1969
  • 1980–2016
Labels Atco, Chancellor, Coral, HMV, RCA, Roulette, Savoy, Time, United Artists, Durium
Associated acts Tony Mottola, The Living Trio, Roy Ross and the Ragamuffins with Dizzy Gillespie, The Village Stompers, The Ragtimers

Alexander Emil Caiola (September 7, 1920 – November 9, 2016) was a guitarist, composer and arranger who spanned a variety of music genres including jazz, country, rock, and pop. He recorded over fifty albums and worked with some of the biggest names in music during the 20th century, including Elvis Presley, Ray Conniff, Ferrante & Teicher, Frank Sinatra, Percy Faith, Buddy Holly, Mitch Miller, and Tony Bennett. During World War II Caiola played with the United States Marine Corps 5th Marine Division Band that also included Bob Crosby. Caiola served in the Battle of Iwo Jima as a stretcher bearer.


Caiola was a studio musician in the 1950s in New York City. He released some minor records under his own name in that decade. In addition, he performed under the musical direction of John Serry Sr. on an album for Dot Records in 1956 (Squeeze Play).

In 1960 he became a recording star on the United Artists label for over ten years. He had hits in 1961 with "The Magnificent Seven" and "Bonanza". His guitar style was inspired by Duane Eddy. The arrangements were typically by Don Costa, using a large orchestral backing.[1]

Caiola released singles and albums throughout the 1960s and beyond, though no others appeared on the charts except for an entry in 1964 with "From Russia with Love". United Artists used him to make commercial recordings of many movie and TV themes: "Wagon Train (Wagons Ho)", "The Ballad of Paladin", "The Rebel", and "Gunslinger". His album Solid Gold Guitar contained arrangements of "Jezebel", "Two Guitars", "Big Guitar", "I Walk the Line", and "Guitar Boogie".[citation needed]

The Magnificent Seven album, other than the title track, consisted of a variety of pop songs with a jazzy bent. Guitars Guitars Guitars was similar. There was a wide variety to his albums — soft pop, Italian, Hawaiian, country, jazz. In the early 1970s he continued on the Avalanche Recordings label, producing similar work including the album Theme From the 'Magnificent 7 Ride' '73. Later, on other labels, came some ethnic-themed instrumental albums such as In a Spanish Mood in 1982, and Italian instrumentals. In 1976, Caiola accompanied Sergio Franchi, Dana Valery, and Wayne J. Kirby (Franchi's musical director) on a concert tour to Johannesburg, South Africa.[citation needed]

Caiola died in Allendale, New Jersey, at the age of 96.[2]


  • Deep in a Dream (Savoy, 1955)
  • Serenade in Blue (Savoy, 1956)
  • Music for Space Squirrels (Atco, 1958)
  • High Strung (RCA Victor, 1959)
  • Cleopatra and All That Jazz (United Artists, 1960)
  • Golden Hit Instrumentals (United Artists, 1961)
  • Guitar Style (RCA Camden, 1962)
  • Solid Gold Guitar (1962)
  • Solid Gold Guitar Goes Hawaiian (1965)
  • Tuff Guitar English Style (United Artists, 1965)
  • King Guitar (United Artists, 1967)
  • Let the Sunshine In (United Artists, 1969)
  • Soft Picks (Bainbridge, 196?)
  • Soft Guitars (Bainbridge, 1980)
  • Guitar of Plenty (Bainbridge, 1987)
  • Heritage of Broadway: Music of George Gershwin (Bainbridge, 1987)
  • Italian Guitars (Special Music, 1990)
  • Amigo & Other Songs (Aurora, 1993)
  • Spanish Guitars (Bainbridge, 1994)
  • Encore Oro Italiano (Alanna, 2001)
  • Guitar for Latin Lovers (Alanna, 2001)
  • The Manhattan Guitars (Alanna, 2002)
  • Classic Italian Love Songs (Alanna, 2005)
  • Caiola Connection (Jasmine, 2016)[3]

United Artists albums[edit]

  • Guitars Guitars Guitars
  • The Magnificent Seven
  • Golden Hit Instrumentals
  • Hit Instrumentals from Western TV Themes
  • Solid Gold Guitar
  • Midnight in Moscow (1962)
  • Midnight Dance Party
  • Golden Guitar
  • City Guy Plays Country
  • Acapulco 1922 and the Lonely Bull (with Ralph Marterie)
  • Paradise Village (1963)
  • Ciao
  • Give Me the Simple Life
  • Greasy Kid Stuff
  • Cleopatra and All That Jazz
  • The Best of Al Caiola (1963)
  • 50 Fabulous Guitar Favorites (1964)
  • 50 Fabulous Italian Favorites (1964)
  • On the Trail (1964)
  • Tuff Guitar (1964)
  • Guitar for Lovers (1964)
  • Have Guitar Will Travel (reissue of Midnight in Moscow)
  • Solid Gold Guitar Goes Hawaiian
  • Sounds for Spies and Private Eyes (1965)
  • Tuff Guitar English Style
  • Tuff Guitar Tijuana Style
  • 'Guitars Woodwinds and Bongoes (Ultra Audio series)
  • Romantico
  • All Strung Out
  • Return of the Seven
  • King Guitar
  • Sound of Christmas (with Riz Ortolani)
  • It Must Be Him
  • The Power of Brass (brass group presented by Caiola)
  • Let the Sunshine In

Partial studio recordings list[edit]


External links[edit]