Tony Mottola

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Tony Mottola
Birth name Anthony C. Mottola
Born (1918-04-18)April 18, 1918
Kearny, New Jersey, U.S.
Died August 9, 2004(2004-08-09)
Denville
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1936–1988
Labels Command, Project 3
Associated acts The Tonight Show orchestra, Frank Sinatra

Anthony C. Mottola (April 18, 1918 – August 9, 2004) was an American jazz guitarist who released dozens of solo albums. Mottola was born in Kearny, New Jersey and died in Denville.

Career[edit]

Mottola was music director for the television series Danger in 1954. He used a copy of the script with notations and watched a television monitor to provide the right music.

Like many of his contemporaries, Mottola started out learning to play the banjo and then took up the guitar. He had his first guitar lessons from his father. He toured with an orchestra led by George Hall in 1936, marking the beginning of his professional life. His first recordings were duets with guitarist Carl Kress.[1][2] In 1956 he collaborated with accordionist John Serry Sr. in a recording of "Leone Jump" for Sonora Records which was played in jukeboxes throughout the U.S. His only charted single as a soloist was "This Guy's in Love with You", which reached No. 22 on the Billboard magazine Easy Listening Top 40 in the summer of 1968.

Mottola worked often on television, appearing as a regular on shows hosted by vocalist Perry Como and comedian Sid Caesar and as music director for the 1950s series Danger. From 1958–1972, he was a member of The Tonight Show Orchestra led by Skitch Henderson.[1][2] He composed music for the TV documentary Two Childhoods, which was about Vice President Hubert Humphrey and writer James Baldwin, and won an Emmy Award for his work.[2] In 1980, Mottola began performing with Frank Sinatra, often in duets, appearing at Carnegie Hall and the White House.[1][2] He retired from the music business in 1988 but kept playing at home almost every day.[2]

Partial discography[edit]

Command Records[edit]

  • 1) Mr. Big (1959)
  • 2) Roman Guitar (1960)
  • 3) Folk Songs (1961)
  • 4) String Band Strum Along (1961)
  • 5) Roman Guitar Volume 2 (1962)
  • 6) Spanish Guitar (1962)
  • 7) Romantic Guitar (1963)
  • 8) Guitar...Mottola (previously released as Mr. Big) (1963)
  • 9) Sentimental Guitar (1964)
  • 10) Guitar Paris (1965)
  • 11) Command Performance (1965)
  • 12) Love Songs of Mexico, South America (1965)
  • 13) Amor Mexico and South America (1966)
  • 14) Guitar U.S.A. (1967)
  • 15) Tony "Mr. Guitar" Mottola, Volume II (1973)

Project 3 Records[edit]

  • 16) Heart & Soul Guitar (1966)
  • 17) Tony Mottola Joins the Guitar Underground (1969)
  • 18) Warm, Wild & Wonderful (1968)
  • 19) Lush, Latin, and Lovely (1968)
  • 20) Roma Oggi (1968)
  • 21) The Tony Touch (1969)
  • 22) Close to You (A Guitar for Lovers) (1970)
  • 23) Warm Feelings (1971)
  • 24) Tony & Strings (1972)
  • 25) Two Guitars for Two in Love (1972)
  • 26) I Gotta Be Me: The Guitar Artistry of Tony Mottola (1972)
  • 27) A Latin Love-In (1973)
  • 28) Tony Mottola and the Quad Guitars (1973)
  • 29) Tony Mottola and the Brass Menagerie (1974)
  • 30) Guitar Factory (1975)
  • 31) I Only Have Eyes for You (1975)
  • 32) Feelings (1977)
  • 33) Favorite Italian Songs 1979)
  • 34) Goin' Out of My Head (1979)
  • 35) Superstar Guitar (c. 1970s)
  • 36) Holiday Guitars (c. 1970s)
  • 37) Stardust (previously released as Warm Feelings) (1980)
  • 38) All the Way (1983)
  • 39) My Favorite Things (1975)

Other[edit]

  • 40) Fun on the Frets – Tony Mottola and Carl Kress (Yazoo)
  • 41) Sixteen Great Performances (ABC, 1971)
  • 42) Guitar Jamboree (Seagull, 1982)
  • 43) Guitar on Velvet (Readers Digest, 1976 )
  • 44) Midnight Magic (Queue)
  • 45) Tony's Touch (Grand Prix Series, 1963)
  • 46) Let's Put Out the Lights (RCA Camden)
  • 47) A Guy and a Guitar with Johnny Parker (Kapp)
  • 48) Danger (soundtrack) (MGM, 1950)
  • 49) Hawaii Five-O with Jimmy Mitchel (Design)
  • 50) Little Red Monkey / Little Joe Worm – with Rosemary Clooney (Columbia)
  • 51) The Tap Dance Record (Columbia, 1951)
  • 52) Heart & Soul Guitar (Varèse Sarabande, 2002)
  • 53) Swing to Bop Guitar – Tony Mottola and others (Hep, 2000)
  • 54) Dance Party (2007)
  • 55) "Light Calvary Overture" (song title) with Al Duffy
  • 56) Kings of the Jazz Guitar – Tony Mottola and others (2000)
  • 57) Tony's Touch (2000)
  • 58) Tony Mottola, His Guitar and Orchestra (MGM, 1955)

Frank Sinatra

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Tony Mottola, 86; Composer, Guitarist Played With Sinatra". Los Angeles Times. 13 August 2004. Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Guitarist Tony Mottola Dies At 86". Billboard. 10 August 2004. Retrieved 17 June 2017. 

External links[edit]