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 (2004-08-09)August 9, 2004
Denville
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1936–1988
Labels Command, Project 3
Associated acts The Tonight Show orchestra, Frank Sinatra
External audio
You may hear Tony Mottola performing "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" by Wallace Willis and "The Jazz Me Blues" by Tom Delaney with the accordionist John Serry Sr. and the Joe Biviano Accordion and Rhythm Sextette in 1947 Here

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]

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 1945 he collaborated with accordionist John Serry Sr. in a recording of "Leone Jump" for Sonora Records (MS-476-3) which was played in jukeboxes throughout the U.S. [3] [4][5][6][7] 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]

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.

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) Superstar Guitar (1972)
  • 25) Tony & Strings (1972)
  • 26) Two Guitars for Two in Love (1972)
  • 27) I Gotta Be Me: The Guitar Artistry of Tony Mottola (1972)
  • 28) A Latin Love-In (1973)
  • 29) Tony Mottola and the Quad Guitars (1973)
  • 30) Holiday Guitars (1974)
  • 31) Tony Mottola and the Brass Menagerie (1974)
  • 32) Guitar Factory (1975)
  • 33) I Only Have Eyes for You (1975)
  • 34) My Favorite Things (1975)
  • 35) Feelings (1977)
  • 36) Favorite Italian Songs 1979)
  • 37) Goin' Out of My Head (1979)
  • 38) Stardust (previously released as Warm Feelings) (1980)
  • 39) All the Way (1983)

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)
  • 59) Accordion Capers - Tony Mottola and John Serry Sr. in the Joe Biviano Accordion Sextette (Sonora, 1947)[8] [9][10]


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. 
  3. ^ The Sonora Label - Robert L. Campbell - The Sonora 1000 Series Albums from 1945 - (MS-476-3)- Leone Jump, John Serry, Tony Mottola on campber.people.clemson.edu
  4. ^ Classic Jazz Guitar - Accordion Capers - Joe Biviano and his Rhythm Sextette - Tony Mottola, John Serry, Leone Jump on archive.org
  5. ^ Accordion Capers - Tony Mottola, John Serry, Joe Biviano, Leone Jump on classicajazzguitar.com
  6. ^ The Billboard 27 april 1946 p. 124 - The Billboard - Record Reviews - Joe Biviano Accordion Capers - Critical review of the album Accordion Capers - Tony Mottola and John Serry and Joe Biviano on books.google.com
  7. ^ Archive.org - Leone Jump, Swing Low, Sweet Chariot, Jazz Me Blues, Nursery Rhymes - Album including John Serry's composition "Leone Jump" and " Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "The Jazz Me Blues" with Tony Mottola and John Serry and Joe Biviano Accordion and Rhythm Sextette
  8. ^ Accordion Capers on archive.org
  9. ^ The Billboard 27 April 1946 p. 124 - Record Reviews- Joe Biviano - Sonora Records - "Accordion Capers" featuring Tony Mottola guitar and John Serry accordion on archive.org
  10. ^ Leone Jump;Swing Low Sweet Chariot;The Jazz Me Blues;Nursery Rhymes as performed by the Joe Biviano Accordion & Rhythm Sextette with Tony Mottola and John Serry Sr. (1947) on archive.org

External links[edit]