Tony Mottola

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Not to be confused with Tommy Mottola.
Tony Mottola
Born (1918-04-18)April 18, 1918
Kearny, New Jersey, U.S.
Died August 9, 2004(2004-08-09)
Denville, New Jersey
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician
Instruments Guitar
Labels Command, Project 3
Associated acts Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Burl Ives

Anthony C. "Tony" Mottola (April 18, 1918 – August 9, 2004) was an American guitarist who released dozens of solo albums. Mottola was born in Kearny, New Jersey, and died in Denville, New Jersey.[1]

Career[edit]

Mottola at work on the Danger television series 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 he started out learning to play the banjo and then took up the guitar. He had his first guitar lessons from his father and by the late 1930s he was playing in George Hall's orchestra in a rhythm section that included Johnny Guarnieri and Nick Fatool.

Mottola was one of the most sought after and respected studio musicians in the recording and music industry. He worked extensively with Frank Sinatra and Perry Como and orchestrated albums for Burl Ives. He appeared on the DuMont Television Network program Melody Street.

Mottola also played with Doc Severinsen's Orchestra on The Tonight Show and composed music for the films Running on Empty and Violated (1953) as well as the 1950s television series Danger, which starred Yul Brynner.

Several of his songs were heavily sampled by the Avalanches for their album Since I Left You.

Mottola's only charted single under his own name was "This Guy's in Love With You" which reached No. 22 on the Billboard "Easy Listening Top 40" in the summer of 1968.

In addition to performing as a sideman on thousands of commercial recordings from 1941–1986, Mottola released more than 50 albums as a leader from 1950–1983.

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. ^ Staff. "PASSINGS; Tony Mottola; 86; Composer, Guitarist Played With Sinatra", Los Angeles Times, August 13, 2004. Accessed March 28, 2011. "Mottola, a native of Kearny, NJ, began his career in 1936 when he toured with George Hall's orchestra."

External links[edit]