Al Caiola RIP

Discussion of history's greatest guitar player.

Al Caiola RIP

Postby rhirvine » Thu Nov 10, 2016 9:08 pm

I know a lot of you might have not heard of this studio great (I doubt if he ever recorded in front of a live audience). He was a friend of Tony Mattola since childhood I believe. He had great covers of "The Magnificant Seven" theme and "Bonanza" both inspired by Duane Eddy and his big guitar sound. The difference is that Al Caiola was a true note reading studio musician in New York City I believe, and had a big orchestra behind him as arranged by an orchestra leader. Duane Eddy although he could have played the notes never had that. Caiola made is mark on popular guitar music in the 60's. I still enjoy his renditions of the two songs I mentioned above and listen to them frequently.

Rich Irvine
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Re: Al Caiola RIP

Postby Larry Marchino » Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:11 am

Yes, I have an LP of his from the 60's that I used to listen to. Recently I have been thinking about pulling it out to listen to it again. Not a thumb picker but still a great player. Sorry to hear that we lost another great picker.
Larry Marchino
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Re: Al Caiola RIP

Postby DagerRande » Fri Nov 11, 2016 10:51 am

I too listened to Al Caiola in the 60's. I believe he was also a friend of Tommy Tedesco, who always listed his most recent studio sessions and all the details including how much he was paid, at the end of every issue of Guitar Player magazine. I agree that Al was a good player, though not a finger style guitarist, but I always listened for his phrasing. Thanks for letting us know about this. I hadn't thought of him in years.
Rande Dager

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Re: Al Caiola RIP

Postby Ray Bohlken » Fri Nov 11, 2016 3:29 pm

I have a couple of Al Caiola LPS that I enjoyed listening to over the years. He had a hit playing the Bonanza theme song' It was fun to watch these. I hope you enjoyed these as much as I did. Sorry he passed on.

Here are some links to his playing at age 94 on You Tube...his version of Misty is really good and the Bonanza theme was fun.

Ray Bohlken
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Re: Al Caiola RIP

Postby rhirvine » Fri Nov 11, 2016 4:18 pm

Thanks for those links! I really enjoyed seeing Al Caiola play live. I'm obviously wrong about him ever playing in front of a live audience. If I lived in NYC all these years I'll bet he did club dates a lot. To be able to play so well in his 90's is really something. What a talent he must have been.
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Re: Al Caiola RIP

Postby DWolfram » Fri Nov 18, 2016 11:23 am

Al Caiola was the first guitar instrumentalist performer I bought back in 1960-61.
I loved all those folk songs from the 50s with the guitar accompaniment but just wanted to hear that guitar sound. I started listening to the local easy listening station when they used to announce the artist they played and when I heard a guitar soloist I liked I looked for their albums. I bought Al Caiola, Tony Mottola, Grady Martin, Dwayne Eddy before I "discovered" Chet. After that it was all Chet.
I saw Al one time perform on the Mike Douglas show. Douglas introduced him by saying ".......this is how the guitar should be played". I wondered how he could say that after he already had Chet on his show? (chuckle)
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Re: Al Caiola RIP

Postby Karl » Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:29 am

Back in the '60s and into the '70s, in PIttsburgh, PA, a certain TV station ran a program called "Chiller Theater" at 11:30 pm Saturday nights, the theme of which was a piece called "Experiment in Terror", and was performed by Mr. Caiola. It couldn't have matched the shows content any more perfectly.
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