Alexander Emil Caiola (September 7, 1920 – November 9, 2016), better known as Al Caiola, was a guitarist, composer and arranger who spanned a variety of music genres including jazz, country, rock, western, and pop. He recorded over fifty albums and worked with some of the biggest names in music during the 20th century, including Elvis Presley, 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 (United States) Band that also included Bob Crosby. Caiola served in the Battle of Iwo Jima as a stretcher bearer.
Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S, Al 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. Caiola continuously 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".
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.
Caiola died in November 2016 at the age of 96. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply.