In the pop music field, when the guitar is mentioned, the first name to automatically come to mind is that of Al Caiola (pronounced ky-o-la). Caiola's albums and singles for United Artists Records over the past few years have racked up imposing sales figures which are unequaled in the industry, and Al's guitar has supported just about every key vocalists or conductor, whether it be on record dates, concerts, personal appearances. And didn't you notice something familiar about that guitar on the Winston, Salem, Schaefer, Fallstaff, Ford and Chevy commercials and most recently the Boboli (bread & pizza crust) commercial that was Al also.
In 1942 Al enlisted in the Marine Corps, taking his basic training at Parris Island, where he was a member of the base band. When he was transferred to Virginia he was put in charge of the Quantico Marine Orchestra. Later he led the orchestra at Camp Pendleton, California,and then, along with Bob Crosby, he directed the 5th Marine Division Orchestra at this point he was promoted to marine technical sergeant. With this orchestra he was sent to Hawaii and played 19 different islands in the South Pacific. The orchestra was then disbanded and the members, including Al, were assigned to active combat on Iwo Jima. After this historic campaign, the group was reassembled and sent to Japan during the occupation.
After Al's tour with the Marines during World War II. Al enrolled at the New Jersey Musical College to study composition, theory and harmony. Soon afterwards, Al joined CBS as a staff musician, his assignments were playing the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scout Show, as well as participating in the Ed Sullivan Show, The Steve Allen Show and the Jackie Gleason Show. During this time, Al became the East's most widely demanded guitarist for recording sessions, soloing with Andre Kostelanetz, Percy Faith and Hugo Winterhalter, & Mitch Miller, as well as playing with such hit artists as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Rosemary Clooney and Frankie Laine.
Al gave up his CBS position to concentrate on an increasingly demanding schedule of recording sessions and personal appearances.
Al was in at the beginning of Rock & Roll, recording with Connie Francis, Paul Anka, Fabian and Frankie Avalon. Al also wrote the special arrangements and directed the orchestra for the Frankie Avalon ABC radio show.
Eventually Al was signed to an exclusive contract with United Artists Records and among the first singles he recorded, two became nationwide hits: the themes from "Bonanza" and "The Magnificent Seven." So far, Al has recorded over 25 albums for U.A., with 24 of them remaining in the active catalog. He has recorded Italian, Hawaiian, Mexican and English music. He plays Country, Pop, & Jazz. His 26th album, "Return of the Magnificent Seven" features, besides the title song, the themes from "The Sandpebbles," "The Flame & the Fire," and "The Spies." Al was on the European tour in 1995 with Frank Sinatra, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. Currently on tour with Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme throughout the United States. Al recently performed with the National Symphony Orchestra for two days in Washington D.C. with Doc Severinsen as one of the conductors and his friend Lou Pallo on Mandolin, Al and fellow guitarist Lou Mecca performed a guitar duo on Cable television with Lou Pallo as interviewer. Al has recorded over 75 albums and has just completed a new CD. Al appeared recently at the "Jazz Corner" in Hilton Head, S.C. Jan. 2000 and will be appearing with Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, throughout the United states. Check back for future dates and changes in schedule.