|Al Caiola with his Gretsch model G6210DSW|
Caiola worked with many, many famous artists including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Mitch Miller, Tony Bennett, Buddy Holly, Percy Faith, Steve Lawrence, Bob Crosby, Tony Mottola, Bobby Darin, and others.
|One of Al's albums|
He has played guitar backing King Curtis, Perry Como, Glen Campbell, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Paul Anka, Petula Clark, Burt Bacharach, Louis Armstrong, Benny King, Rosemary Clooney, Dion, Mary Robbins, Del Shannon, Barbara Streisand, Jackie Gleason, Neil Sedaka, Connie Francis, Andy Williams, Joe Williams, Tom and Jerry (Simon and Garfunkle before they were famous), Julie London, Solomon Burke, and so many others.
|In the Marine Corps Band|
During WWII he played in the Marine Corps 5th Divsion Band. During the 1950’s he became a studio player and arranger in New York City.
Early in his career, Al recording on Dot Records on an album called Squeeze Play that featured John Serry. Caiola moved on to the United Artists label where he recorded the theme to The Magnificent Seven and the Bonanza theme.
|Early recording with Tony Bennett|
|James Bond Themes - Al Caiola|
He also performed on albums based on movies such as From Russia With Love.
|Al and fellow guitarists|
|'65 Caiola Custom|
In 1963 Epiphone guitars, which was then owned by Gibson/CMI introduced the Al Caiol guitar. It was designed in the Gibson ES double-cutaway shape and called the Al Caiola Custom.
Although this instrument was semi-hollow, there were no f-holes. The 7-ply bound maple body was 16” wide and slightly less than 2” deep. The instrument came with a deluxe 5-ply pickguard. The bound neck was of a 25 ½” scale and the rosewood fretboard came with pearl block markers.
The open-book headstock was inlaid with an “column” design done in pearl and elongated, as are Epiphone headstocks. It came with a zero fret.
This guitar had two mini humbuckers, with volume controls for each pickup. It also came with an unusual feature; 5 “Tonexpressor” switches. The pickups were turned off and on with two slide pickup selector switches.
|Al Caiola Custom|
|Al Caiola Standard|
Three years later Epiphone introduced the less fancy Al Caiola Standard model. This came with twin dog-ear P-90 pickups.
|With Epiphone Archtop|
Earlier in his career Caiola can be seen playing Epiphone archtop electrics.
|Al with Gold Gretsch Guitar|
He was also well known for using a gold-coloured Gretsch guitar.
|Al Caiola with Epi model gold finish|
He did use his Epiphone signature model during the sixties.
|Al Caiola with Heritage Guitar|
Most recently he played a large bodied single cutaway Heritage guitar.
Though many modern readers may not know about Caiola, he was an integral part of modern guitar history.
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