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TEDESCO, CALLED KING OF STUDIO MUSICIANS, 67.

Byline: City News Service

Funeral services are set for Saturday for Tommy Tedesco, who played guitar on the ``Bonanza'' and ``MASH'' themes and worked with Elvis Presley, Phil Spector, the Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.

The Niagara Falls, N.Y., native died Monday at his home after a long battle with lung cancer. He was 67.

Regarded by some as the king of studio musicians, Tedesco performed on dozens of albums, as well as the sound tracks for TV shows and movies, and worked in the industry more than 35 years, according to his son, Denny.

The recording academy named Tedesco its ``most valuable player'' in 1980-82.

Besides the ``Bonanza'' theme known around the world, Tedesco provided solos on themes for TV's ``Batman'' and ``Green Acres,'' and in the movies ``The Deer Hunter,'' ``The Godfather,'' ``Field of Dreams,'' ``The River'' and ``Night, Mother.''

Tedesco worked with the famed ``wall of sound'' producer Phil Spector on numerous hits, and provided the instrumental track on The Ronettes' classic '60s single ``Be My Baby.''

Tom Barlette of The Musician's Institute said Tedesco was a founder of the school, which dates to 1976.

``He's been called and is the `king of studio guitar.' He's the most recorded guitarist in history. What he brought to the school was a real common-sense approach to playing the guitar.

``He was a real humanitarian. He helped everybody, gave them a real good idea of what they needed to know to survive in the music business. (He was) just a wonderful human being.

``I've known Tommy since around 1980, and I would have to say that pretty well everything in my career as a musician is a direct result of what Tommy's done for me.

``He'll be sorely missed by the students here, by everybody. He was just an incredible human being, and I'm glad to have known him.''

Among the other luminaries, Tedesco worked with Ray Charles, Jan and Dean and the late Frank Zappa.

He also recorded several jazz albums under his own name and occasionally toured with a quartet.

A prayer service for Tedesco is scheduled in the afternoon and evening Friday at the Praiswater Meyer-Mitchell Mortuary in Van Nuys.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 18400 Kinzie St., Northridge. A celebration of Tedesco's life is scheduled immediately following the service at the Musician's Institute, 6757 McFadden Way, Hollywood.

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Photo: Tommy Tedesco

Worked with Presley, Spector
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Nov 12, 1997
Words:415
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