[Dixielandjazz] Jazz Pianist Pete Jolly Obit

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Tue Nov 9 05:52:37 PST 2004

Perhaps not as well known by OKOMers as other musos. However He did play
with Red Norvo and is well known (or should be) in California, if not

Note, as Phil Woods opined in "Downbeat", Jolly had to make his "living"
commercially. Note also that he was of "Italian" extraction. :-) VBG.

Steve Barbone 


Pete Jolly, 72, Keyboardist in Jazz and TV, Is Dead

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Pete Jolly, a keyboardist who was a regular on the
Southern California jazz scene for 40 years and whose playing was heard on
some of television's most popular theme songs, died on Saturday in Pasadena.
He was 72.

The cause was complications of bone marrow cancer and irregular heartbeat,
The Los Angeles Times reported.

Mr. Jolly, whose composition "Little Bird" was nominated for a Grammy Award
in 1963, formed the Pete Jolly Trio in 1964 with the drummer Nick Martinis
and the bassist Chuck Berghofer. The group continued to play Southern
California clubs until Mr. Jolly was hospitalized in August.

Mr. Jolly, who played piano, organ and accordion, was heard on television
theme songs including "Get Smart," "The Love Boat," "I Spy," Mannix,"
"Dallas" and "M*A*S*H," as well as on hundreds of movie soundtracks,
including "The Man With the Golden Arm" and "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance

His recordings included "The Sensational Pete Jolly Gases Everybody" (1963),
"Strike Up the Band" (1980) and "Yeah!" (1995). His last album,
"Collaboration," was recorded with the Swedish pianist Jan Lundgren and
released in 2001.

Born Peter Ceragioli Jr. in New Haven, Conn., Mr. Jolly began playing the
accordion at 3. At 7, he appeared on the coast-to-coast radio broadcast
"Hobby Lobby," on which the announcer mispronounced his name as "Pete

Mr. Jolly, whose father was also a musician, began playing in bands in
junior high school. Over the years, he worked with jazz stars including
Buddy DeFranco, Red Norvo and Art Pepper.

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